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For GST-registered businesses

GST ACAP is a compliance initiative for businesses that set up robust GST Control Framework as part of good corporate governance. Businesses can on a voluntary basis conduct a holistic risk-based review to endorse the effectiveness of their GST controls. In the long run, a structure and a visible function properly set up to evaluate the impact of GST on the business transactions will ensure the completeness and accuracy of GST reporting. In turn, a reduced risk of non-compliance with GST law ("GST risks") will ultimately allow businesses to reap productivity gains - savings in both time and money.

From 2011 to 2014, more than 300 businesses from different industries have been successful in their application for ACAP. Of these, about 10% opted to undertake ACAP despite being unsuccessful in obtaining co-funding.

As at 30 Jun 2014, over 200 businesses have attained ACAP status.   

On this page:
Who is suitable for ACAP?
What are the eligibility conditions for applying ACAP?
Who can conduct ACAP?
How does ACAP work?
If you attain the ACAP status, what are the benefits your business can enjoy?
What are the incentives for early participation?
How to apply for ACAP participation?

Who is suitable for ACAP?

This programme is suited for businesses that:

  • Have complex structures and business models;
  • Engage in voluminous transactions;
  • Place emphasis on tax risk management as part of their corporate governance; and
  • Rely on extensive in-built controls in their systems and processes to generate timely and accurate data for financial and tax reporting.

Businesses that have established GST Control Framework at 3 critical levels (Entity Level, Transaction Level and GST Reporting Level) can undertake ACAP voluntarily. The elements of GST Control Framework are:

Critical Level Objectives Control Features
Entity Level

Senior Management *
Incorporates GST risk management approach as part of the corporate governance.

Senior Management and/or Boards of Directors
Maintains oversight of important GST matters.

Control features pertaining to GST are established in:
  • Control Environment
  • Control Activities
  • System Controls
  • Change Management
  • Information and Communication
  • Monitoring and Review
Transaction Level Ensure the transactions are:
  • properly tax classified
  • accurately captured

Essential preventive and detective controls are established for Sales and Purchases Cycles to manage GST risks.

Two main GST risks are:

Compliance risk
Risk that a transaction may not be correctly tax classified or comply with requirements under the GST law.

Processing risk
Risk that the processes in capturing the transaction may not be effective in generating accurate data.

GST Reporting Level

Ensure data extracted and compiled for reporting in GST returns are accurate and complete.

Control features are established at:
  • extraction of data
  • compilation of data (including making adjustments to comply with GST reporting rules)
  • filing of GST returns

* Senior management refers to persons charged with executive responsibilities for the conduct of the entity’s operations such as Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer.

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What are the eligibility conditions for applying ACAP?

You are eligible for ACAP if you meet the following conditions:

(i) You have established acceptable GST Control Framework with key controls (listed in the ’Self-Review of GST Controls’) established at Entity, Transaction and GST Reporting levels.
(ii) The auditor’s opinion on your latest financial statements is unqualified.
(iii) You are registered for GST for at least 3 years.
(iv) You are currently not under any GST audit conducted by IRAS.
(v) You have good compliance records (including no tax outstanding with IRAS) for GST, Income Tax, Property Tax and with the Singapore Customs.
(vi) You commit to engage a qualified ACAP Reviewer to conduct ACAP Review.

To find out more about ACAP, please read e-Tax Guide on GST: Assisted Compliance Assurance Programme (ACAP) (477KB).

You may refer to Self-Review of GST Controls (391KB) and GST ACAP Control Framework Calculator (1.6MB) to assess whether your GST Control Framework is ready for ACAP.

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Who can conduct ACAP?

ACAP must be conducted by an independent ACAP Reviewer to verify that the GST Controls at Entity, Transaction and GST Reporting Levels are working well for the 12-month period of review.

The ACAP Reviewer can be:

(i) a Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firm or its tax affiliate where the team lead is an Accredited^ Tax Advisor (GST) of Singapore Institute of Accredited Tax Professionals (SIATP); or

(ii) an independent in-house Internal Audit (IA) team and the team member is an Accredited^ Tax Practitioner (GST) or an Accredited Tax Advisor (GST) of SIATP; or

(iii) a team comprising both (i) and (ii).

The scope of review of GST Controls is based on the methodology set out in GST ACAP Review Guidance (960KB).

^ For more details on accreditation, please refer to the SIATP  website.

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How does ACAP work?

There are 4 milestones in the ACAP Process:
ACAP: Milestones in ACAP Review Process
To find out the details of each milestone, please read the e-Tax Guide (477KB) and GST ACAP Review Guidance (960KB).

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If you attain the ACAP status, what are the benefits your business can enjoy?

If your independent ACAP Reviewer verifies that your GST controls at all 3 levels are working well in managing GST risks and ensuring continual GST compliance and you attain certain benchmarks in the level of controls, you will be accorded either:

  • ACAP Status ‘Premium’ (for 5 years) or
  • ACAP Status ‘Merit’ (for 3 years).

To find out the details of the benchmarks required for the 3 level of controls, please read paragraph 9 of the e-Tax Guide (477KB).

You will enjoy the following benefits during the 5 or 3 years period of your ACAP Status:

  • Step down of IRAS-GST compliance activities unless significant anomalies are noted in your GST declarations;
  • Expeditious GST refunds (if  applicable);
  • Dedicated officer to handle GST rulings and resolve your GST issues expeditiously;
  • Faster issuance of rulings and resolution of your GST issues raised with IRAS; and
  • Auto-renewal of GST schemes that is applicable to you.

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What are the incentives for early participation?

Businesses adopting ACAP framework show their commitment towards proactive tax risk management and in building a robust GST compliance infrastructure to ensure GST compliance on an ongoing basis.

To signal support for businesses that have implemented effective GST Control Framework and sought independent verification that the controls work well, IRAS will offer incentives for the period from 5 Apr 2011 to 31 Mar 2019.

For more information, please refer to ACAP Incentives.

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How to apply for ACAP participation?

To apply for ACAP, please complete form GST F23 - Notification of Participation of GST Assisted Compliance Assurance programme (ACAP) (313KB).

If you do not wish to undertake ACAP, you are encouraged to adopt the GST Control Practices in the Self-Review of GST Controls to enhance your GST Control Framework and improve GST compliance capability, where appropriate.

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Relevant materials at a glance

e-Tax Guide on GST: Assisted Compliance Assurance Programme (ACAP) (477KB)
GST ACAP Review Guidance (960KB) (Appendix 1 of the e-Tax Guide)
Self-Review of GST Controls (391KB) (Appendix 1 - Annex 1 of the e-Tax Guide) and GST ACAP Control Framework Calculator (1.6MB)
Other annexes to the GST ACAP Review Guidance (380KB)
Information Leaflet on ACAP Annual Review (89KB) (Appendix 2 of the e-Tax Guide)
GST F23 - Notification of Participation of GST Assisted Compliance Assurance Programme (ACAP) (313KB)
GST F24 - Claim for Co-funding of GST Assisted Compliance Assurance Programme (ACAP) (62KB)
GST F28 - ACAP Annual Review Declaration (107KB)

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Last Updated on 25 July 2014

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