Income Tax Act

(Original Enactment: Ordinance 39 of 1947)

(31st March 2014)
An Act to impose a tax upon incomes and to regulate the collection thereof.
[1st January 1948]
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Income Tax Act.
2.—(1)  In this Act, unless the subject or context otherwise requires —
“account with the electronic service”, in relation to any person, means a computer account within the electronic service which is assigned by the Comptroller to that person for the storage and retrieval of electronic records relating to that person;
“accountant” means a public accountant within the meaning of the Accountants Act (Cap. 2);
“advocate and solicitor” means an advocate and solicitor within the meaning of the Legal Profession Act (Cap. 161);
“annual value” has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Property Tax Act (Cap. 254) and shall be ascertained in the same manner as annual value is ascertained under that Act;
“approved pension or provident fund or society” means a pension or provident fund or society approved by the Comptroller under section 5;
“authentication code”, in relation to any person, means an identification or identifying code, a password or any other authentication method or procedure which is assigned to that person for the purposes of identifying and authenticating the access to and use of the electronic service by that person;
“basis period” for any year of assessment means the period on the profits of which tax for that year falls to be assessed;
“body of persons” means any body politic, corporate or collegiate, any corporation sole and any fraternity, fellowship or society of persons whether corporate or unincorporate but does not include a company or a partnership;
“Commonwealth”, in relation to a country, means any country recognised by the President to be a Commonwealth country and “part of the Commonwealth” means any Commonwealth country, colony, protectorate or protected state or any other territory administered by the government of any Commonwealth country;
“company” means any company incorporated or registered under any law in force in Singapore or elsewhere;
“Comptroller” means the Comptroller of Income Tax appointed under section 3(1) and includes, for all purposes of this Act except the exercise of the powers conferred upon the Comptroller by sections 37J(5), 67(1)(a), 95, 96, 96A and 101, a Deputy Comptroller or an Assistant Comptroller so appointed;
“country” includes a territory;
“crops” includes any form of vegetable produce;
“earned income” means the statutory income of an individual reduced by any deduction made under section 37(3)(a) or 37E or claimed under section 37D (excluding any donation referred to in section 37D(8)(c)) or 37F from —
(a)gains or profits from any trade, business, profession, vocation or employment on which tax is payable under section 10(1), where the Comptroller is satisfied that such gains or profits are immediately derived from the carrying on or exercise by such individual of such trade, business, profession, vocation or employment; and
(b)any pension on which tax is payable under section 10(1)(e) given to the individual in respect of the past services of such individual or any deceased individual;
“electronic record” has the same meaning as in the Electronic Transactions Act (Cap. 88);
“electronic service” means the electronic service provided by the Comptroller under section 8A(1);
“employee”  —
(a)in relation to a company, includes a director of the company; and
(b)in relation to a statutory board, includes the chairman and any member of the statutory board,
and “employer” and other cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly;
“executor” means any executor, administrator or other person administering the estate of a deceased person;
“Fund Manager” or “fund manager” means a company holding a capital markets services licence under the Securities and Futures Act (Cap. 289) for fund management or that is exempted under that Act from holding such a licence;
“goods” includes currency and specie;
“harvesting” includes the collection of crops, however effected;
“Hindu joint family” means what in any system of law prevailing in India is known as a Hindu joint family or a co‑parcenary;
“incapacitated person” means any infant, lunatic, idiot or insane person;
“information subject to legal privilege” means —
(a)communications between an advocate and solicitor and his client or any person representing his client made in connection with the giving of legal advice to the client; and
(b)communications between —
(i)an advocate and solicitor and his client or any person representing his client; or
(ii)an advocate and solicitor or his client or any such representative and any other person,
made in connection with, or in contemplation of, judicial proceedings and for the purposes of such proceedings,
when such communications are in the possession of a person who is entitled to possession of them, but excluding, in any case, any communications made with the intention of furthering a criminal purpose;
“institution of a public character” has the same meaning as in the Charities Act (Cap. 37);
“issued shares” excludes treasury shares;
“life annuity” means an annuity payable under a policy issued to an SRS member for a term ending with, or at a time ascertainable only by reference to, the end of his life;
“limited liability partnership” means any limited liability partnership incorporated or registered under any law in force in Singapore or elsewhere;
“limited partnership” means a limited partnership registered or formed under any law in force in Singapore or elsewhere;
“local forces” means the Singapore Armed Forces and any volunteer or reserve forces attached thereto;
“permanent establishment” means a fixed place where a business is wholly or partly carried on including —
(a)a place of management;
(b)a branch;
(c)an office;
(d)a factory;
(e)a warehouse;
(f)a workshop;
(g)a farm or plantation;
(h)a mine, oil well, quarry or other place of extraction of natural resources;
(i)a building or work site or a construction, installation or assembly project,
and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, a person shall be deemed to have a permanent establishment in Singapore if that person —
(i)carries on supervisory activities in connection with a building or work site or a construction, installation or assembly project; or
(ii)has another person acting on that person’s behalf in Singapore who —
(A)has and habitually exercises an authority to conclude contracts;
(B)maintains a stock of goods or merchandise for the purpose of delivery on behalf of that person; or
(C)habitually secures orders wholly or almost wholly for that person or for such other enterprises as are controlled by that person;
“person” includes a company, body of persons and a Hindu joint family;
“plantation” means any land used for the growing and harvesting of crops;
“prescribed” means prescribed by rules or regulations made under this Act;
“prescribed minimum retirement age” has the same meaning as in the Retirement and Re-employment Act (Cap. 274A);
“professional visit pass” means a professional visit pass issued by the Controller of Immigration under the Immigration Regulations (Cap. 133, Rg 1);
“replanting” means the replacement of the crop of any product on any area of land by the planting on the same area —
(a)of a crop of the same product; or
(b)of a crop of a different product approved by the Minister;
“research and development” means any systematic, investigative and experimental study that involves novelty or technical risk carried out in the field of science or technology with the object of acquiring new knowledge or using the results of the study for the production or improvement of materials, devices, products, produce, or processes, but does not include —
(a)quality control or routine testing of materials, devices or products;
(b)research in the social sciences or the humanities;
(c)routine data collection;
(d)efficiency surveys or management studies;
(e)market research or sales promotion;
(f)routine modifications or changes to materials, devices, products, processes or production methods; or
(g)cosmetic modifications or stylistic changes to materials, devices, products, processes or production methods;
(h)[Deleted by Act 29 of 2012]
“research and development organisation” means a body or an organisation which provides research and development services for any trade or business;
“resident in Singapore”  —
(a)in relation to an individual, means a person who, in the year preceding the year of assessment, resides in Singapore except for such temporary absences therefrom as may be reasonable and not inconsistent with a claim by such person to be resident in Singapore, and includes a person who is physically present or who exercises an employment (other than as a director of a company) in Singapore for 183 days or more during the year preceding the year of assessment; and
(b)in relation to a company or body of persons, means a company or body of persons the control and management of whose business is exercised in Singapore;
“SRS account” means an account opened with an SRS operator by an SRS member;
“SRS contribution cap”, in relation to an SRS member, means the maximum contribution prescribed under section 10L that may be made by the member to his SRS account in any year under the SRS;
“SRS member” means a member of the Supplementary Retirement Scheme;
“SRS operator” means any company approved by the Minister, or such person as he may appoint, for the purposes of the Supplementary Retirement Scheme;
“Supplementary Retirement Scheme” or “SRS” means the Supplementary Retirement Scheme established by regulations made under section 10L;
“tax” means the income tax imposed by this Act;
“treasury share”  —
(a)in relation to a company incorporated under the Companies Act (Cap. 50) or any corresponding previous written law, means a treasury share as defined in section 4(1) of that Act; and
(b)in relation to a company incorporated under the law of a country other than Singapore, means a share issued by the company which is subsequently acquired and held by it;
“work pass” means a work pass issued by the Controller of Work Passes under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (Cap. 91A);
“year of assessment” means the period of 12 months commencing on 1st January 1948, and each subsequent period of 12 months.
[26/73; 37/75; 5/77; 28/80; 13/84; 31/86; 3/89; 11/94; 32/95; 1/98; 31/98; 32/99; 24/2001; 42/2001; 37/2002; 21/2003; 49/2004; 34/2005; 10/2007; 30/2007; 34/2008; 27/2009; 29/2010; 4/2011; 29/2012; 19/2013]
(2)  For the purposes of this Act, where an individual is present in Singapore for any part of a day, his presence on that day shall be counted as one day.
(3)  [Deleted by Act 29 of 2012]
(4)  In this Act, for the avoidance of doubt, a reference to the spouse of a person means a spouse who is of the opposite sex to that person.