COVID-19: Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS)- Resilience Budget 2020

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Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme

UPDATED (18th April 2020): Check for your eligibility here at the pre-launch site. Applications and appeals are NOT open at the moment. Details will be announced soon.


When the Resilience Budget was announced three days ago, one of the schemes that has caught many attention is the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS), where S$1.2 billion is set aside to support self-employed individuals in terms of cash payout. Ministry of Manpower (MOM) stated that about 88,000 individuals who are self-employed will automatically qualify for the scheme. Others may apply for the scheme once the application is open. 


So who is eligible to receive $1,000 a month for the next 9 months?


According to IRAS, you are self-employed when you perform work for others (e.g. provide a service) under a contract for service. You work for yourself and you are in the position to realise a business profit or loss. Your income is derived from tbuying and selling of goods, or from providing professional or personal services.


A self-employed may also be a sole-proprietor or a partner in a partnership. However, if the partner is engaged under an employment contract with the partnership, he is considered an employee even though he has the title of a ‘partner’, hence he will not qualify for the income relief scheme.


Here are some examples of self-employed persons (SEP):

  • Baby-sitter
  • Commission agent (e.g. insurance agent, real estate agent)
  • Direct seller
  • Freelancer (e.g. you receive fees for providing services as a delivery rider, consultant, book keeper, graphic designer)
  • Hawker (you are the owner of a hawker business or a food stall)
  • Owner of a business that buys and sells goods and/ or services
  • Owner of an online business (i.e. you buy and sell goods or provide services through the Internet)
  • Owner of your own practice (e.g. accountant, architect, doctor, lawyer)
  • Taxi driver / Private-hire car driver
  • Private tuition teacher (you look for your own students by yourself or through agencies and do not receive a salary from a tuition centre)

Under the income relief scheme, cash payout will be made on quarterly basis - $3,000 each in May, July and October this year. To receive this payout, a self-employed person must meet all of the following:

Started work as a SEP on or before 25 March 2020

Legally registered under CPF as a self-employed and filed taxes last year. For licence-holders such as taxi drivers, hawkers, real estate agents and insurance agents, you are automatically registered under CPF.

Do not earn income as an employee

(UPDATED: Earn less than $2,300 per month from employment work)

Do not have multiple jobs or engagements. For example, if you are an employee in an organisation but you drive a taxi after work hours, you will not qualify because you are also earning employment income.

Earn a Net Trade Income of no more than $100,000

Net trade income refers to your gross trade income less allowable business expenses, capital allowances and trade losses.

Live in a property with an annual value of no more than $13,000

(UPDATED: AV of no more than $21,000)

The annual value of your property is the estimated yearly rental that can be fetched if it was rented out, regardless whether the property is occupied, vacant or rented out. You can check the annual value by logging into IRAS’ MyTax Portal under “View Property Portfolio”.

Do not own two or more properties

For SEPs who are married, the additional criteria apply too:

  • The individual and spouse together do not own two or more properties
  • The Assessable Income of his/her spouse does not exceed $70,000


For SEPs who are aged 37 and above in 2020, and have declared a positive SEP income to IRAS or CPF for the work year 2018, this group of people will be automatically notified of their eligibility via letter or SMS.


More details on SIRS and the application process will be released at a later date by MOM. (Likely 20th April 2020)



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