So I finally hit the USD100 threshold to get paid by Google AdSense. I received an email from Google asking me to add my banking details but after doing so a red notice appeared asking me to key in my Singapore Tax Info.
I was super confused because I’m Malaysian and a tax resident in my country not Singapore. It was very hard to find clear information for Malaysians on this even after searching Google AdSense forums and Reddit. Even when I found some guides, it was for YouTubers and not bloggers.
So here’s what I did to solve this issue (Disclaimer: This is not legal advice, I am just an individual sharing my experience. Always consult a qualified & licensed tax advisor for advice if unsure):
First and foremost, I had to apply for a “Certificate of Residency (COR)” or “Sijil Taraf Mastautin” from LHDN. Read more here: https://www.hasil.gov.my/en/individual/individual-life-cycle/residence-status/certificate-of-residence/
Why? Because Malaysia and Singapore are treaty partners. This is to help you avoid double taxation on your AdSense income. The application is FREE, however the COR is only valid for 12 months so you will have to reapply the following year.
Application is done through the MyTax portal under e-Residence here: https://mytax.hasil.gov.my/ezHasil?data=e-Residence&id=ezHasil%20sebelum
Things you will need for the COR application (individual):
- Your Tax Identification No. (TIN) – get from your income tax e-filling report
- A copy of your passport (front page + all pages that are stamped)
How to fill up the application form:
Again, this is just my experience. I went in blindly as well so some parts I’m not 100% sure. Go to the e-Residence website. Enter your TIN and the security phrase, then click search. Once your name appears in the search results, click on “new application”.
You will be taken to the COR application form with several “parts” in the form (Part A to E). Part A is your personal taxpayer’s information of which most of the information will be pre-filled out for you. If you have a business here’s where you enter your business info as well. For me as an individual I left those all blank. Business address is my home address (this was automatically filled for me).
Part B is the COR application, here’s what I keyed in for mine. I think it should be fine to follow since mine was approved. Please note I did this without any guides so I wasn’t too sure as well.
I got the Foreign Payer name and address from Google AdSense Help:
Part C I left blank. I’m not too sure, sorry. It will ask for the date of entry and exit from Malaysia. I’m assuming it’s because to qualify as a tax resident you would have to be in Malaysia for 182 days or more in a calendar year. So although I did go overseas for a short holiday in 2023, I didn’t fill this part up.
Part D is where you upload the copy of your passport (front page & stamped pages). Choose your supporting document type and upload.
Part E is the declaration that all the information is true and then you just submit your application.
It takes up to 10 working days but personally I received mine within 1 day of re-submitting the proper documents. I had submitted a copy of my passport front page initially but was asked to submit all stamped pages for verification. Once I did, my application was approved the next day.
Once it is approved, you will get an email notification and then you can go back to the MyTax e-Residence portal, go to “Check Certificate” then click “View Certificate” to download your COR.
Now back to your AdSense payment info page
Note that I had already entered my bank info to the payment method page before this. If you haven’t done so it would be good to do that first. Just fill in your bank account information & search the SWIFT code online. Each bank in Malaysia has their own swift code for foreign transfers. Then I clicked on input tax info and was brought to this page. Here’s how I filled it up as a Malaysian:
Fill up the business info as below if you’re an individual like me.
Now for Malaysians, because we have a treaty with Singapore.. this part of the form is where you tick Yes for tax exemption and upload your COR document:
Then submit and wait for them to review your tax info (3 – 5 business days). Mine took around 9 days in total (including weekends). Submitted on 10th Jan and accepted on 19th Jan.
My transfer was then processed on 21st Jan, and I received it in my bank account within 3 working days on 24th Jan. 🙂
Hope this helps!