Archive for February 2014

Tax Return – a Nightmare!!

I always knew moving between Countries where there is a different calendar tax-year was going to have some challenges – but I really didn’t know it would create such a nightmare.

I previously came out on my work secondment in the second half of 2011 – and this was called a tax-neutral status between the UK and Singapore – noting that I remained on the UK pay-roll, and simply had to return within 183 days to avoid any tax declarations in Singapore. I obviously adhered to this to prevent any immigration or taxation issues – and I thought it would be smooth to return back to Singapore. What I didn’t realise is that a form submission was not provided to the IRS (Singapore tax Authorities) which meant that they felt I owed the Singapore tax for 2011. I received a letter shortly after my arrival in early 2013, stating that they estimated my overdue tax was approx S$9100. Of course, I knew this was an error – but when they threaten that I can’t leave Singapore until I settle this tax liability, it did frighten me.

Anyway, I had to go through a bit of hoops to close this out – and my employer was very good to supporting me to get HMRC (UK Tax Authorities) to declare that I was a UK resident and paid and settled my taxes in the UK, during the time I was in Singapore. This was sent to the IRS and they accepted this and provided me an exemption declaration – phew. Unfortunately, during this process, the HMRC then felt I had to manually complete a 2011/2012 tax return, as they then felt I had paid too much tax. I have now requested that this gets closed out, as I do feel this is not the case, and I settled the right taxes during 2011/12 in the UK.

Then there was another issue, as I moved out in 1st Jan 2013, the HMRC thought I had to provide a UK tax return for 2012/2013 (which tax year ended in April 2013), because they felt I earned money after leaving my UK employer in the first quarter of 2013. I didn’t, so had to go through another round of hoops to get this closed out by the HMRC. They accepted this, luckily! Phew.

Then the third twist, inadvertently I was entered in the Employer payroll as starting my SG employment on 2nd Jan 2013, and not 1st Jan. This meant that when I received my bonus in April 2014, one day of this was actually taxable in the UK payroll. This also meant that I received one-day pay from the UK too. The bonus has now been subsequently reversed out (although I now need to receive this from the SG payroll), but I also need to retrospectively refund my UK pay, and receive the extra day pay in SG. More importantly, as I have just filed my 2014 tax return (for Jan – Dec 2013), this meant it was missing 1-day pay. Man – this is such a complicated issue, and such a trivial matter can cause a huge problem. Lets hope this last bit gets resolved.

Morale of the story, stay very very close to your tax affairs as a simple admin glitch can cause huge problems later on.

Folded Mah Jongg Table

Folded Mah Jongg Table

Folded Mah Jongg Table

Well it was something I was checking out for a while having seen it at a friend’s place – and my mum was keen to get one – so I decided to go visit a place in town and try to buy one.

I found a place on a website, it seems to be an wholesaler and distributor, but it also allowed ‘walk-in’ customers, so I thought I’d give it a go. It was in a business park, so finding it was a bit of a challenge, but once I located the building, I located the unit location. I took a taxi from work, and arrived at Playfield Road in Tai Seng district. The one I saw on the website was S$198 – and the table top size was 36″ x 36″.  The table was called ‘SHP Solid Wood Folding Mahjongg Table’.

(Un)Folded Mah Jongg Table

(Un)Folded Mah Jongg Table

When I arrived, they had one in stock, and when I saw it, I looked a bit surprised on the size of the thing. I could carry it, but it was quite awkward to carry. I took the table and booked a taxi back to my apartment – I had to put it on the backseat, luckily it fit (another nightmare moment). Then I had the thought of how I was going to get it to the UK…hmmm…

I weighed the item, and it was just over 9 kilos, so I knew I had to be careful on how much luggage I would carry back to the UK…luckily my allowance was 30kg on Emirates. I think I will just try to put it in the hold in the box and ‘fingers crossed’ that it arrives in one piece 🙂

But It was a nice table and I am sure it will arrive safely!! Haha!

Swee Huat Plastic Company
80 Playfair Road
#04-18 Block B, Kapo Factory
Singapore 367998
Tel: +65 62843313
URL: http://www.shp88.com 
E-mail: sales@shp88.com

Chinese Massage – Great and Cheap!

Mr Lim Foot Reflexology

Mr Lim Foot Reflexology

I am keen to find a foot massage place somewhere in central Singapore to really help me relax and chill – and someone recommended one in China Town.

It is called “Mr Lim Foot Reflexology” and is located in the People’s Park Complex shopping mall. There seem to have about 3 or 4 shops, and have a lot of demand! Definitely not bad for S$18 for 45 minutes. To help compare , an hour (normal for a foot and shoulder massage) would be S$25 – so yeah that’s pretty good going for Singapore. And it was actually very nice and relaxing.

They do a loyalty card scheme, so each time you visit, you get a stamp, and after 10 I presume you get a free massage or discount – even better 🙂 I will definitely repeat this, definitely feels very relaxing and refreshing!

Mr Lim Foot Reflexology
1 Park Rd #03-54-#03-78
People’s Pk Complex
Singapore, 059108
Tel: +65 6327 4498

Planning for the UK Holiday – Family and Friends Catch-Up

Well it has been over a year – in fact 14 months since I was in the UK, and I really wanted to go back home and visit my family, friends and ex-colleagues.

It has been an amazing year so far, but I still have my roots in the UK and I do still call the UK home, so I had booked the flight, booked the accommodation (okay my own home), and I decided to schedule sessions with the various groups of friends.

I was visiting just 10 days, and my the end I completed the various plans, it worked out that I had only had 2 lunches spare – that basically mean eating, drinking or talking galore for every lunch and dinner.

I can’t wait to see my colleague friends, uni-friends, master grads and Amex and ex-Amex friends. Wow, I am sure it is going to be ‘difficult’…all of that Guinness and food! Haha – how will I cope?

New SingTel Phone Upgrade

I had purchased a 2-year phone contract from SingTel, and there was an opportunity to get a free upgrade after 12 months…free in the sense there is no additional contract charge, but the handset would still cost me $$$.

I had ummmed and ahhhed for a couple of months already, as I knew the iPhone 5S would be out soon. I decided to take the plunge (or easy option) and simply upgrade my handset to the new iPhone, rather than switching to an Samsung S4 (which was a strong possibility). The key reason is that everyone I had was on my iPhone, it was working fine, I liked the ecosystem and size overall and I knew it was easy to upgrade (in a few minutes), versus having to configure everything from scratch on the new phone type. I also thing that for me it was actually quite a nice size for my hands 🙂

Anyway, it cost me S$668 (for another 2 years) – which I know is a bit pricey, but I think worth the upgrade. I also set-up my old iPhone 4S for me mum to have – aren’t I nice 🙂

The funny thing is that I actually have gone for the ‘S’ versions for each iPhone…3S, 4S and now 5S. I wonder whether I should wait for the 6S next year, or whether I would be tempted away at that point…well that’s another year to go…so lets see what happens.

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