10 Ways to Reduce Your Personal Income Tax in Singapore for YA 2025

Income Tax Singapore

You know when you get the dreaded SMS from IRAS that it’s time to pay your dues. Yup, the tax man has come to collect. 

While we can’t avoid paying our taxes, there are ways to reduce how much we need to pay. Things like tax deductions or reliefs for having kids, retirement savings, taking care of your elderly parents, going for courses, expense claims and donations can help reduce the total amount that you’re being taxed for. 

Here’s all you need to know about filing/paying for personal income tax, along with 10 tips for reducing the tax amount you have to pay up in Year of Assessment (YA) 2025.


    1. Process for filing and paying personal income taxes
    2. What kind of income is taxable?
    3. What is my chargeable income?
    4. Why is it too late to get tax relief for YA 2024?
    5. What are the Singapore income tax rates in 2025?
    6. 10 tax relief schemes to reduce your personal income tax in Singapore
    7. Illustration: How to reduce your income tax bill for YA2025 in Singapore


Wait, what’s the process for filing and paying personal income tax?

We only do it once a year and it’s easy to forget how to go about doing it especially if your company was previously on the auto inclusion scheme and you’ve never had to do it before, and suddenly you have to. 

From Feb to March, you get a notification from IRAS to file your tax. 

From 1 March to 18 April, you have this window of time to file your income tax. 

From end April, you have to actually pay your income tax, whether through GIRO, at an AXS station or by internet banking. 

Check out our main article on how to file your income tax.

If you didn’t get the notification from IRAS, you can simply check if you need to file your income tax using the IRAS Filing Checker or by logging in to myTaxPortal.

But if you’ve received a notification informing you that you’re under the No-Filing Service (NFS)? Shiok, that means your income information was pre-filled for you, and you don’t need to file your taxes. 

However, the onus is still on you to log in to myTaxPortal and check that the information is correct. If not, e-file your tax return via the same portal.If you want to know the nitty gritties of personal income taxes, check out our guides on how to file income taxes and the entire income tax process, from filing taxes to paying the tax bill.

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What kind of income is taxable?

You probably know that personal income tax applies to your salary. Here’s a summary of what is included and excluded from your taxable income:

Taxable income Non-taxable income
  • Salary from full-time employment, part-time employment and freelance work
  • Salary bonuses
  • Rental income (don’t mix up income tax on rental earnings with property tax on property ownership!)
  • Compulsory CPF contributions
  • Alimony and child/parent maintenance payments
  • Profits from shares and other investments
  • Payouts from insurance policies
  • Lottery winnings (4D, Toto, etc)

There are, however, some areas that are not quite clear cut. 

For instance, if you make money from selling a house, that’s not taxable unless “you buy and sell property with a profit-seeking motive or deemed to be trading in properties.” IRAS has its own set of criteria for deciding if you’re trading property for profit or just buying/selling your home.To be 100% certain, it’s always better to refer to the IRAS page on what is and isn’t taxable in Singapore if you have any other sources of income that you’re unsure about.

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So what’s my chargeable income then?

Wait, what? There’s chargeable income? 

This is the actual amount that you’ll be taxed on, after tax reliefs are subtracted from your taxable income. 

Tax reliefs are like a discount on your taxable income. After deducting tax reliefs from your table income, the balance amount is your chargeable income. 

Basically, [Chargeable income] = [Taxable income] – [Tax reliefs] 


Why is it too late to get tax relief for YA 2024?

Your income tax for YA 2024 is calculated based on what you did and what you earned in 2023. 

So just like how your taxable income is based on your earnings in 2023, your tax relief eligibility also depends on your actions in 2023—whether you saved for retirement, had a kid, donated money, etc from 1 Jan 2023 to 31 Dec 2023.

While it’s too late to do anything now to get more tax relief for YA 2024, you can do something this year for tax reliefs in YA 2025. Plus, you can use the information below to check which schemes you’re eligible for. 

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What are the Singapore income tax rates in 2024?

Here are the current income tax rates for YA 2024 on your chargeable income:

Chargeable Income Income Tax Rate (%) Gross Tax Payable ($)
First $20,000

Next $10,000





First $30,000

Next $10,000




First $40,000

Next $40,000




First $80,000

Next $40,000




First $120,000

Next $40,000




First $160,000

Next $40,000


First $200,000

Next $40,000




First $240,000

Next $40,000




First $280,000

Next $40,000




First $320,000

Next $180,000




First $500,000

Next $500,000




First $1,000,000

In excess of $1,000,000




As you can see, your income tax rises quite sharply once your chargeable income rises above $40,000. So if you’re there, you might want to find out what tax reliefs you can get to lower your chargeable income.

Here, you can see that your income tax suddenly becomes quite high once your chargeable income gets above $40,000. So you’d want to reduce your chargeable income as much as you can. 

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10 tax relief schemes to reduce your personal income tax in Singapore

Tax reliefs Cap / estimated amount 
CPF Top Up (your + loved ones’ SA) $8,000 + $8,000
CPF Top Up (your Medisave) $8,000
Put money in SRS account $15,300 (Singapore Citizen/PR) or $35,700 (Foreigners)
Be a working mum Potentially 100% of income
Move in with parents / grandparents $18,000
Attend courses $5,500
Claim (non-reimbursed) employee expenses N/A
Claim expenses for your business N/A
Claim rental expenses 15% of rental income + home loan interest
Donate money, shares or other items 250% of donation value
Income tax relief ceiling $80,000

Note that the maximum tax relief you can get is $80,000.

Always keep in mind that income tax relief ceiling of $80,000, which is the maximum relief possible to obtain.

You can also check on what reliefs you’re eligible for with the IRAS Tax Relief Checker. Bear in mind that some of these are automatically calculated when you file your income tax.

Now, IRAS has a lot of tax relief schemes but we’re going to simplify them and group them into 6 broad strategies:

  1. Saving for retirement
  2. Having kids
  3. Caring for your parents
  4. Upgrading your skills
  5. Claiming expenses
  6. Donations

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Tax relief #1: Saving for retirement—CPF Top-Ups + Supplementary Retirement Scheme

One of the easiest way to reduce your taxes is to top up your CPF accounts CPF accounts—the Special Account (SA) if you’re below 55, and the Retirement Account (RA) if you’re 55 and above, your Medisave, and yourSupplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) account. For every $1 that you put in these accounts, you get $1 deducted from your chargeable income.

Here are the current tax relief caps:

Type of tax reliefs Maximum tax relief amount Maximum top-up amount
CPF top-up (your SA) $8,000 Top-up cannot bring SA above Full Retirement Sum (FRS)
CPF top-up (loved ones’ SA/RA) $8,000 Top-up cannot bring SA above FRS
CPF top-up (your Medisave) $8,000 Top-up cannot bring SA above Basic Healthcare Sum (BHS)
Put money in SRS account $15,300 (Singaporean) or $35,700 (foreigner) per year $15,300 (Singaporean) or $35,700 (foreigner) per year

CPF top-up: By topping up the maximum of $8,000 to your CPF Special Account, you’ll reduce your chargeable income by $8,000. Reduce chargeable income by a further $8,000 by topping up CPF SA/RA of your parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, grandparents-in-law, spouse or siblings. 

In total, you shave $16,000 off your chargeable income. Any more top ups won’t get you any tax relief. 

Medisave top-up: Similarly with the CPF top-up, you can also top up your Medisave up to the Basic Healthcare Sum ($71,500 in 2024). These funds can’t be withdrawn or taken back but they can be used for medical treatments or for paying some health insurance premiums.

Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS): Topping up your SRS account also lets you reduce your chargeable income. An SRS account is a pseudo-CPF SA that can only be withdrawn after retirement. Make sure you invest the money in there, or it will depreciate due to inflation.

With these 3 methods, you can reduce your chargeable income by at least $31,300. You’ll have to check Medisave on how much you can top up individually.

How do I claim tax relief for CPF/SRS top-ups?

You don’t have to! What goes into CPF, Medisave are all recorded and the 3 local banks operating SRS accounts will report your activities to IRAS. Do check your tax documents to make sure your contributions are reflected.

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Tax relief #2: Having kids—Working Mother’s Child Relief, Qualifying Child Relief + Parenthood Tax Rebate

Raising a child is no mean feat and an incredibly costly one at that. But you do get some financial help from the government because, well, they want us to have more kids — cue baby bonuses, plus you also get a bunch of tax reliefs.

Tax reliefs For whom Amount
Qualifying Child Relief / Handicapped Child Relief Both parents, total relief to be shared $4,000 per child / $7,500 per handicapped child
Working Mother’s Child Relief Working mothers 15% for 1st child, 20% for 2nd child, 25% per child for 3rd child onwards
Grandparent Caregiver Relief Working mothers $3,000 for either grandparent (not each grandparent if both are caregivers)
Foreign Maid Levy Relief Mothers 2x of maid levy paid (max. 1 maid only)

Do note that there’s a total tax relief cap for the Qualifying Child Relief scheme plus Working Mother’s Child Relief: $50,000 per child.

We won’t go into detail for each scheme as there are way too many. Check out the finer details on the IRAS page for different tax reliefs for parents. For the most part, these tax deductions are automatically granted, but you should check your tax statement just in case.

As you can see, working mothers get the most tax reliefs. Have 3 kids and your chargeable income can be reduced by 60%! Get another $3,000 off just for having your parents babysit free-of-charge!

Wait, there’s more: The extremely generous Parenthood Tax Rebate of $5,000 for 1st child, $10,000 for 2nd, $20,000 per 3rd/subsequent child. This isn’t a deduction from your taxable income—it’s a straight up rebate off your income tax bill!

How do I claim tax relief for child related schemes?

If you haven’t claimed tax reliefs for your kids before, or you had a new child, you’ll have to update your details in IRAS. 

Log in to myTaxPortal and go to Individuals > File Income Tax Return > Edit My Tax Form > Deductions, Reliefs and Parenthood Tax Rebate. 

Select the relevant scheme, key in your details and update your claim. If you got child-related tax reliefs last year, this portion will be pre-filled for you.

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Tax relief #3: Move in with parents / grandparents—Parent Relief

Miss your parents/grandparents or need to provide them with care? If you move in with them, you get a parent relief tax break.

Tax reliefs Amount per dependant (max. 2)
Parent Relief (stay together) $9,000
Parent Relief (stay apart) $5,500
Handicapped Parent Relief (stay together) $14,000
Handicapped Parent Relief (stay apart) $10,000

Though it’s called “Parent Relief”, this also applies to in-laws, grandparents, and grandparents-in-law—as long as they don’t earn more than $8,000 a year. However, you can only claim for 2 dependents, and you and your spouse cannot double-claim on the same person. 

Assuming your retired parents are not handicapped, the maximum tax relief you can get is $9,000 x 2 = $18,000 per couple if you move in together.

If your dependent didn’t live with you, you can claim $5,500, but you have to show that you spent at least $2,000 a year supporting your dependent.There are also tax reliefs for caring for your handicapped sibling and your spouse.

How do I claim tax relief for parent-related schemes?

Login to myTaxPortal and go to Individuals > File Income Tax Return > Edit My Tax Form > Deductions, Reliefs and Parenthood Tax Rebate > Parent/ Handicapped Parent. Key in the relevant details and update your claim. 

If you claimed this tax reliefs last year, it will be pre-filled for you and you can make changes if needed.

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Tax relief #4: Upgrading your skills—Course Fee Relief

Still got those SkillsFuture credits to use? If you sign up for a course that’s relevant to your current employment, you’ll be eligible for 

Planning to upgrade your skills in 2023? Good for you—you’ll qualify for tax reliefs of up to $5,500 in YA 2024.

The Course Fees Relief is for you if you took a course relevant to your current employment. You can claim the amount you spent on course and exam fees and have it deducted from your chargeable income. The overall Course Fee Relief cap is $5,500, no matter how many courses and exams you took.

What if you went for a course that’s totally different in order to make a mid-career switch? Don’t throw away those invoices just yet; you can still claim the tax relief in the future when you transition to your new job. Unfortunately, courses for general hobbies like photography or general computing skills courses are not eligible. 

Note that, Course Fees Relief will lapse from YA 2026 as the government wants to promote other initiatives, so quick do that course this year!

How do I claim tax relief for course fees?

If you’re eligible, you can file a claim for this when filing your income tax.Log in to myTaxPortal and go to Individuals > File Income Tax Return > Edit My Tax Form > Deductions, Reliefs and Parenthood Tax Rebate > Course Fees. Enter your claim amount and update the form.

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Tax relief #5: Claiming expenses incurred in the course of earning your income

Boss told you to entertain clients over drinks but didn’t reimburse you after? You can get that hefty bill deducted from your chargeable income. There are some employment expenses that you can claim for if they’ve been incurred during the course of your work.

Tax relief for employment expenses

Although you can’t claim MRT fares or lunches, you might be able to subtract other employment expenses you needed for work but that your employer did not reimburse. These include things like travel costs, entertaining clients and subscriptions you paid for out of your own pocket.

Thanks to COVID-19, employment expenses now also include working from home (WFH) expenses. Examples include electricity and telecommunication bills (if you can prove these went up after you started WFH) and WiFi monthly subscription fees (if you used to live under a rock and didn’t have WiFi set up before you started WFH). There’s a whole FAQ on WFH expenses.

Tax relief for business expenses and deductions

If you’re self-employed and/or just started a side hustle, there’s also a whole bunch of 

Business owners (including self-employed individuals) can also claim on business expenses incurred for their business. Examples include insurance policy premium for employees, employee salaries and bonuses, R&D costs, renovation costs, and even depreciation of fixed assets.For private hire and taxi drivers, the expenses are gauged to be 60% of your driving income. If your expenses exceeded that, you can claim the actual amount.

Tax relief for those renting out property

Landlords can also claim on any expenses incurred in obtaining rental income, such as agent fees, maintenance costs and so on. But don’t forget to report your rental income too. The tax relief is generally calculated as 15% of your rental income + whatever interest you paid on your mortgage that year.

How do I claim tax relief for employment expenses?

If you’re a landlord, the standard 15% rental expenses will be pre-filled in your income tax form — there is no need to key in your expenses one by one. On top of the 15%, you can key in the interest on your mortgage to claim.

For everything else, there are separate claim procedures and you may need to submit income tax forms to IRAS. See the individual claim types for more details.

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Tax relief #6: Donations—Money, shares, artefacts or artworks

Do some good for the sake of doing good, and if you do, you get some goodwill in the form of being able to claim for tax relief!

Donations to Institutions of a Public Character (IPC) come with a juicy 250% tax deduction. Meaning if you donate $10,000, you get 250% x $10,000 = $25,000 taken off your chargeable income.

Choose an IPC you feel strongly for on the Charities.gov.sg portal. Some charities to consider: 

  • Causes for Animals
  • Guide Dogs Singapore
  • Migrant Workers’ Assistance Fund
  • Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  • Food From The Heart
  • Cat Welfare Society
  • Daughters of Tomorrow Limited

It’s not just cash donations that are eligible for that 250% tax relief. Other tax deductible donations are:

  • SGX-listed shares
  • Units in unit trusts
  • Artefacts (to National Heritage Board)
  • Sculptures or artworks (to National Heritage Board)
  • Land
  • Buildings

So if you’ve inherited an amazing antique collection from your hoarder uncle…you know what to do. Just remember that any donations now (in 2024) only qualify you for tax deductions for YA2025, not YA2024.

How do I claim tax relief for donations?

How to claim: Donations to registered IPCs will be automatically submitted to IRAS for claims, so you don’t need to declare it. Note that IPCs are now required to collect the details of donors (NRIC, FIN or UEN) in order to facilitate tax deduction. If your donation is eligible, the IPC’s receipt will say “Tax-Deductible” on it.

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Illustration: How to reduce your income tax bill for YA2025 in Singapore

Let’s say your projected take-home pay (excluding the compulsory CPF contributions) is $80,000 this year, which means you’ll need to pay $3,350 in income tax come YA 2025. But if you can reduce it, you can get it down by quite a significant bit — to $40,000!

Taxable income $80,000
Top up CPF SA (yours) – $8,000
Top up CPF SA (your parents) – $8,000
Put money in SRS account – $12,000
Claim course fee relief – $5,500
Claim Parent Relief for one parent – $4,000
Make $1,000 donation to IPC – $2,500
Chargeable income $40,000

This slashes your chargeable income in half, so you will only be billed $550 in income tax come tax season YA2025. That’s basically 1/6 of your original bill — pretty well done.

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