India-Singapore DTAA: Double Tax Avoidance Agreement

For Indian business owners considering incorporating a company in Singapore, it’s crucial to weigh the risks and benefits. One of the main attractions is the significant tax benefits. To encourage business growth, Singapore has entered into double tax treaties with a number of countries, including India. Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) or Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) promote reductions in tax rates for businesses and individuals. If you’d like to learn about the India-Singapore DTAA, read more. If you’re interested in learning about our company incorporation services, click “Explore Services” below.
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india-singapore dta
singapore-india double tax avoidance agreement

Countries around the world execute various tax treaties to provide benefits for both business entities and individuals. Double taxation avoidance agreements or double tax treaties offer tax exemptions, tax credits, and overall reductions in tax rates.

Singapore currently has several DTAAs with other countries. These agreements contribute to the efficiency of Singapore’s tax system. This article highlights important provisions of the India-Singapore DTAA, tax applicability, tax rates, the scope of the agreement, and the advantages of the DTAA between India and Singapore.

key provisions of india-singapore dta

What Is the DTAA between India and Singapore?

The DTAA between India and Singapore is a tax treaty that avoids the double taxation of income between Singapore and India and reduces the overall tax burden of the residents of both countries.

Without the India-Singapore DTAA , income is liable to be double taxed (i.e., each country may levy its own tax on the same income). This double taxation unfairly penalizes income flows between countries, thereby discouraging trade and commerce.

To address this problem and reduce the overall taxpayer burden, Singapore and India signed the treaty. Therefore any income that’s taxable in both the countries will be taxable only in one country as per the terms of the DTAA.

India-Singapore DTAA Updates

Since 2020, there have been a few significant revisions to the India-Singapore DTAA. These are as follows.

India-Singapore Double Tax Treaty Timeline

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1994 January 30

The Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement between Singapore and India comes into effect

2005 June 29

Provisions are modified by a protocol to eliminate most taxes on capital gains

2011 September 1

A second protocol to incorporate OECD’s standard for the exchange of information for tax purposes comes into force

2016 December 30

A third protocol is signed to preserve the majority of tax exemptions on capital gains

2020 February 1

India announces its withdrawal of the Dividend Distribution Tax

2020 April 1

The OECD’s Multilateral Instruments come into force for India and Singapore

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Scope of India-Singapore DTAA

The India-Singapore double tax treaty is applicable to the residents (i.e., legal entities and individuals) of the signing states (i.e., India and Singapore). Its key aspects are explained below.

What Taxes Will I Owe Under the India-Singapore Double Tax Agreement?

The tax you owe will depend on the country where you have to pay the tax which further depends on the type of income involved. Taxes on various types of income are described in the following sections.

Double Tax Avoidance Agreement at a Glance

The India-Singapore double taxation avoidance agreement specifically states where different types of income are subject to tax. Essentially, the place of taxation determines the rate of tax applicable to each type of income as follows:

Type of income or payment

Where it is taxed

Income from immovable property

Taxed in the state where the property is situated.

Profits from business

Taxed in the state where the enterprise carries out its business

Profits from shipping and air transport

Taxed in the state where the enterprise carries out its operations


Taxed in the state where the recipient resides


Taxed in the state where the recipient resides

Royalty and fees for technical services

Taxed in the state where the recipient resides (ranging from 10–15%)

Independent personal services

Taxed in the state where the recipient resides

Dependent personal services

Taxed in the state where the recipient resides

Directors’ fees

Taxed in the state where the company paying the directors’ fees resides

Income of artists and sportspersons

Taxed in the state where activities are performed

Pension and annuity

Taxed in the state where the recipient resides

Government payments

Taxed in the state where government functions are carried out (If a resident of the other state is not a citizen or national of the first state and carries out employment, the remuneration is taxed in the other state)

Payments to students and trainees

Taxed in the state where they reside (and exempt from tax in the other contracting state)

Payments to visiting teachers and researchers

Taxed in the state where they reside (and exempt from tax in the other contracting state)

In some unique circumstances, income may be taxable both in the state where the income arises and the recipient’s state of residence even if the DTAA terms are followed. In such cases, the Singapore India DTAA allows specific exemptions for such unique one-off situations.

To learn more, you can find a full copy of the India-Singapore Double Tax Treaty Agreement.

Protect Your Income From Excessive Taxation

To effectively grow your business and maximize profits, it’s essential to understand the tax benefits available to you and your business. If you’re considering incorporating your company in Singapore, can help you navigate the process by helping select the correct corporate structure that will minimize your taxes while fully complying with all government laws, regulations, and DTAAs.
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