A Guide to Mileage Reimbursements in Singapore

When you hire new employees in Singapore it will be necessary to understand how different types of benefits are handled. Reimbursing employees for work-related mileage or transport expenses are fairly common, but Singapore has a very specific way of regulating this benefit.

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It’s important to know the rules as they will affect the taxability of reimbursements for employees.

Are mileage or commuting expense reimbursements taxable in Singapore?

There are two types of potential reimbursements in Singapore: mileage with a private vehicle or expenses using public transport.

Commuting Expenses

In general taxability of reimbursements to employees will depend on the reason for the expense.  For employees that are on official work business only, any transport expense reimbursement is non-taxable.  Shuttle bus services to and from work are also non-taxable, primarily due to the fact it is difficult to calculate the value to the employee.

On the other hand, reimbursing taxi fares to and from work is taxable to the employee, unless they are working overtime.  Fares to the airport are not taxable, nor are expenses to travel to a business venue (not the place of employment).  With the increase in home-based employees, it has been decided that the home is the ‘office’ and travel to other business venues is not taxable.

Private Cars

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Tim Burgess

Director, Shield GEO Services Ltd