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Goods and Services Tax in Singapore

Updated on Tuesday 09th August 2016

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The-Goods-and-Services-Tax-in-Singapore

The Singapore goods and services tax (GST) is the equivalent of the European value added tax and it is an indirect tax. The main law governing the appliance of this tax is the Goods and Services Tax Act which was enabled in 1999 and last amended in 2005. According to the legislation the GST will be imposed on the supply of goods or services made in Singapore or imported into the city-state. However, those paying the GST must first register with the tax authorities in Singapore. The law also provides for credits against the GST payments and also for exceptions on the GST.

You can find more about the Goods and Services Tax Act from our consultants in Singapore.

GST rates in Singapore

The goods and services tax was first enabled in 1993 and was set at a 3% rate. The last time the GST rate was modified was in 2007 when the standard rate was established at 7%. A 0% rate also applies to the export of goods and international services.

The Singapore GST can only be collected by the company supplying the goods or services once it is registered. In the case of imports, the GST will be collected by the Customs Authority. All amounts will be directed to the Singapore Inland Revenue Authority.

Registration for the GST in Singapore

GST registration in Singapore is voluntarily or compulsory. Voluntary registration is available only for Singapore companies:

  • ·         -           with an annual turnover below 1 million SGD;
  • ·         -           supplying products outside the city-state;
  • ·         -          providing financial services considered international services.

Compulsory registration for the Singapore goods and services tax applies if:

  • ·         -          the company registers an annual turnover of more than 1 million SGD;
  • ·         -          or the company expects an annual turnover of over 1 million SGD.

Among the accounting services provided by our agents in Singapore, is also GST registration.

Filing GST returns in Singapore

Singapore companies registered for GST are required to submit returns related to this tax. GST returns must be filed in accordance with the company’s accounting period which can be:

  • -       monthly;
  • -       quarterly.

The form must be completed with information about the company’s sales, exports and purchases from companies registered for GST themselves, as well as the GST collected by the end of the accounting period. The company will also mention the amount claimed for the respective period.

GST returns may be filed one day after the accounting period has ended at the latest. GST returns can now be filed electronically with the IRAS.

GST schemes in Singapore

In order to help Singapore companies, the Government has enabled several programs to help them. Among these are:

  • ·         -          the Tourist Refund Scheme which allows tourists in Singapore to claim a refund in the GST paid by a company registered for this tax in the city-state;
  • ·         -          the Under the Gross Margin Program, under which the GST is chargeable on the gross margin of the goods;
  • ·         -          the Major Exporter Scheme for trading companies;
  • ·         -          the zero GST Warehouse Scheme.

For more information about the goods and services tax levied in the city-state, do not hesitate to contact our consultants in company formation in Singapore.

 

 

Comments

  • Helen 2016-03-14

    I didn't know Singapore had such a low GST rate. Thanks for the info!

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