Income Tax season is approaching once again in Singapore and CardUp is one of the first payment providers to launch its discounted fee offer for this (often significant) annual expense, allowing you to earn a large stash of points or miles towards future travel in the process.
A discounted rate of 1.75% is now available for both new and existing customers, valid for one-off (lump sum) or the first in a series of recurring (GIRO) income tax payments, when you use a locally-issued Visa card to pay.
That’s a 33% discount on the provider’s usual 2.6% fee when you use your credit card to settle these kind of payments, but it may still be worth holding off for deals from the likes of Citi PayAll and ipaymy before committing, since even cheaper options have been available in recent years.
If you schedule an income tax payment using CardUp between now and 19th April 2023, with a due date on or before 24th April 2023, you’ll be eligible for the discounted fee using the VTAX23 promo code.
The offer is subject to the following terms and conditions:
- Valid for personal account users for a one-off income tax payment, or the first payment in a recurring series.
- Valid on a payment scheduled on CardUp on or before 19th April 2023. The payment due date must be on or before 24th April 2023. Payments must be scheduled at least three business days in advance of the due date to allow for processing time.
- Enter the promo code VTAX23 during the “Schedule payment” process when setting up payment details. The 1.75% CardUp fee for the eligible payments will be reflected before you confirm and submit payment.
- The promo code may only be redeemed once per user, and is valid for new and existing customers.
- The promo code is not valid to be used:
(a) with Mastercard, China Unionpay, American Express credit cards and credit cards issued outside of Singapore.
(b) with debit/preloaded cards.
(c) on any additional fees incurred for Next Day payments.
(d) in conjunction with any other promotions, offers or discounts.
There is no upper cap on the tax amount paid under this promotion.
|One-time IRAS income tax payment or first in a recurring series with a Singapore-issued Visa card.|
To maximise the value you should pay your annual tax as a single lump sum where possible, since the recurring series discount unfortunately only applies to the first monthly payment.
Full terms and conditions can be found here.
Cost per mile
Here’s how the all-important cost per mile looks for some popular Visa credit cards issued in Singapore.
You can refer to the latest full list of cards awarding points and miles for CardUp payments here.
Cost per mile – VTAX23
|Card||Mpd||Cost per mile
|UOB PRVI Miles Visa||1.4||1.23¢|
|Standard Chartered Visa Infinite||1.4*||1.23¢*|
UOB VI Metal
|OCBC 90ºN Visa||1.3||1.32¢|
|OCBC Voyage Visa||1.3||1.32¢|
|Citi PremierMiles Visa||1.2||1.43¢|
|DBS Altitude Visa||1.2||1.43¢|
* For SCVI 1.4 mpd is subject to a minimum spend of S$2,000 in the same statement cycle, otherwise 1 mpd. CardUp payments do count towards the minimum.
Even with one of the widely-held 1.2 mpd cards like the DBS Altitude Visa and Citi PremierMiles Visa options, an effective cost per mile of 1.43 cents is competitive.
For those lucky enough to have 1.6 mpd earning cards, the cost per mile drops to an excellent 1.07 cents.
For those with a large enough tax bill, that could mean earning enough miles for a one-way Singapore Airlines Business Class saver award to Tokyo (52,000 miles) for just S$558.97!
How to pay
The process is straightforward, to pay your income tax bill first log on to your account and press the ‘Create Payment’ button, then select the ‘Taxes’ icon.
After that, select the first option – ‘IRAS – Income Tax’.
You then need to enter your payment amount as per the outstanding tax balance as shown in your IRAS Statement of Account, or the monthly instalment if you’re using that method, plus select (or add) the Visa card you wish to use.
Don’t forget to refer to the cost per mile table above, to make sure you’re using the Visa card with the best earn rate for this payment if you have more than one in your wallet!
Next you’ll have to select your tax due date.
Your payment reference number is automatically pulled from the NRIC number registered on your CardUp account. This prevents any erroneous payments to the wrong tax accounts not tied to your own NRIC.
Then it’s the all-important PROMO CODE, where you can enter the VTAX23 code.
Note that the regular CardUp 2.6% fee shows initially, but once you proceed to the payment stage the discount will be reflected.
Once you click ‘Continue’, you will be required to upload an up-to-date copy of your Statement of Account, showing your Name, NRIC, Outstanding balance and date of outstanding balance for CardUp to verify your payment.
You can pay the full outstanding amount, the monthly instalment, or a lower amount, but you cannot overpay your taxes because this makes IRAS very upset.
Here’s how it looks for a S$10,000 income tax payment with the VTAX23 code applied:
As you can see, the reduced fee of 1.75% (usually 2.6%) then applies. In the above example an income tax payment of S$10,000 now carries a fee of S$175 (1.75%) instead of S$260 (2.6%).
Monthly payments are a poor option
One downside of this year’s discounted income tax deal from CardUp is that if you wish the provider to settle your monthly GIRO instead (see here for details), the discounted 1.75% fee when using this promo code with a Visa card only applies for the first monthly payment.
Subsequent payments revert to CardUp’s regular 2.6% fee, which then makes the cost per mile unattractive (e.g. 2.11 cents per mile for a 1.2 mpd Visa card).
The VTAX23 code is therefore much better used if you’re paying your income tax upfront as a lump sum.
Standard Chartered Visa Infinite option
If you’re a Standard Chartered Visa Infinite (SCVI) cardholder, don’t forget there’s a better income tax payment option available for you.
This card still has one of the best deals we know of for income tax payments through the bank’s own payment facility, with a processing fee of 1.6%, earning 1.4 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 spent, assuming you have at least S$2,000 of total spend on the card in the same statement month (including the tax payment itself), which is a condition of the higher earning rate.
For example, if you have a S$10,000 tax bill the fee would be S$160, with 14,000 miles awarded. That means paying 1.14 cents per KrisFlyer mile, which is a great deal.
Using your SCVI card through CardUp at a 1.75% fee results in a slightly higher cost per mile of 1.23 cents, so the bank’s own deal is still best in this case.
Better still, like with many banks Standard Chartered don’t pay IRAS directly, but instead they will credit the tax payment to your bank account in order for you to pay IRAS yourself. They simply charge the amount (plus the service fee) to your credit card.
That means you can pay your income tax by interest-free GIRO each month if you wish, and use the money Standard Chartered pay you simply to settle your credit card bill.
Not received your IRAS NoA yet?
Don’t worry if you haven’t received your bill yet and/or don’t have a ‘Notice of Assessment’ date showing at the online IRAS portal. NOAs are sent out between now and September 2023, so your tax liability may be in a later ‘batch’.
If your bill payment becomes due after mid-April 2023, we are hopeful that CardUp may extend its offer or provide an alternative deal, but as always we’ll keep you updated.
We’re also awaiting income tax season deals from ipaymy and Citi PayAll, which may provide even more competitive income tax payment options, so it could be a good idea to hold off anyway if you can, since those should be announced soon.
CardUp has become the first major payment provider to launch its 2023 income tax payment promotion, matching the excellent 1.75% fee level seen in recent years for Visa cards, and allowing you to generate a large sum of miles when settling this bill for a competitive cost.
The deal is only attractive for lump-sum payments and expires in mid-April, but we expect it to be extended so don’t worry if you haven’t received your NoA yet.
Also it may be worth holding off for all the deals to come out from the likes of ipaymy and Citi PayAll before you commit, since offers in recent years have included the ability to generate miles from as little as 0.8 cents each.
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(Cover Photo: Shutterstock)