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Singapore tax: Do you need to declare Toto winnings to IRAS?

What about any interest received? It depends on the source...

Image of Toto tickets with inset of the word tax in wooden blocks over some dollar bills.
Do you have to declare your Toto winnings and are they taxable? (PHOTO: Getty)

SINGAPORE – It's income tax season and you've been lucky to strike it big at Toto or won some money at the casino...

Do you have to declare your winnings and are they taxable?

Well, good news: according to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), "winnings received are not taxable as they are windfalls and not considered as an income".

Hence, you do not need to declare the winnings in your income tax return.

For clarity, winnings refer to money received from betting or lottery such as 4D, Toto, football, Singapore Sweep, horse racing, jackpot machine and casino winnings, and others in Singapore.

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For context, such winnings can be, and are commonly, subject to tax in other countries. For instance, if you won the lottery in the United States, your winnings can be considered taxable income for both federal and state taxes. And the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) takes a minimum 24 per cent federal withholding tax up front, before you even receive your winnings.

What about interest?

According to IRAS, interest received from the following sources is not taxable in Singapore:

  • Deposits with approved banks in Singapore.

  • Deposits with finance companies licensed in Singapore.

  • Debt securities (for example, bonds), but not if these are owned by a partnership or inventory of a trading business.

  • Foreign sources (generally, foreign-sourced interest is interest paid by a foreign company or business), but not if the foreign-sourced interest is earned by a partnership.

Note that interest paid by a Singapore branch of a foreign company or business is Singapore-sourced interest.

On the other hand, interest from the following sources is taxable:

  • Deposits with non-approved banks in Singapore.

  • Deposits with finance companies not licensed in Singapore.

  • Pawnshops in Singapore.

  • Loans to companies, persons, and so on.

  • Interest from the refund of excess employee's CPF contributions.

  • Debt securities (for instance, bonds) that are owned by a partnership or inventory of a trading business.

You must declare the full amount of your taxable interest under "Other Income" in your income tax return.

Interest that's not taxable does not need to be declared.

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