Most tax refunds are made automatically without taxpayers having to make a claim. You can expect a refund within 25 days, with 90% within 7 days. IRAS will pay you interest, other than for GST (please refer to Questions 6-8) if you do not receive your refund within 30 days from when credit arises. There are however circumstances wherein your tax credits will not be refunded and thus no interest is payable.
1. What are the circumstances when a refund will not be made automatically?
If you have other outstanding taxes or penalties due, the tax credit will be used to offset the outstanding liability.
If your tax credit is less than $15, for your convenience, the credit will be used to offset your future tax liability. However, if you would like the tax credit to be refunded to you, please email us
or write to us with the following information. Your request will be processed within 30 days from date the email or correspondence is received.
State your request for the refund;
Your Full Name/ Company's Name/ Property Address;
Tax Reference number (e.g. NRIC/ FIN/ ROC/ Property Tax reference);
Amount of credit balance due;
Email address (if any);
If you have informed us that you wish to leave the credit in your tax account to offset future taxes.
If you have made an advance payment in anticipation of a tax assessment.
If your tax credit is a result of GIRO deductions in respect of your provisional instalment plan, and your tax assessment has not been finalised for that Year of Assessment.
If you have one or more outstanding GST returns not filed.
If you are under audit or investigation by the Comptroller.
If prior attempts to refund the credit have been unsuccessful.
If you have failed to comply with any of our requests to furnish necessary information to effect the refund.
If IRAS lacks sufficient information to effect a refund to you.
If you have not replied to any outstanding assessment enquiries which may have impact upon the tax position.
If your business or company has ceased registration and there is a credit due to the business or company, please come forward to request for the refund. Refund will only be processed upon receiving your request.
If there is overpayment as a result of Withholding Tax under Section 45 of Income Tax Act remitted to the Comptroller of Income Tax. Refund claims need to be filed by the local payer who remitted the tax or non-resident whose income was liable to tax. Upon agreement by IRAS that a refund is due, IRAS will inform the local payer or non-resident and the credit will be refunded 30 days from the date IRAS agrees that there was an overpayment of tax.
There will be no automatic refund to ex-owners of a property for credits that arise from claims approved after the sale of a property. Refunds to the ex-owners will only be processed upon ex-owners' request within the time period stipulated in the letter sent by IRAS to the ex-owner.
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2. When does a tax credit arise?
The following are examples of when a credit may arise:
- Income Tax
- Amended assessment
- Property Tax
- Reduction of annual value
- Owner-occupier's concessionary tax claim
- Vacancy claim
- Goods & Services Tax
- Amended assessment
- Stamp Duty
3. How do I know if I have a tax credit in my account?
Refer to the Statement of Account sent together with your Income Tax Notice of Assessment or Property Tax Bill.
Check your account online by logging on to myTax Portal. You may login using your IRAS PIN or SingPass. Once you have logged in, select the "View Account Summary" hyperlink on the left hand menu to check your account balance.
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4. How will the credit be refunded?
Generally, if you pay your taxes through GIRO, any refund due to you will be credited directly to the same GIRO bank account. This is a fast and convenient method of receiving your refund.
If you do not have any GIRO arrangement, we will refund you via a cheque. If there are more than 2 owners to a property, the refund will be issued to the first named owner in the Notice of Transfer.
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5. What if I want the refund cheque to be made to me overseas?
Please furnish the following information stating:
- Reason for your request
- Overseas address
- Currency type (The bank draft will be issued in US dollars if the requested currency is not available)
- Your agreement to bear the bank charges
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6. Does IRAS pay interest if the refund is not made by the due date?
To demonstrate our commitment to taxpayers, our service pledge is to refund credits due within 30 days.
For all tax types except GST
We will pay interest when there is a lapse in service by IRAS to make the refund within 30 days.
Find out more about circumstances where credits will not be refunded automatically and hence no interest would be payable.
The refund due date for GST is one month, three months and six months (after IRAS receives the GST returns) for monthly, quarterly and half yearly prescribed accounting periods, respectively. We will pay interest when IRAS fails to make the refund by the due date.
However, refund may not be made by the due date for the following reasons:
- You have outstanding GST returns not filed
- You are under audit by the Comptroller and have not complied with our requests for information or
- You have outstanding taxes or penalties due
In the above circumstances, the Comptroller will pay interest if the refund is not made within 3 months after filing of the outstanding GST return(s), compliance with the request for information or deduction of the outstanding taxes and penalties from the refund. This initiative applies to refund claims submitted on or after 1 Jan 2012.
For other circumstances where credits will not be refunded automatically, no interest would be payable.
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7. What is the interest rate for late refunds?
The current interest rate is 5% per annum. This interest rate is subject to review and determined by the Ministry of Finance annually.
8. How is the interest computed?Refunds for tax types other than GST
The interest is calculated starting from the day after the 30 day period that the credit should have been refunded and ending on the day the refund is approved for payment.
Your tax assessment is finalised on 15 Jul and you have a tax credit of $5,000 to be refunded to you. IRAS is considered to be late if we do not make a refund to you by 14 Aug. If the credit is refunded to you on 30 Aug, interest will be paid on principal sum of $5,000 for the period 15 - 30 Aug (16 days) as follows:
$5,000 x 5% x 16/365 = $10.96
You will receive your refund of $5,000 together with the late refund interest of $10.96.
Refunds for GST
Example 1: For GST-registered businesses on monthly prescribed accounting period
IRAS receives your GST return for the month of June on 15 Jul and you have a tax credit of $5,000 to be refunded to you. IRAS is considered to be late if we do not make a refund to you by 15 Aug. If the credit is refunded to you on 30 Aug, interest will be paid on principal sum of $5,000 for the period 16 - 30 Aug (15 days) as follows:
$5,000 x 5% x 15/365 = $10.27
You will receive your refund of $5,000 together with the late refund interest of $10.27.
Example 2: For GST-registered businesses on quarterly prescribed accounting period
IRAS receives your GST return for the period Apr - Jun on 31 Jul with a GST refund claim of $80,000. IRAS is considered to be late if we do not make a refund to you by 31 Oct. If the credit is refunded to you on 3 Nov, interest will be paid on principal sum of $80,000 for the period 1 - 3 Nov (three days) as follows:
$80,000 x 5% x 3/365 = $32.88
You will receive your refund of $80,000 together with the late refund interest of $32.88.
Example 3: Where Comptroller asks for information on the GST refund (only for refund claims submitted on or after 1 Jan 2012)
IRAS receives your GST return for the period Jan - Mar on 30 Apr with a GST refund claim of $40,000. IRAS requests information during an audit on your refund claim. You reply to us with the full information on 1 Jun.
IRAS is considered to be late if we do not make a refund to you by 1 Sep. If IRAS refunds the $40,000 to you on 4 Sep, interest will be paid on the principal sum of $80,000 for the period 2 - 4 Sep (three days) as follows:
$40,000 x 5% x 3/365 = $16.44
You will receive your refund of $40,000 together with the late refund interest of $16.44.
9. Who should I contact on refund matters?
- IRAS' Mailing address:
55 Newton Road Revenue House Singapore 307987
- Email Us
- Fax number:
(65) 6351 4363
Individual Income Tax 1800-356 8300
Corporate Income Tax 1800-356 8622
Business Income Tax 1800-356 8300
Clearance 1800-356 8300
Property Tax 1800-356 8300
Goods & Services Tax 1800-356 8633
S45 Witholding Tax (+65) 6356 7012
- The Government has announced, as part of the FY 2011 Budget, that the TV licence will be abolished with effect from 1 Jan 2011. All 2011 TV licence fees that have been collected are to be refunded by the Media Development Authority by Apr 2011. For more information, please call 1800 478 5478 or visit www.mda.gov.sg
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