Don't Get Caught - Deemed Exercise Rules for Australians Leaving Singapore

As an Australian expat leaving Singapore, there are several tax implications that you need to be aware of, including the Deemed Exercise rules. Failing to understand these rules can result in penalties and fines, which can be costly.

In this blog post, I will provide you with an overview of the Deemed Exercise rules and explain how you can minimise your tax liability when leaving Singapore.

 

Let’s start with what the Deemed Exercise rules are

The Deemed Exercise rules are a set of tax rules that apply to Australian expats who hold employee share options or restricted stock units in a Singaporean company. These rules can have a significant impact on your tax liability when leaving Singapore, and it is essential to understand them to avoid penalties and fines.

The Deemed Exercise rules are designed to tax Australian expats on their employee share options or restricted stock units when they cease employment in Singapore. These rules treat the share options or restricted stock units as if they were exercised on the day before the expat's cessation of employment, even if they were not actually exercised.

The tax liability arises from the difference between the fair market value of the shares on the deemed exercise date and the exercise price of the options or restricted stock units. This amount is then subject to Singaporean income tax and Australian income tax, and failure to pay the taxes can result in penalties and fines.

 

It’s important to understand your tax residency status

Tax residency status is a crucial factor that determines an expat's tax liability when leaving Singapore. If you are considered a tax resident in Singapore, you will be subject to Singaporean income tax on your worldwide income, including income from employment share options or restricted stock units.

To determine your tax residency status, you need to consider several factors, such as the duration of your stay in Singapore, the purpose of your stay, and your personal and economic ties to Singapore. It is essential to seek professional advice to determine your tax residency status accurately.

 

How can you minimise this tax liability

To minimise your tax liability when leaving Singapore, you can take several steps, such as:

  • Utilise the available exemptions: Australian expats can claim an exemption under the Singapore-Australia Double Tax Agreement, which can reduce their tax liability.
  • Offset foreign tax credits: Australian expats can offset the tax paid in Singapore against their Australian income tax liability, reducing their overall tax liability.
  • Seek professional advice: Seeking professional advice from a tax consultant or financial adviser can help you understand the tax implications of leaving Singapore and develop a strategy to minimise your tax liability.

 

What are the most common mistakes to avoid..?

Many Australian expats make common mistakes when leaving Singapore, such as failing to understand their tax residency status, not claiming exemptions, or not offsetting foreign tax credits. These mistakes can result in penalties and fines, increasing their tax liability.

 

The importance of advice

Seeking professional advice from a tax consultant or financial adviser is critical when planning your exit strategy from Singapore. They can provide you with guidance on your tax residency status, develop a strategy to minimise your tax liability, and assist with tax compliance.

 

What should you do next..?

In conclusion, the Deemed Exercise rules can have significant tax implications for Australian expats leaving Singapore. Understanding these rules and seeking professional advice can help you minimise your tax liability and avoid penalties and fines. By taking proactive steps and planning ahead, you can make your exit from Singapore as smooth and stress-free as possible.

 

To Your Financial Success!

Jarrad Brown is an Australian-trained and qualified Fee-Based Financial Planner Global Financial Consultants Pte Ltd providing specialist financial advice and portfolio management services to Australian professionals in Singapore. Jarrad Brown is an Authorised Representative of Global Financial Consultants Pte Ltd - No: 200305462G | MAS License No: FA100035-3

To learn more about how we may be able to help you, please contact us:

✆         +65 8282 5702
✉         jarrad.brown@gfcadvice.com
☜         https://singapore.feebasedfinancialadvice.com

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General Information Only: The information on this site is of a general nature only. It does not take into account your individual financial situation, objectives or needs. You should consider your own financial position and requirements before making a decision.

 

*Please note that Jarrad Brown is not a tax agent or accountant and none of the content outlined here should be taken as personal advice. You should consult your tax agent and financial adviser to review your current personal finances and financial goals to consider whether this strategy is appropriate for you.

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