23 Jul 2010
I refer to the letter “个人屋租收入与公司消费税有关吗?” (Lianhe Zaobao, 20 July)
We are reviewing Ms Chen’s case on the GST to be collected on past rental income, and have contacted her to explain the GST treatment of her case.
A GST-registered person has to charge GST on any supply of goods and services made in Singapore. In a case of a GST-registered sole-proprietor who rents out his commercial property such as an office or a shophouse, IRAS will consider a few factors when determining whether GST is chargeable. The factors would include whether the property is recognised as an asset in the sole-proprietor’s business account, and the use of the property in relation to the business. If GST is chargeable, the GST-registered sole-proprietor will need to issue a tax invoice to collect GST on the rental.
As GST is a self-assessed tax, every GST-registered person has to ensure that the GST returns filed by him are correct. This may include putting in place controls to ensure that the GST is correctly accounted for on all business purchases and supplies. Some businesses and individuals may make mistakes on GST reporting because they are unaware of the GST requirements. IRAS will consider the merits of each case and decide whether to impose, reduce or waive the penalties.
IRAS regularly conducts GST seminars and publishes GST Guides to help businesses comply with GST requirements. The seminar schedules and list of GST Guides can be found on IRAS’ website (www.iras.gov.sg). From time to time, IRAS conducts seminars and publishes relevant tax guides in Mandarin to cater to the needs of the Chinese-speaking GST-registered businesses. Taxpayers who call our GST helpline on 1800-3568633 may ask to speak to officers who are conversant in their language.
We thank Ms Chen for her feedback and the opportunity to clarify.
Deanna Choo (Ms)
Director (Corporate Communications Branch)
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore