IR8A Simplified for Employers (2024 ed.)

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Editor’s Note: This article, originally published in January 2016, has been updated to reflect the latest regulatory changes for the year 2024. Thank you for your continued support. 

In Singapore, both individuals and businesses practise annual (instead of monthly) tax filing. Employers have to report to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) how much their employees earned last year, from 1 Jan to 31 Dec. They make this report through the IR8A form.

To keep things simple, we’ve decided to break things down easily for you (so you don’t have to!). In this article, we will guide you step-by-step on IR8A filing for employers. Here’s the table of contents.

What is IR8A?

Form IR8A is a statutory document that contains employee earnings over the previous year, from 1 Jan to 31 Dec. As an employer, you will have to fill up and submit this form for certain employees to IRAS.

See who these employees are in the table below.

Who must I prepare the IR8A forms for?

Do** prepare IR8A forDo not prepare IR8A for
(a) Full-time resident employee;

(b) Part-time resident employee;

(c) Non-resident employee including those who are based overseas and are required to render service in Singapore
during the year (exclude details of employment income where clearance has been filed);

(d) Company director (including a non-resident director);

(e) Board Member receiving Board/Committee Member fees;

(f) Pensioner; and

(g) Employee who has left the organisation but was in receipt of income in 2023 (e.g. stock options gains)
(a) Foreigners posted overseas after clearance has been filed and did not render any employment service in Singapore for the rest of the calendar year;

(b) Foreigners who are contracted by a Singapore employer to be based overseas and rendered their employment services wholly outside Singapore for the whole calendar year; and

(c) Foreigners who have left the organisation where the filing of Form IR21 is required.

Tax residents refer to Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and foreigners who have worked for 183 days or more.

When do I need to complete the form?

You will need to issue IR8A for every employee by 1 Mar, 2024.

You can do this electronically, thanks to the Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS) by IRAS. This scheme is optional for companies with 5 or fewer employees, however it is compulsory for companies with 6 or more employees.

What if I miss the deadline for submission?

If you fail to comply, you may face charges under Section 94 of the Income Tax Act. Upon conviction, you may meet with a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment of up to 6 months.

Must I be under the Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS)?

An Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS) for employment income is available for employers to electronically submit the IR8A information to the tax authority (IRAS). It allows employers to declare the lump sum amounts with less effort compared to completing the hardcopy IR8A form. This also benefits employees, because they don’t need to manually update it themselves. After all, their employer has directly updated their information onto their tax portal.

But what if you are an employer with 5 or more employees who did not receive any notification from IRAS to participate IRAS? In this case, do inform IRAS at, as they will need to send a letter to you to participate in AIS!

Companies that just joined AIS need to authorise their staff or a payroll vendor to submit the necessary information to IRAS. For corporate transactions, authorisation of vendor/staff can be done via CorpPass. But for government digital services, verification must be done via SingPass.

One-click submission via IRAS-approved HR system

You’ll want to check out the list of Supporting Payroll Software Vendors for the Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS) for Employment Income (as of 4 Sep 2023). P.S. Talenox is one of them! 

You can generate all employee income tax forms for FREE, in 3 steps and directly to IRAS with a Talenox account. Talenox is an IRAS-approved software that supports the Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS) for Employment Income:

How to fill up Form IR8A?

Here is a step-by-step guide, complete with a mock example for the year ended 31 Dec 2021.

Step 1: Basic Employment Details

To begin with, you need to input basic employment details as shown in the fields below.

Step 2: Basic Types Of Income

Next, do note that the IR8A form actually groups employment income into 4 types.

a) Salary;
b) Bonus;
c) Director’s fees; and
d) Other types of employment income

Most types of income are taxable unless there is a specific exemption. This includes all benefits paid or granted in money or otherwise. Find out what is taxable.

a) Gross salary, fees, leave pay, wages, and overtime pay

The most basic payments fall under this type of income.

However, do note that this excludes allowances and commission. After all, they fall under Others (refer to point d below). 

Do also exclude NSmen Pay paid directly to employees by Mindef, Singapore Civil Defence Force, or Singapore Police Force. Only report the amount if the NSmen pay was reimbursed to the company.

b) Bonus

This is assessed in the year an employee becomes entitled to the bonus.

c) Director’s Fee

These are assessed in the year a director becomes entitled to the fees.

If the fees are
approved in arrears
Then, entitlement is on the date
the fees are voted and approved
at the company’s AGM/ EGM
If the fees are
approved in advance
Then, entitlement is as and when
the services are rendered for the
year e.g. entitlement can be monthly
if payment of director’s fees is on a
monthly basis.
See each of the other income type’s definitions below.
d) Other types of income

This is where your report less common types of payments; such as payments arising from resignation, voluntary CPF contribution, and employee stock options.

Here are the more typical types that you should know about!

Find out if your or your employee’s retrenchment & retirement benefits taxable to IRAS. 
More information on Ordinary Wages (OW) & Additional Wages (AW)
This needs to be declared in Appendix 8B. (Explanatory notes on Appendix 8B)
For more information on examples of Benefits-in-kind where the value needs to be reported, simply refer to and fill in Appendix 8A.  Such benefits are typically provided separately from income. See benefits-in-kind exempt from income tax!

Once the form is filled, signed off and sent to each employee, your obligation as an employer is done! For AIS submission, the last step is to enter the information above as a batch on the IRAS portal.

Consider Terms of Overseas Posting in Step 2

Part of the job

When your employee has to travel or be overseas as part of his/her job, this means the overseas posting is incidental to his/her Singapore employment. In this case, you will need to report said employee’s income and CPF contribution for the whole year.

Not part of the job

What about the employee whose overseas posting is not incidental to his/her Singapore employment? This depends on the overseas posting period.

If your employee has overseas employment income and employer’s contributions to overseas pension funds that qualify for the concession, please select “Income from Overseas Employment and Overseas Pension Fund with Tax Concession” and provide the details of the Overseas Pension Fund separately via email to

Employed on board of ships

If your employee was a crew working on board a shipping vessel during the year 2021, do indicate the following codes against your employee’s designation on the Form IR8A:

  • ‘FR’ (foreign-registered ship);
  • ‘SR’ (Singapore-registered ship plying within the port limits of Singapore); or
  • ‘SRI’ (Singapore registered ship plying in international waters).

Employment income is only exempted from tax if the employee meets all of the following:

  • Working onboard a Singapore registered ship that is plying in international waters, and
  • Employment was exercised substantially outside Singapore during 2021.

This tax exemption does not apply to employees who were based onshore but may periodically need to board/sail with the ships for inspection work or other purposes.

What if I need to make changes after submission?

Let’s say there are changes you need to make to your employee’s income or deductions information after electronic submission. In this case, you could manually calculate and submit the difference in amount for the affected employee and not an overall revised value.

Alternatively, you could let Talenox do an automatic calculation for you! Simply key in the revised amounts for the affected employees and we’ll do the rest.

If you’re not on AIS and your employee has submitted the form, you will then need to complete another form with the correct amount and indicate:

(i) “Additional” to report the additional income paid to the employee; or
(ii) “Revised” to report the entire income/deduction details.

Do note that revised Form IR8A will supersede all previous Form IR8A. Hence, you must give the Additional/Revised Form IR8A to your employee for re-submission to IRAS.

A good payroll software automates IR8A reporting

With a direct integration to AIS, Talenox helps employers ease through the annual IR8A submission process.

  • This means you won’t need to manually sum up 12 months’ worth of payroll details. In addition, you won’t have to worry over-reporting any information incorrectly on the form!
  • Talenox will even help you ‘remember’ to prepare the form for employees who ceased employment before the year ended. It’s easy to overlook this obligation, especially if turnover is significant.

This guide serves to simplify the IR8A exercise for employers participating in it for the first time. Adopting Talenox simplifies the exercise year after year.


Automate payroll & IR8A submissions this week.

Talenox is integrated with AIS to help employers ease through the annual IR8A submission process. This is a notable feature available on all of Talenox’s free and paid plans.

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