Cashback/Miles for Income Tax? Here’s How!

Tax season is here! Want to get card rewards like cashback or miles on your tax payment? Here’s how!

IRAS states that they do not accept credit card payments, citing high transaction charges imposed by the credit card companies, and they recommend other methods like paying through GIRO, or via AXS.

Method 1 → AXS

Paying via AXS allows you to use a credit card to pay for your income tax, but AXS transactions have been excluded by virtually every single card one can think of.

A notable workaround would be to top up your Grab using Amex True Cashback or UOB Absolute as both give cashback for Grab top ups. Having earned the cashback, you can then spend your Grab credits on AXS payments, and this includes tax payments to IRAS.

Cards to top up Grab

Get 1.7% with the UOB Absolute Cashback card, and up to 3% with the Amex True Cashback Card.

Amex
True Cashback

 New to Amex

Receive*

  • S$80 CapitaVouchers^
  • 3% cashback on first $5,000 of spend (Grab top ups get 1.5% instead)

*min spend of S$250 required within 30 days of card approval

UOB Absolute

🔥 👍🏼

For new-to-UOB cardholders: receive S$30 cash when you sign up. Valid till 31 Aug 2022. T&Cs apply.

The first 100 new-to-UOB credit cardmembers can receive S$150 cash credit when they apply for a card and make a min. spend of S$1,500 within 30 days from card approval date. Valid till 31 Aug 2022.

*Terms and conditions

Get 1.7% cashback on nearly anything including Grab top-ups

Method 2 → Payment services like CardUp

Another method that can give you cashback as well as miles would be to use payment services like CardUp. What happens is that you pay CardUp your tax amount with a credit card, and CardUp will charge you a service fee and transfer the amount to IRAS. You then get rewards on your credit card, provided your card does not exclude such payment services.

Total Charged to Card$1,026
CardUp Gets (Usual 2.6% Fee)$26
IRAS Gets$1,000
You GetCard Rewards

With this method, your rewards must be higher than the service fee in order for it to make sense. As such, you need to use a card with decent earn rates while decreasing the service fee with promo codes.

For mile cards, this would be akin to buying miles, which can often get you business class tickets cheaper than whatever the airline is selling them for.

For cashback, a notable card to use would be UOB One which can give as much as 5% cashback if used optimally (i.e. $2,000 of spend each month for a quarter). Coupled with promo codes, one can get more than 3% of cashback on tax (and other payments) when used on services like CardUp.

Update: this method is affected by the recent UOB One nerf. The cashback rate has fallen to 3.33% from 1st June 2022 onwards. The net cashback earned is less than before, but you should still have some cashback after paying the service fee.

Talking about promo codes, here are some you can user for payment services:

CardUp

New to CardUp
Get $30 off the fee on your first payment! Remember to use promo code SETHISFY!

ipaymy

New to ipaymy
Sign up here to get $30 off the fee on your first payment!

Method 3 (2.5, maybe) → Put your income tax on GIRO

When you put your income tax on GIRO, IRAS lets you stretch out the payment for 12 months without interest. This is great for cashflow, and you can actually opt for this, and then pay for your monthly tax payments using either Method 1 or Method 2 described above.

There is a risk of sorts when opting for this, since Methods 1 or 2 might cease to be a thing as the months go by. Grab blocked AXS transactions once before, and though they have since resumed accepting such transactions, who knows if they’d change their minds again.


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