Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Singapore

Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Singapore is a broad-based value added tax. It is levied on import of goods, as well as nearly all supplies of goods and services in the country. The only exemptions are for the sales and leases of residential properties and most financial services. Export of goods and international services are zero-rated.

As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the GST rate in Singapore is 7%. This rate applies to all consumers, both residents and tourists.

Here are some key points about GST in Singapore:

  1. GST Registration: Businesses with a taxable turnover exceeding SGD 1 million in a year are required to register for GST. However, businesses with a taxable turnover of less than SGD 1 million may also choose to register for GST voluntarily. After registering, businesses must charge GST on their supplies at the prevailing rate and periodically file GST returns.
  2. GST Filing: Registered businesses, known as GST-registered traders, are required to submit GST returns to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) periodically. This could be done on a quarterly or monthly basis, depending on the business.
  3. GST on Imports: GST is levied on all goods imported into Singapore. However, there are some relief and schemes provided by the Singapore Customs, where imports can be GST exempt, such as the Major Exporter Scheme (MES).
  4. GST Refund: Tourists can claim a refund on GST paid on their purchases when they leave Singapore, under the Tourist Refund Scheme, subject to certain conditions.
  5. Zero-Rated and Exempt Supplies: Some supplies such as exports of goods and international services are zero-rated, i.e., they are taxed at 0%. Some supplies such as financial services and residential property are exempt from GST.
  6. Changes to GST rate: There were plans announced to increase the GST rate to 9% between 2022 and 2025. However, you should check the latest updates from the IRAS as my knowledge cut-off is in September 2021.

Please note that this is a general overview, and for the most accurate and updated information, you should refer to the IRAS website or consult a tax professional.

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