Last chance to plan your taxes for 2018

tax

As 2018 draws to a close, it’s that time of the year again where I access my tax position and decide if I wish to use any of the limited tools to manage my tax bill. I’ll encourage you to do so as well as efficient tax planning can help you save on unnecessary taxes.

To help you get through this quickly, here’s a guide to access your tax position and what you need to do should you decide to manage your taxes for 2018.

Step 1: Prepare a rough tax computation

Don’t know how to prepare a rough tax computation?

Well, I was bored over the holidays and decided to come up with my own Personal Tax Calculator for your use absolutely free. Download it, edit it however you like, use it. Just follow the instructions inside the excel file, answer all the questions and fill in the relevant blanks in the Raw Input Data tab and viola! You have automatically created a fairly accurate tax computation for your own reference.

I must say that the calculator was created as a quick tool for your reference and I’ve endeavoured to make the information presented and formulas as accurate and as bug-free as possible. That said, I am human so do reach out to me if you find any unforeseen errors / bugs by dropping me a comment / email.

Step 2: Assess your tax payable

Now that you have done a tax computation, does that tax payable figure presented in the computation seem too high? Do you wish to reduce your tax bill further?

My taxes are quite minimal at the moment so I am quite happy to sit on it till I hit higher income tax brackets.

Step 3: Manage your taxes

I’ve written quite extensively on this topic in the past. Here are some tax planning articles I’ve written for your quick reference:

  1. Tax reliefs
  2. CPF Cash Top Up
  3. Supplementary Retirement Scheme
  4. Bringing it all together – How to best utilise these reliefs to your advantage

TLDR Summary

  • Maximise your family support reliefs as these are gone if you don’t claim
  • Decide if you wish to utilise retirement support reliefs to manage your taxes further
  • There are mainly 3 retirement support reliefs available, CPF Medisave account Cash Contribution, CPF Special / Retirement account top up for you and your family and Supplementary Retirement Scheme account top up.
  • Deciding which avenue to utilise depends on your needs and goals, see Part 4 for a decision flowchart to help you decide
  • Each dollar topped up to each of these accounts will entitle you to a dollar of tax relief

You simply need to top up the respective CPF / SRS accounts before year end to qualify for the reliefs.

Summary

Tax planning can be complicated, but with my articles and now my tax calculator, I hope to help reduce the hassle and make tax planning more accessible for you. Do feel free to drop me an email or comment if you have any clarification questions on this.

Wishing all a belated Merry Christmas and an early Happy New Year.

Happy Hunting,
KK

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