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Singapore Still Has Low Taxes, Even When It's Charging the Rich More

Singapore's raising tax rates for the rich, but it remains among world's lowest
A view of the central business district in Singapore.

A view of the central business district in Singapore.

Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg

Singapore is raising the top marginal tax rate to 22 percent from 20 percent, the finance minister said in his budget speech on Monday, the first such increase in decades. Taking effect from 2017, the rate applies to those with a taxable income of more than S$320,000 ($235,000) a year, with smaller adjustments for others among the top 5% of earners. It will help fund more welfare spending and payouts for the elderly, the government said.

While unexpected, it's unlikely that local bands will start doing energetic covers of the Beatles' Taxman, as Singapore's rate still remains among the lowest in the world. Here's how Singapore stacks up against some OECD countries: