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Applying for SIRS: Things You Should Know

The scheme pays a total of $9,000 to every eligible Self-Employed Person (SEP) over a period of nine months; the enhancement brought the total number of auto qualifying SEPs from 88,000 to around 100,000.​


Whether or not you are a freelancer, you would’ve most probably heard of the term Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS) by now.

It is a scheme first introduced by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) this year following Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat’s Resilience Budget on 26 March 2020. It was further enhanced in the year’s third budget announcement, the Solidarity Budget, on 6 April 2020.

The scheme pays a total of $9,000 to every eligible Self-Employed Person (SEP) over a period of nine months; the enhancement brought the total number of auto qualifying SEPs from 88,000 to around 100,000.

Check your eligibility with NTUC's SIRS Eligibility Checker, or at MOM's website.

As with all schemes, there are certain criteria to fulfil, and not everyone would be automatically eligible for the pay-out.

That’s where NTUC comes in.

For all SEPs who do not automatically qualify, they can approach NTUC for assistance in applying for SIRS. NTUC will release more details from 20 April 2020 onwards.

It is also worthy to note that due to the current ‘circuit breaker’ measures we have in place, chances are that all applications will have to be made online.

So, here’s a checklist of things you ought to do and prepare before you proceed with the application.

1. Remember Your SingPass Password?

Singapore Personal Access, or SingPass, allows users to access hundreds of Government services easily and securely online.

As SIRS is a Government initiative, you would definitely need to have your SingPass account handy for verification purposes.

However, if you are like me and only use your SingPass account once in a blue moon, chances are that you’ve already forgotten your password.

To reset your SingPass password or to register for a SingPass account, click here.

For more frequently asked questions on SingPass, click here.

2. Have You Filed Your Income Tax Yet?

Haven’t filed your taxes? Now may be a good time to do so!

If you are an SEP before 1 January 2020, you’d need an IRAS Notice of Assessment, or an IRAS Form B. This is provided if you make more than $6,000 in business income or net trade income, or more than $22,000 personal income.

If you earn less than the above-mentioned amounts, you will need to use the IRAS Form 144.

For more information about filing your taxes, please click here.

To find out if you have filed your taxes, you can login to IRAS’s myTax Portal and follow the following steps:


Alternatively, you may also login to my CPF Online Services and select ‘My Statement’. 

As a SEP, there are certain MediSave obligations under the Self-Employed Scheme. To find out more, click here.

3. But I Only Started My Freelance Work This Year

If you are an SEP from 1 January 2020 onward (and on or before 25 March 2020), you’d need to submit proof to NTUC that you were a full-time SEP during this period and have proof of income from self-employment.

This could be in the form of contracts for service (between yourself and your clients), tax invoices billed to service buyers or receipts issued for services provided for the period between 1 January 2020 to 25 March 2020.

4. Check Your Property Value

In the Resilience Budget, one of the eligibility criteria was that the SEP must not live in a property with an annual value (AV) of more than $13,000.

This was revised in the Solidarity Budget, and the threshold was raised to $21,000.

It is worth noting that all public housing do not have an AV exceeding $13,000, and most condominiums outside of prime areas do not have an AV in excess of $21,000.

However, if you are still uncertain of your property’s AV, it can be found on your IRAS property tax bill. You can access it by logging into IRAS’s myTax Portal and follow the following steps:


5. Other Documents You May Want to Prepare

You may also want to get a scanned copy of your NRIC prepared just in case it is required for verification purposes.

If you are currently facing any financial hardships and have the documents to prove it (such as Workfare Income Supplement Scheme documents; the blue or orange Community Health Assist Scheme [CHAS] Card), get those documents ready as well.

Also, as there are additional criteria to fulfil if you are married, you may want to consider preparing a softcopy of:

  • Your spouse’s NRIC
  • Your Marriage Certificate
  • Your spouse’s IRAS Notice of Assessment/ Form B for Year of Assessment 2020 and any other income documents (pay slips, contract for service, invoices)

NTUC Can Assist You Further

Leveraging on the Government’s SEP Support Scheme and co-funded by the Government and NTUC, the NTUC Training Fund (SEPs) allows SEPs to earn as they train.

It also aims to support the self-employed in the deepening and/or acquiring of new competencies during this lull period.

Find out more at NTUC LearningHub.

In view of the economic uncertainties that was brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak, NTUC’s U Care Fund rolled out their NTUC Care Fund (COVID-19) for union members who may be facing financial difficulties during this period.

General Branch Members can submit their online application here.

Need More Help?

If you need urgent financial assistance, you can approach a Social Service Office (SSO) or Community Centre (CC) for further information.

You can contact the ComCare hotline 1800-222-0000 or visit your nearest Social Service Office.

If you wish to apply for a Temporary Relief Fund, you can download an application form and submit it at your nearest SSO or CC.

Ian Tan Hanhonn