Working Mother Child Relief Schemes

To encourage working mothers to have kids (Singapore citizens) and make sure they continue to work afterwards, the Government of Singapore offers them tax benefits in the form of Working Mother’s Child Relief or WMCR. This relief is also given to parents who make sure their kids take up the citizenship of Singapore. This tax relief is however not given to single women or male taxpayers.

How the Child Order is Determined

The tax relief given is not the same for each kid and it varies based on the order of children in the family. The table given below shows the order of the child and how the tax benefits are determined:

A child adopted legally The relief given will be based on the adoption date as mentioned in the papers of adoption
A step-child The relief offered will be on the basis of the child’s birth-date as given in the birth certificate
A child born to you and your ex-spouse/spouse before your marriage to your ex-spouse/spouse The relief will be given based on the date of your marriage to your ex-spouse/spouse
A child born to you and your ex-spouse/spouse after your marriage to your ex-spouse/spouse The relief offered will be on the basis of the child’s birth-date as given in the birth certificate

A child who has passed away with a valid birth certificate will be taken into consideration to determine the order. However, a still-born child will not be considered as he/she would not have been issued a birth certificate.

Will I Be Eligible for the Relief?

If you want to claim the Working Mother’s Child Relief in the assessment year 2018, you should have fulfilled the following:

  • All the necessary conditions as per Handicapped Child Relief (HCR) or Qualifying Child Relief (QCR) and you have raised a child who is a citizen of Singapore as of 31 December 2017.
  • You have a taxable income as of 31 December 2017, earned through employment, pensions, profession, trade, or business.
  • You were either widowed, divorced, or married as of 31 December 2017, with an income.

Amount of Working Mother’s Child Relief

How much relief you will get for your children will be based on the order of your children. In other words, the amount will be determined based on when your child was legally adopted or born. The date of birth or the date of adoption is subsequently matched to a percentage of your income earned. If you make a claim for more than one child, the Working Mother’s Child Relief percentages are combined and the aggregate is capped at 100% of your earned income. The Working Mother’s Child Relief is computed as shown in the table below:

Child Order Working Mother’s Child Relief Amount
First Child 15% of the income earned by the mother
Second Child   20% of the income earned by the mother
Third and beyond 25% of the income earned by the mother

There is a cap of S$80,000 on the total income tax relief claimed that will be applicable for the assessment year 2018. This cap is also applicable to Working Mother’s Child Relief.

Illustration:

Mrs Wang has two children. Her earned income for the year 2017 was S$50,000. In 2017, her first child earned S$8,000. She is not eligible to claim Working Mother’s Child Relief on this child. However, for her second child, she is eligible to claim WMCR. The amount of relief that Mrs Wang can claim for the year 2018 is shown in the table below:

Order % earned income (A) Amount in S$ (A) x earned income S$50,000 WMCR permissible to Mrs Wang (S$) Cumulative WMCR permissible ($)
First 15 7,500 0 No relief will be given to her on her first child as the child has an income more than S$4,000
Second 20 10,000 10,000 10,000 (20% of her earned income)

Claiming Other Tax Benefits on the Same Child

In case your husband or your ex-husband has already claimed the Handicapped Child Relief or Qualifying Child Relief on your child, you can still claim Working Mother’s Child Relief on that child if you fulfil the following conditions:

  • The Working Mother’s Child Relief is restricted to the amount remaining after the QCR/HCR claim is permitted.
  • The total cap (WMCR and QCR/HCR) is S$50,000 per child.
  • Your QCR/HCR claims will be permitted first.

Claiming WMCR and Parenthood Tax Rebate

Consider an illustration: Mr and Mrs Abraham’s (both 40 years old) first child was born in the year 2017. Mrs Abraham was working and earned an income of S$40,000 for that year. Mrs Abraham has chosen to claim the entire amount of Qualifying Child Relief of S$4,000. Mr and Mrs Abraham are also eligible for Parenthood Tax Rebate of S$5,000 for their first kid. Mrs Abraham’s tax computation for the assessment year 2018 is as follows:

Income of Mrs Abraham S$40,000
Less: Total Personal Reliefs  
Qualifying Child Relief S$4,000
Earned Income Relief S$1,000
Working Mother’s Child Relief S$6,000 (15% of S$40,000)
CPF Relief S$8,000 (20% of S$40,000)
Chargeable Income S$40,000- S$19,000= S$21,000

Based on this income (S$21,000), your income tax will be calculated. Whatever gross tax payable you are liable to pay, it will be adjusted against your PTR amount. In this example, Both Mr and Mrs Abraham are eligible for Parenthood Tax Rebate of S$5,000 for their first kid. Any PTR amount which has been not been utilised will be carried forward to counterbalance against the income tax payable for the following years until it has been fully used.

Illustration:
When you have to claim Working Mother’s Child Relief on kids for whom your husband has already claimed other benefits.

Mr and Mrs Razak have two kids. Their first kid is physically challenged. Mr Razak has already claimed HCR for the first kid and QCR for the other child. If Mrs Razak, earned an income of S$100,000 in 2017, her WMCR claim will be as follows:

Order of the Child Percentage of Mrs Razak earned income (A) Amount (S$) (A) x Mrs Razak earned income $100,000 QCR/ HCR claimed by Mr Razak (S$) WMCR claimed by Mrs Razak in S$ Aggregate of WMCR claimed by Mrs Razak (S$)
First 15 15,000 7,500 15,000 15,000
Second 20 20,000 4,000 20,000 15,000 + 20,000= 35,000

How to Claim WMCR?

e-Filing: If you have already claimed the Working Mother’s Child Relief in previous years, the relief will be pre-filled and given to you this year without you having to do anything. However, in case you wish to make changes to your relief, log in to myTax Portal using your IRAS Pin or SingPass and go to "Child", click "Update" and make changes to your claim.

On the other hand, if you are making a claim for the first time, you will have to take the following steps:

  • Log in to your myTax Portal with your IRAS PIN or SingPass.
  • Under the Individuals section, go to “File Form B/B1”.
  • Choose “Edit My Tax Form”.
  • Click on “Deductions, Reliefs and Parenthood Tax Rebate”.
  • Select “Child”.
  • Hit “Update” and file your claim.

Paper Filing: If you have already done the paper filing in previous years, you will have to carry out the following steps:

  • Fill in item 6(b) on page 2 of Form B1.
  • Fill in item 6(b) on page 3 of Form B.

If you are paper filing for the first time, you will have to take the following steps:

Form B1
  • Fill in item 6(b) on page 2 of Form B1. Indicate “Y” under the 'Claim for WMCR' column as you do not have to enter any amount for WMCR.
  • Fill in the details of your kid in Appendix 2 of Form B1.
Form B
  • Fill in item 6(b) on the page 3 of Form B. Indicate “Y” under the 'Claiming for WMCR' field as you do not have to enter any amount for WMCR.
  • Enter the details of your kid in Appendix 2 of Form B.

In case the amount of WMCR that you have received on your tax bill is incorrect, you will have to file a complaint within one month from the day you received the bill. You will have to use the “Objection to Assessment” e-Service on the tax portal. If you are not able to use e-service, you can send an email to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore by doing the following:

  • Make a request to file the claim once again or review the relief for the assessment year 2018.
  • Submit the identification number and name of your child.
  • State the child order of your kid for the purpose of claiming WMCR.
  • Fulfil all the conditions and forward the certificate of citizenship of your kid who was a foreigner at the time of his/her birth.

In case you have forgotten to claim your WMCR and are not able to re-file your return online, send an email to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore by doing the following:

  • Make a request to file the claim once again or review the relief for the assessment year 2018.
  • State the child order of your kid for the purpose of claiming WMCR.
  • Submit the identification number and name of your child.
  • Fulfil all the conditions and forward the certificate of citizenship of your kid who was a foreigner at the time of his/her birth.
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