Income Tax Filing 2024: A Step-by-Step Guide to This Year’s Tax Season

Income Tax Filing 2024: A Step-by-Step Guide to This Year’s Tax Season

It’s that time of the year again when we have to pay our dues to the government. Hang on, how does that work again? Well if you’re a commission agent or delivery worker, you’re lucky as the process for filing your taxes is simpler this year.

But if not, and if the thought of navigating the grown-up realm of IRAS and Singpass causes much PTSD, you’re not alone. 

MoneySmart is here with our handy step-by-step guide to help you through the income tax filing season for YA2024. So buckle up, and we’ll take you through this step-by-step guide to filing your taxes like a pro.

Contents:

  1. Do you need to file your income tax in 2024?
  2. Tax changes for YA2024
  3. Step 1. Log into IRAS Tax Portal
  4. Step 2. Check your total income for YA2024
  5. Step 3. Declare any additional income
  6. Step 4. Check tax reliefs & deductions
  7. Step 5. File away
  8. Step 6. Check your Notice of Assessment
  9. Step 7. Pay your income tax
  10. Can you use a credit card to pay income tax?

 

Do you need to file your income tax in 2024?

While you’re on your way to becoming a tax-savvy citizen, you might have received a notification that you’re eligible for the No-Filing Service (NFS)—welcome to the club.

There are over 1.8 million taxpayers eligible for the NFS. All this means is their tax deets are automatically entered, but they must still log in to verify that this information is accurate. The system may not capture all your reliefs or all of your additional income.

Yet to receive your notification? *Cries in IR8A form* …Or maybe you might be on the Direct Notice of Assessment (D-NOA) initiative, where IRAS sends the tax bills directly from mid-March 2024. Don’t fret if you need to make changes, you can file an amendment using the Object to Assessment digital service on myTax Portal within 30 days from the date of your tax bill.

You need to file your income tax if you answer “yes” to one or more of these questions:

  1. Did you earn more than $22,000 in 2023?
  2. Do you have self-employment income with a net profit of more than $6,000?
  3. Are you a non-Singapore resident who earned income from Singapore?

ALSO READExpats Working in Singapore – Guide to Income Tax For Foreigners


Timeline for tax season 2024

  • Feb – Mar 2024: That’s when IRAS will send out filing notifications by SMS, emails or snail mail
  • 1 Mar 2024 – 18 Apr 2024: If you received a notification to file, it’s time to e-File your income tax via myTaxPortal
  • End Apr 2024 onwards: Most taxpayers will receive their Notice of Assessment. It includes the amount of income tax to be paid in full within 1 month via GIRO, AXS station, or Internet Banking. Tip: You can pay via monthly installments too.

Do note that even if you earned less than $22,000 in 2023, you may still be asked to file your taxes. What to do: Just e-File as usual, declaring your income and all that jazz, but you won’t need to pay income tax. Not sure if you need to file? Just play safe and file your income tax like a good citizen. We’ll show you how in the next sections.

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Tax changes announced for YA2024 and after

Personal Income Tax Rebate for YA2024 A rebate of 50% of tax payable is granted to all tax resident individuals for YA2024, capped at $200 per taxpayer.
The dependant’s or caregiver’s income threshold for dependant-related reliefs raised to $8,000 from YA2025 The income threshold of $4,000 will be increased to $8,000 with effect from YA2025. Dependant-related reliefs include Spouse Relief, Parent Relief, Qualifying Child Relief, Working Mother’s Child Relief, CPF Cash Top-up Relief for top-up to the CPF account of spouse or siblings, andGrandparent Caregiver Relief.
Course Fees Relief to lapse from YA2026 This will be lapsed from YA2026, after which, individuals can continue to receive support for upskilling, reskilling, and career transitions through other existing government initiatives, such as SkillsFuture and Career Conversion Programmes.

Step 1. Log into IRAS Tax Portal

First things first: Kickstart the e-filing process by logging on to IRAS’ myTaxPortal. Have your Singpass on hand, because you’ll need to use that to log in after you select Personal Tax.

Tip: We like the Singpass mobile app for its convenience. The Singpass mobile app is much easier than trying to remember or password or jumping through all the 2FA hoops (yes, we’ve been there).

Once you’ve set up the app, just follow the onscreen instructions on the IRAS myTaxPortal to quickly enter the system. This usually means scanning the QR code if you’re doing your e-Filing via your computer (we prefer this, the screen is larger). It’s slightly different via your mobile phone (you’ll be clicking instead).

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Step 2. Check your total income for YA2024

All logged in? Good. Next, click on Individuals > Filing Matters > File Income Tax Return on the top menu bar.

You should then see this: Income, Deductions and Reliefs Statement (IDRS) for the year ended 31 Dec 2023.

On this page, you can view your Total Employment Income earned in 2023 if you are a full-time, salaried employee. You will be seeing sources of income from different employers if you changed jobs part-way in 2023. Something missing? There’s also a link to click so you can check if your employer submitted your employment income information to IRAS.

Next, you’ll see your total donations and your total personal reliefs (this includes CPF contributions). If you made voluntary CPF contributions to your own or a loved one’s CPF Account or put money into your Supplementary Retirement Scheme in 2023, that will be reflected here as well.

You will then see your estimated income tax payable. This is based on your income, deductions and reliefs but before any tax adjustments or Parenthood Tax Rebate entitlement.

For those who are self-employed, be it partially or fully, you’ll need to go the DIY route. Please follow this guide by IRAS to help you manually enter your income for YA2024.

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Step 3. Declare any additional income

Renting out rooms or running an online business in addition to your full-time job? The income gained from these ventures has to be declared on your income tax form as well.

These include activities such as: 

  1. Trade or business income: This includes virtual currency earnings, aka crypto.
  2. Income from Government Grants: You might have received payouts from the Jobs Support Scheme, Special Employment Credit or similar.
  3. Rental income
  4. Dividends, gains, and interest: Most local stocks and REITs are exempted
  5. Annuity payouts: It’s kinda like a salary
  6. Alimony and maintenance payments
  7. Estate or trust income

At the end of the page, you’ll see two options under the section: Next Step.

No, this is not a trick question or a Choose Your Own Adventure book. It simply asks if you want to preview your Notice of Assessment (if good to go) or Edit My Tax Form (if you need to make changes).

Go for the second option if you need to declare any extra income, amend or add/remove any personal reliefs.

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Step 4. Check tax reliefs & deductions

We’re now looking at the Total Donations and Total Personal Reliefs section in more detail. We’re already in 2024, so rushing to give $5,000 to your favourite charity or plonking the full $15,300 into your SRS account won’t make your income tax amount go away for YA2024. Instead, whatever you do in 2024 will be reflected in your YA2025 tax bill.


ALSO READ: 10 Ways to Reduce Your Personal Income Tax in Singapore for YA2024


So chill.

Anyway, as the name suggests, Total Donations and Total Personal Reliefs work to reduce the amount of tax payable. Your task right now is to check that your total donations and total personal reliefs you’ve amassed in 2023 are reflected accurately in your YA2024 NOA tax bill.

Here’s a list of some typical personal reliefs a Singapore taxpayer would have:

  • Earned Income Relief: Anyone who has taxable income, a bit like a small subsidy on your tax.
  • NSMan Relief: This can apply to self/wife/parent. Yep, the mothers and wives of our operationally-ready NS Men benefit too.
  • Various CPF Reliefs: You enjoy income tax reliefs when you put money into CPF OA/SA/RA/MediSave, be it your own or your family members (Singaporeans and PRs only). Do note that there’s a cap for voluntary top-ups.
  • Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) Relief: There’s a cap of $15,300
  • Handicapped Sibling/Parent/Grandparent Reliefs: If you’re supporting someone in your family, you also get tax relief. This extends to your parents-in-law and grandparents-in-law too.
  • Course Fees Relief: They’ll need to fulfil certain criteria.
  • Life Insurance Relief: Only if you’re paying for your life insurance premiums AND if you’ve contributed less than $5,000 in total to your CPF.

Note: The maximum income tax reliefs are capped at $80,000.

Something missing? Scroll down to the bottom of the page to Next Steps and choose Edit My Tax Form.

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Step 5. It’s time to file

All good? Happy with the final amount and you’ve done all you can to claim all the reliefs? When everything has been amended and is now accurate, it’s time to preview your NOA and finally, Send My Tax Bill.

Remember to file your income tax from 1 Mar 2024 to 18 Apr 2024. If you miss the 18 Apr 2024 deadline, your tax form may be sent automatically, and/or you may incur penalties like a fine.

Here’s what the IRAS website says: “If you fail to file your tax returns for 2 years or more, you may be issued with a summons to attend Court. On conviction in Court, for each offence, you may be ordered to pay: A penalty that is twice the amount of tax assessed; and. A fine of up to $5,000.” Ouch.

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Step 6. Check your Notice of Assessment

You will receive your income tax bill, also known as your Notice of Assessment, from the end of April 2024. This is a statement that tells you how much to pay for your income tax and when to do so. The NOA can be found in your myTax Portal.

The notification that your NOA is ready can be sent via SMS, email or both—you can change this in myTax Portal > Account > Profile > Update Notice Preferences.

Here’s another chance to put things right. If there’s anything inaccurate on your NOA, go to your myTax Portal and submit an Object to Assessment (top menu bar > Individuals > Filing Matters > Object to Assessment) within 30 days of receiving your NOA. Make sure you have the supporting evidence ready for IRAS’ review.

This can be a bit of a hassle, so it’s best to ensure everything is accurate on your first submission.For more details, check out IRAS’ guide on objecting to your NOA.

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Step 7. Pay your income tax

Cash? Credit? Cashless? Overseas at the moment? Can’t leave home? Well, there are just so many ways to pay:

  • GIRO (you can enjoy 12 interest-free monthly instalments with this option)
  • PayNow QR (scan the code in myTax Portal)
  • AXS: physical, website, mobile app
  • SingPost: physical SAM Kiosk, in-person at SingPost branches, SAM Web, SingPost Mobile App
  • Internet Banking Bill Payment: Various banks accepted
  • Internet Banking Fund Transfer: Make sure you follow the instructions closely)

IRAS will even accept telegraphic transfers if you are overseas and unable to use any of the above payment methods.

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Can I use my credit card to pay income tax?

IRAS says they don’t directly offer the option for credit card payments as they incur a high transaction cost. To preserve public funds (taxpayers’ money), they need to keep their cost of collection low.

However, there is a workaround. It depends on your credit card issuing bank, but you might be able to use your credit card to pay your income tax on the AXS e-Station (website) or via AXS m-Station (mobile app). There is, however, a payment limit of $9,999.99.

Meanwhile, a few banks might also allow you to pay your income tax indirectly via tax payment facilities. You might incur a processing fee, but hey, it’s worth your airmiles or your rewards points, yes?

Check out these options:

With Citibank’s PayAll service, you can pay your taxes (yup, not just limited to income tax) with your Citi credit card. While there is a service fee of ~2% (rates vary), you’ll earn the base earn rate on your card. i.e. 1.2 miles per $1 on the Citi PremierMiles card.

Citibank logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
Faster Gift Redemption | Earn 2 Miles per S$1
Local Spend
S$1 = 1.2 Miles
All Foreign Currency Spend including Retail and Online
S$1 = Up to 2 Miles
Selected Online Hotel Bookings
S$1 = Up to 10 Miles
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[FASTER GIFT FULFILMENT]
Get an Apple iPad (9th Gen), 64GB (worth S$508.30) or a Nintendo Switch OLED + S$60 Cash (worth S$609) or S$450 Lendlease E-Vouchers (can be used at 313@somerset, Jem, Parkway Parade, PLQ) or S$300 Cash via PayNow, in as fast as 6 weeks from meeting the S$500 spend criteria! T&Cs apply.

Valid until 20 May 2024

Another bank, DBS, has an Income Tax Payment Plan. While there is 0% interest for up to 24 months, plans under My Preferred Payment Plan incur a low, one-time processing fee (based on transaction amount). The silver lining is that you can split your income tax bill over 12 months, but those holding certain credit cards such as the DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card can earn 1.3 miles per $1.

DBS logo
Earn Miles That Never Expire
Local Spend
S$1 = 1.3 Miles
Overseas Spend (made in foreign currency)
S$1 = 2.2 Miles
On Travel Spend at Agoda
S$1 = Up to 4.3 Miles

Sadly, the much-loved HSBC’s Tax Payment Programme was terminated on 1 Apr 2023. However, you can also consider using your UOB, Standard Chartered, and OCBC’s CardUp where you can earn miles when you pay bills that don’t usually earn rewards, which includes your income tax. For example, receive up to 1.6 VOYAGE Miles (1.3 for OCBC VOYAGE) with every $1 spent on your OCBC VOYAGE Card.

UOB logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
on Singapore Airlines, Scoot, KrisShop, Kris+ purchases
S$1 = 3 Miles
on dining, food delivery, online shopping, online travel, and transport spend
S$1 = 3 Miles
on all other spend
S$1 = 1.2 Miles

Tip: Only use your credit card to pay large income tax amounts to make the processing fees worthwhile. No point in incurring fees and earning only measly miles or rewards points for that effort. 

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If you found this article helpful, share it with anyone who may need help filing their income tax.