Banking, Money and Taxes in Singapore

One of the world’s major financial centres, Singapore gives expats access to leading banking systems with dozens of local and foreign banking and financial institutions present in the city-state.

Needless to say, expats will find a full spectrum of services, from consumer banking, asset management and foreign exchange to dedicated insurance services and investment banking in Singapore.

Money in Singapore

The unit of currency is the Singapore dollar, abbreviated as SGD. One dollar is divided into 100 cents.

  • Notes: 2 SGD, 5 SGD, 10 SGD, 20 SGD, 50 SGD, 100 SGD, 1,000 SGD and 10,000 SGD

  • Coins: 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1 SGD.

ATMs are located in most buildings and credit cards are widely accepted, though international cards will incur high transaction costs.

Banking in Singapore

With so many foreign and local banks in Singapore, expats will certainly not be at a loss for a reputable service provider. It's important to consider the services offered, location and the ATM network available when choosing a bank. 

Opening a bank account 

It's  easy to open a bank account in Singapore, and the process can be completed in a single day. English is the primary administrative and professional language in Singapore, so expats are unlikely to face a language barrier when it comes to managing money. 

Documentation requirements will vary from bank to bank but expats will likely need a copy of their passport, employment pass and a minimum deposit amount to open an account.

Taxes in Singapore

All expats working in Singapore are liable to pay income tax, though the specifics will depend on their tax residency status.

Expats are considered tax residents in Singapore if their period of stay is equivalent to or more than 183 days in a year, or if they have Singapore Permanent Residency (SPR). Non-residents are taxed at either a flat rate of 15 percent or at the same rate as a tax resident in their position would be taxed – whichever is higher. Residents are taxed progressively between zero and 22 percent based on their income bracket and are eligible to apply for various tax reliefs.

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Aetna International

Aetna is an award-winning insurance business that provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. Their high quality health insurance plans are tailored to meet the individual needs of expats living and working abroad.

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Cigna Global

With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.

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