As the year comes to a close, it’s essential to start thinking about ways to reduce your income tax for the Year of Assessment 2023 (YA 2023). Singapore offers several personal tax relief and tax rebate schemes that can help save you money and lower your tax burden. By taking advantage of these initiatives, you can optimize your finances and achieve your personal financial goals, such as early retirement and wealth accumulation. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore 10 effective strategies to reduce your income tax in Singapore.

How to Reduce Income Tax in Singapore

Singapore’s income tax system operates on a progressive scale, meaning that the more you earn, the higher your tax rate. However, there are various tax relief initiatives available to help you lower your tax liability. It’s important to note that there is a personal income tax relief cap, currently set at S$80,000 per year of assessment. This cap represents the maximum amount of tax relief you can claim in a given year.

There are many ways to reduce your income tax through tax reliefs, tax rebates and other tax deductions. Many of them are automatically calculated and given based on fixed critieria (e.g Earned Income Relief). In this article, we will focus on those that you can do more to reduce your income tax.

To effectively reduce your income tax, you need to identify eligible deductions and tax relief options. By utilizing these strategies, you can optimize your tax planning and minimize your tax burden. Let’s explore 10 different ways to reduce your income tax in Singapore.

Upgrade Your Skills with Relevant Courses

One often overlooked method of reducing income tax is by upgrading your skills through relevant courses. Singapore allows tax relief on courses that are directly related to your employment. If you have paid for a course yourself and can prove its relevance to your job, you can claim up to S$5,500 in course fee relief. This applies even if the course is intended to facilitate a career transition.

For example, if you are switching careers from an administrative role to finance, taking a course that enhances your financial skills can be claimed for course fee relief. By investing in your professional development, you not only enhance your career prospects but also lower your income tax liability.

Make Charitable Donations

Making donations to registered charities can serve a dual purpose of giving back to the community and reducing your income tax. In Singapore, donations made to approved Institutions of a Public Character (IPC) are eligible for tax deductions. You can receive 250% tax deductions based on the donated amount. This deduction is valid until 31 December 2026 (updated).

To qualify for tax relief, ensure that the charity you are making donations to is registered as an IPC. Cash donations are not the only eligible form of donation for income tax deduction; you can also receive tax deduction by making donations of shares, computers, artifacts, land, and buildings. The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) provides adetailed list of applicable donations on their website.

Top Up Your CPF (Central Provident Fund)

Another effective way to reduce your income tax in Singapore is by topping up your CPF accounts. If you are below 55 years old, you can make voluntary top-ups to your CPF Special Account (SA). By doing so, your tax will be automatically deducted. The maximum cash top-up for yourself is capped at S$8,000. Additionally, you can also top up your parents’ CPF accounts, with a maximum value of S$8,000. By leveraging these top-ups along with your Medisave and Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) account, you can maximize your tax relief up to a total of S$16,000 per assessment year.

Topping up your CPF not only reduces your tax liability but also helps you build a solid retirement fund. The CPF offers attractive interest rates, providing a secure investment for your future.

SRS Contributions and Tax Relief

Reducing income tax can be achieved through the use of Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) relief. The SRS is a voluntary savings scheme in Singapore that encourages individuals to save for retirement. By contributing to the SRS, individuals can enjoy tax benefits and reduce their income tax liability.

Under the SRS relief, contributions made to the SRS account are eligible for tax relief. The maximum relief amount is capped at a certain limit each year. By making regular contributions to the SRS, individuals can effectively lower their taxable income and reduce their income tax liability.

Furthermore, the SRS offers flexibility in terms of investment options. The funds in the SRS account can be invested in a wide range of financial instruments, including stocks, bonds, unit trusts, and fixed deposits. This allows individuals to grow their retirement savings while enjoying tax benefits.

NSman Relief for National Servicemen

As a token of gratitude for their service, Singapore offers tax relief for National Servicemen (NSmen) of the Singapore Armed Forces. The amount of relief varies depending on the individual’s NS duties performed in the previous year. Key appointment holders (KAH) can claim tax relief ranging from S$3,500 to S$5,000, while non-KAHs can enjoy relief of up to S$3,000. Spouses and parents of NSmen are also eligible for S$750 in tax relief automatically.

If you or your loved ones have served or are currently serving in the armed forces, this relief provides a tangible benefit in reducing your income tax.

Life Insurance Relief

If you are unemployed or self-employed, you may be eligible for life insurance relief. This relief is applicable if your total compulsory employee CPF contributions, self-employed Medisave/voluntary contributions, and voluntary contributions to your Medisave account are below S$5,000. You can claim relief on the premiums paid for your own life insurance policy or your spouse’s policy.

It’s important to note that this relief does not cover premiums paid for accident and medical policies. By taking advantage of life insurance relief, you can lower your taxable income and potentially reduce your overall tax liability.

Parent/Handicapped Parent Relief

Reducing income tax can also be optimized with parent relief in Singapore. Parent relief allows individuals to claim relief for supporting parents or grandparents financially, effectively lowering their taxable income and overall tax liability.

To qualify, certain criteria must be met, such as providing financial support to parents or grandparents aged 55 and above, with an annual income below S$4,000. The relief amount depends on factors like age and living arrangements. Leveraging parent relief not only reduces tax liability but also supports elderly family members.

Grandparent Caregiver Relief

This relief allows working mothers to claim tax relief for the expenses incurred in engaging a grandparent to care for their child while they are at work. The relief is capped at S$3,000 per child, per year.

By utilizing the Grandparent Caregiver Relief, working mothers can significantly reduce their taxable income and lower their overall income tax liability. This relief not only acknowledges the valuable role that grandparents play in providing childcare but also provides financial support to families who rely on their assistance. By taking advantage of this relief, working mothers can receive the necessary support they need while also reducing their tax burden.

In conclusion, the Grandparent Caregiver Relief is an effective way to reduce income tax for working mothers. By claiming this relief, mothers can not only receive financial support for childcare expenses but also lower their overall tax liability.

Deductible Business Expenses

If you own a business, you can claim tax deductions on various business expenses. Whether you run a small shop or a tech startup, there are always additional operational costs involved. Some examples of tax-deductible business expenses include accounting fees, advertising expenses, CPF contributions, skills development levies, foreign worker levies, and many more.

By properly documenting and claiming these expenses, you can reduce your taxable income and lower your income tax liability. It’s important to maintain accurate records and receipts to support your claims.

Rental Expenses Deductions

If you earn rental income from properties, you can also claim tax relief on the expenses incurred in generating that income. These expenses can be deducted based on 15% of the gross rental income. Examples of deductible rental expenses include property maintenance costs, repairs, mortgage interest, insurance premiums, and property taxes.

By claiming these deductions, you can effectively reduce your taxable rental income and lower your overall income tax liability.


Reducing your income tax in Singapore is a smart financial strategy that can help you achieve your personal financial goals. By taking advantage of available tax relief initiatives, you can optimize your tax planning and minimize your tax liability. Whether it’s upgrading your skills, making charitable donations, topping up your CPF, leveraging NSman relief, utilizing life insurance relief, deducting business expenses, or claiming rental expenses deductions, there are various ways to lower your income tax and maximize your financial well-being.

It’s important to stay informed about the latest tax regulations and consult with tax professionals or financial advisors for personalized advice. By taking proactive steps to reduce your income tax, you can optimize your financial position and work towards a more secure future.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional tax advice. Please consult with a tax professional or financial advisor for personalized advice regarding your specific tax situation.