Updated: 16th September 2021
It’s that time of year again when the dreaded IRAS income tax Notice of Assessment lands on the doormat (or more likely these days by SMS or email inviting you to log on and download it). As with this time last year, we’ve started getting messages from readers asking what’s the best way to earn miles when paying the 2021 bill.
As always it boils down to analysing the methods to pay your income tax by credit card, though once again this is not a service offered directly by IRAS, even for a fee.
The transaction must usually be arranged through your credit card issuer or a third-party card payments provider, who in turn will charge you a fee for the service, which unfortunately means the miles you accrue are not going to be free.
As with 2020, however, there are a range of valuable options to turn one of the year’s single biggest expenses into thousands of miles at a reasonable cost.
The options for paying your income tax this year are almost the same as in 2020. You can do so with one of six bank-specific facilities, if you hold one of their eligible miles-earning credit cards, or through the two major card payment providers, CardUp and ipaymy.
|0.5 – 1.5%|
|1.6 – 1.9%|
|1.7 – 1.9%|
|1.7 – 2.4%|
The options available to you depend on the credit card(s) you hold. Remember your income tax bill is typically payable within a month of your ‘Notice of Assessment’ (NOA) date, unless your NOA states otherwise, so there may still be time to apply for and receive a new credit card with a superior miles earning rate if you wish.
Note that BOC also allows income tax payment through some of its credit cards for a 1% fee, but does not award any points for the transaction, making it of little interest to our readers and not worth including in this article.
CardUp and ipaymy’s 2021 Income Tax offers
This year both CardUp and ipaymy have repeated their 2020 promotional income tax payment rate for those using a Singapore-issued Visa or Mastercard, at a competitive 1.75% fee.
|One-time IRAS income tax payment or the first payment in a recurring series with a Singapore-issued Visa or Mastercard.|
|One-time IRAS income tax payment with a Singapore-issued Visa or Mastercard (can also be used as a one-off monthly GIRO settlement).|
With the same fee for Visa and Mastercard holders, whether you use CardUp or ipaymy for an income tax payment probably depends on which one you have used previously, since you may not want to go to the hassle of opening a new account. We do not recommend one provider over the other, only the cheapest deal.
Additionally, CardUp also supports income tax payment using Singapore-issued American Express cards, with two discount codes available for new and existing customers paying by Amex at 2.2% or 2.4% fee, excluding the following cards (which retain the usual year-round 2.6% fee):
- Amex Corporate card
- Amex SIA Business credit card
- DBS Amex cards
- UOB Amex cards
|One-time IRAS income tax payment of S$1,000+ with selected Singapore-issued American Express cards (existing customers)|
|One-time IRAS income tax payment of S$1,000+ with selected Singapore-issued American Express cards (new customers)|
ipaymy is not currently offering payment using American Express cards.
CardUp’s promotional rates are currently valid for income tax payments scheduled by 31st December 2021, for payment due dates between 1st May 2021 and 5th January 2022 inclusive.
ipaymy’s promotional rate is currently valid for a charge date on or before 31st December 2021.
Both CardUp and ipaymy will also offer concessionary rates for large income tax payments. Email each provider directly for more details if you have a significant tax bill this year:
Best deals for your 2021 income tax payment
Let’s take a look at the cost per mile table, which once again we’ve split into four this year following positive feedback, depending on how good a deal we think you’re getting.
The formula is simply the fee divided by the number of miles you will receive, to generate a cost per mile.
Bear in mind that for both CardUp and ipaymy you will also earn miles on the fee itself, which is accounted for in the calculation. That’s not the case when you use the bank-specific or Citi PayAll payment methods, where the fee element will not earn miles. For example:
Here’s our definitive list of your credit card income tax payment options for 2021. Simply start at the top (lowest cost per mile), and work your way down the table until you find a credit card you hold or wish to use.
Updated 16th September 2021
Excellent cost per mile
You can ‘buy’ miles paying your income tax by credit card from between 0.80 cents and 1.32 cents each this year, an excellent rate for most of us, using the following methods.
|OCBC Premier Voyage||1.7%
|OCBC Premier Voyage|