CPF and Taxes

While you might not receive a regular income or have CPF contributions from employers, income declaration and MediSave contributions are still important for freelancers. This is because such records of your regular income declaration will be required if you are planning to take out bank loans e.g. to buy a house, so if this might be something you are considering for the future, it will help to get started early.


Contributing to CPF


As a self-employed person or freelancer, you may not receive CPF contribution from your hirers, therefore, it is even more critical that you contribute regularly to MediSave. This is to ensure you have put aside savings to cater for your healthcare needs, especially when you get older and have stopped working.

CPF Board refers to your self-employed net income as Net Trade Income (NTI). If you earn an annual NTI of more than $6,000(current as of 2019) from your freelance work, you will need to contribute to MediSave. For more information on MediSave, click here.

Contribute-As-You-Earn (CAYE) Scheme

Since 1 January 2020, the Government has taken the lead to pilot the CAYE scheme, which encourages SEPs to save for their healthcare needs through small and regular contributions as and when SEPs earn a service payment. Government agencies that directly buy services from SEPs are required under the CPF Act to deduct the MediSave contribution from the service fee and transmit it to the SEP’s MediSave Account. The amount of CAYE contribution to be deducted from the service fee would depend on the SEP’s CAYE contribution rate, age, and estimated Net Trade Income. For more information on CAYE, click here.

Other CPF accounts

It is not compulsory for you to contribute monthly to your CPF Ordinary and Special/Retirement Accounts other than MediSave contribution mentioned above. However, it is prudent to consider making voluntary contributions beyond MediSave to build a nest egg for your retirement.
For more information, click here.

Filing your taxes

If you are doing paid freelance work full-time or part-time, you are said to be a self-employed person receiving income from trade, business, vocation or profession. This is true whether you are self-employed without a registered entity or a sole proprietor or a partner with a registered entity.

You will need to declare this income to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). IRAS allows deductions (subject to qualifying conditions) such as for business expenses, and only your self-employed net income is subjected to tax.

This record of your regular income declaration will be required if you are planning to take out bank loans e.g. to buy a house or get a credit card. The infographics below highlight common filing errors and essential things for SEPs to note. For detailed information on how to file your taxes, click here.

IRAS Essential Tax Information For Gig Workers Infographic

IRAS Common Tax Filing Errors