Any CPF con­tri­bu­tion you make will re­ceive tax re­lief, which helps to lower your net tax­able in­come.

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Get Fit -

So you bought your client lunch but your boss won’t re­im­burse you for it. If you in­curred such ex­penses while car­ry­ing out your job – just make sure the ex­penses are not cap­i­tal or pri­vate in na­ture – you should keep your re­ceipts and claim them un­der your al­low­able ex­penses. Ac­cord­ing to the In­land Rev­enue Author­ity of Sin­ga­pore (Iras), apart from en­ter­tain­ment ex­penses for your clients (par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant for those who en­ter­tain of­ten), you can also claim for trans­port ex­penses on public trans­port, sub­scrip­tions paid to pro­fes­sional bod­ies or so­ci­eties, and even re­li­gious dues such as for a mosque-build­ing fund. Sin­ga­pore is big on pro­duc­tiv­ity and en­cour­ages con­tin­ual train­ing and learn­ing. So, if you’ve signed up for cour­ses to up­grade your skills, Iras will give you props for en­hanc­ing your em­ploy­a­bil­ity by let­ting you claim Course Fees Re­lief.

This ben­e­fit is only for those cur­rently, or pre­vi­ously, work­ing and who are at­tend­ing long- or short-term cour­ses that lead to an ap­proved aca­demic or pro­fes­sional qual­i­fi­ca­tion. It doesn’t ap­ply to those who are study­ing for a di­ploma or uni­ver­sity de­gree and have not worked pre­vi­ously.

So, if you are study­ing for your masters, which eas­ily costs any­thing from $15,000 to more than $30,000, con­sider spread­ing out your course fees pay­ment over dif­fer­ent years, so that you can claim the max­i­mum $5,500 a year. If you de­cide to pay the fees in full – though this is less com­mon – you can also divide the fees equally over the pe­riod of the course. For ex­am­ple, shelling out $21,000 for a three-year masters pro­gramme works out to $7,000 a year. How­ever, you can only claim a max­i­mum of $5,500 a year. Many peo­ple al­ready know about the CPF cash top-up re­lief, an in­cen­tive to en­cour­age Sin­ga­porean cit­i­zens and Per­ma­nent Res­i­dents to top up their Re­tire­ment or Spe­cial Ac­count with cash. You also en­joy the same re­lief if you top up your fam­ily mem­bers’ ac­counts.

For most peo­ple who are em­ploy­ees in a com­pany, you al­ready get monthly con­tri­bu­tions to your CPF ac­counts. Thus, you also au­to­mat­i­cally en­joy the CPF con­tri­bu­tion re­lief. How­ever, if you are self-em­ployed or work free­lance, you are not legally ob­li­gated to con­trib­ute to your CPF ac­count, ex­cept for your Medis­ave ac­count.

Re­mem­ber, any CPF con­tri­bu­tion you make will re­ceive tax re­lief, which helps to lower your net tax­able in­come. As a self­em­ployed per­son, you can vol­un­tar­ily con­trib­ute to your Or­di­nary Ac­count.

This comes in handy if you’re ser­vic­ing a hous­ing loan. If you’re cur­rently pay­ing for your prop­erty with cash, con­sider top­ping up your Or­di­nary Ac­count and us­ing that to pay for your prop­erty in­stead. That way, you’ll get to en­joy the CPF cash top-up re­lief!

But do re­mem­ber that once you’ve sold off your prop­erty, pro­ceeds of the sale will first go to­wards pay­ing back the CPF money that you’ve utilised, with in­ter­est. If you’ve sup­ported dependants like your par­ents, grand­par­ents or great-grand­par­ents by spend­ing or giv­ing an al­lowance of at least $2,000 in 2014, you can en­joy this tax re­lief as a pat on your back for your fil­ial piety. The de­pen­dant has to be living in Sin­ga­pore in 2014, aged 55 years or above (this rule is waived if the de­pen­dant is phys­i­cally or men­tally dis­abled) and he or she made no more than $4,000 in 2014, be it from trade, em­ploy­ment, prop­erty rental in­come for bank in­ter­est, div­i­dends and pen­sions, and money made abroad (eg from rental of an over­seas prop­erty).

Do note: If you have sev­eral sib­lings all sup­port­ing your par­ent, only one sib­ling can make the claim or you can split the Par­ent Re­lief. If your par­ent is living with you, you can claim $9,000 for each de­pen­dant ($14,000 if your par­ent is hand­i­capped). If your par­ent is not, you can still claim $5,500 for each de­pen­dant ($10,000 for a hand­i­capped par­ent). This is a goodie just for work­ing mums. If you’ve roped in your (or your hus­band’s) par­ent or grand­par­ent to help care for your chil­dren, don’t for­get to file your tax claim!

As long as your par­ent, grand­par­ent, par­ent-in-law or grand­par­ent-in-law was living in Sin­ga­pore in 2014, did not work or carry out any trade, busi­ness, pro­fes­sion or vo­ca­tion and had looked af­ter any of your kids who are Sin­ga­pore­ans and 12 years old or younger last year, you can claim a re­lief of $3,000 on one of them.

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