BUDGET 2015

Singapore Budget 2015: Private tutor not too bothered about paying more tax

Private tutor and entrepreneur Anthony Fok does not begrudge having to pay more tax, saying the Government "can use the additional tax revenue to help address the needs of an ageing population, coupled with increased spending on health care", among o
Private tutor and entrepreneur Anthony Fok does not begrudge having to pay more tax, saying the Government "can use the additional tax revenue to help address the needs of an ageing population, coupled with increased spending on health care", among other things.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Mr Anthony Fok, 31

Private tutor and founder of tuition agency JCEconomics.com who pulled in $400,000 in income last year

What he pays

Income tax rate for top earners goes up to 22 per cent from 20 per cent

What other taxpayers pay

Top 5% of earners will pay more. Most people unaffected


PRIVATE tutor and entrepreneur Anthony Fok is taking the income tax hike in his stride.

The 31-year-old set up tuition agency JCEconomics.com in 2012, raking in some $400,000 in income last year as its sole proprietor and employee.

That puts him among the top 5 per cent of income earners, so he will be hit by the higher personal income tax rate.

After deducting tax reliefs of some $20,000, Mr Fok would have to pay about $3,400 more in tax if his income is unchanged next year, though he is not too perturbed.

"Nobody can predict my income in the next few years because the income of a private tutor is not stable."

He does not begrudge the higher tax as he strongly believes the Government should give a leg-up to lower-income earners.

"The Government can use the additional tax revenue to help address the needs of an ageing population, coupled with increased spending on health care, education and to strengthen social safety nets."

Analysts, however, were surprised by the move as this is the first time since 1966 that the top marginal income tax rate has been hiked.

Experts pointed out the potential consequences on the wider economy.

Ernst & Young Solutions human capital partner Grahame Wright said Singapore's competitive position could be weakened when it comes to highly mobile senior executives.

But KPMG Singapore tax partner Alan Lau did not think it will have any immediate adverse impact on attracting top individuals as the city-state has strong draws like its clean image and strong security.

MOK FEI FEI