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For GST-registered businesses

You may have incurred GST (input tax) on:

You are entitled to claim input tax incurred if all of the conditions for claiming input tax are satisfied.  The input tax should be claimed in the accounting period corresponding to the date shown in the tax invoice or import permit.

On this page:
Conditions for claiming input tax
Disallowed input tax claims
Common items – Can I claim input tax?

Conditions for claiming input tax

  •  You are GST-registered;
  • The goods or services must have been supplied to you or the goods have been imported by you;
    • For local purchases:
      The input tax claims must be supported by tax invoices or simplified tax invoices addressed to you.
    • For imports: 
      The input tax claims must be supported by import permits which show you as the importer of the goods.
  • The goods or services are used or to be used for the purpose of your business;
  • The input tax is directly attributable to taxable supplies (i.e. standard-rated supplies and zero-rated supplies), or out-of-scope supplies which would be taxable supplies if made in Singapore;
  • The input tax claims are not disallowed under Regulation 26 and 27 of the GST (General) Regulations.

Determining ‘for the purpose of business’

Goods and services are used for the purpose of business if they are attributable to business activities which are mainly concerned with making of supplies for a consideration (i.e. payment in the form of money or in kind).

Some examples of non-business activities are:

  • Purely private or personal activities
  • Free activities provided without commercial reasons
  • Activities with non-business objects in philanthropic, religious, political, patriotic or public domain

To help you determine business and non-business activities for GST purpose, please refer to GST on Non-Business Receipts (653KB). If you are carrying on both business and non-business activities, you can only claim input tax attributable to business activities for the making of taxable supplies.

 
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Disallowed input tax claims

The following expenses cannot be claimed as input tax incurred as provided under Regulations 26 and 27 of the GST (General) Regulations:

  • Club subscription fees (including transfer fees) charged by sporting and recreational clubs;
  • Medical expenses incurred by your staff unless they are mandatory under the Work Injury Compensation Act or under any collective agreement within the meaning of the Industrial Relations Act;
  • Medical and accident insurance premiums incurred for your staff unless the insurance or payment of compensation is mandatory under the Work Injury Compensation Act or under any collective agreement within the meaning of the Industrial Relations Act;
  • Benefits provided to the family members or relatives of your staff;
  • Costs and running expenses incurred on private registered motor cars;
  • Expenses incurred on company cars of which the COE has been renewed or extended on or after 1 April 1998;
  • Expenses incurred on rental cars hired for use on or after 1 July 1999; and
  • Any transaction involving betting, sweepstakes, lotteries, fruit machines or games of chance.

 
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Common items – Can I claim input tax?

Item Can I claim input tax?

Expenses incurred by employees on behalf of the company

E.g. Expenses incurred for making business calls using employee’s personal mobile phone.                

Input tax claims are allowed* if you can prove that the employee is acting as an agent of the taxable person (i.e. the business) in receiving the supply of goods or services. For example, evidence of reimbursements made to the employee and recognising the bills as business expenses in your accounts etc. 

You need to segregate the business expenses from the private expenses. GST incurred for the private expenses is not claimable.

*subject to conditions for input tax claim

Entertainment expensesNew!

Input tax claims are allowed* if you maintain supporting tax invoice addressed to you or simplified tax invoice if the purchase value (including GST) is not more than $1,000.

With effect from 1 Feb 2014, as an administrative concession, for purchases exceeding $1,000 (including GST), you can claim the input tax incurred with a simplified tax invoice if you maintain alternative documentary payment evidence and information on entertainment details (such as name of person entertained, purpose of entertainment, person incurring the expenses, etc) to support your claim. This concession is applicable only to food and drinks.  In the event that the expense comprises of items other than food and drinks (e.g. rental of yacht), a proper tax invoice is still required to support the full claim.

*subject to conditions for input tax claim

Medical expenses for your staff

Input tax claims are disallowed under Regulation 26 of the GST (General) Regulations.

However, input tax claims are allowed* if the medical expenses e.g. pre-employment and annual health screening expenses are mandatory under the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) or under any collective agreement under the Industrial Relations Act. Please visit Ministry of Manpower (MOM) webpage on WICA or contact MOM at (+65) 6438 5122. Alternatively, you may contact your insurance agent to determine if the insurance is obligatory under WICA.

*subject to conditions for input tax claim

Medical and accident insurance premiums for your staff

Input tax claims are disallowed under Regulation 26 of the GST (General) Regulations.

However, input tax claims are allowed* if such insurance or the payment of compensation is mandatory under the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) or under any collective agreement under the Industrial Relations Act. Please visit Ministry of Manpower (MOM) webpage on WICA or contact MOM at (+65) 6438 5122. Alternatively, you may contact your insurance agent to determine if the insurance is obligatory under WICA.

*subject to conditions for input tax claim

Cost and running expenses of motor vehicles

E.g. Cost incurred for purchase of car, lorry and motorcycle

E.g. Running expenses such as petrol and parking fees 

Private registered motor car and rental cars hired for use on or after 1 July 1999
Input tax claims are disallowed under Regulation 27 of the GST (General) Regulations.

Other motor vehicles (e.g. lorry, van, motorcycle)
For motor vehicles that do not fall under the definition of a ‘motor car’ (i.e. constructed or adapted for the carriage of not more than 7 passengers exclusive of the driver and the weight of which unladen does not exceed 3,000 kilograms), the input tax claims are allowed*.

*subject to conditions for input tax claim

Purchase of goods that you give away for free to customers, suppliers, staff etc.

E.g. Gifts, samples and lucky draw prizes

Input tax claims are allowed*.

*subject to conditions for input tax claim

Club subscription fees charged by sporting and recreational clubs

E.g. Joining fee, subscription fee, membership fee and transfer fee

Input tax claims are disallowed under Regulation 26 of the GST (General) Regulations.

Expenses for use of club facilities

E.g. Green fees, buggy fees, rental of golf bag locker and dining at club restaurants

Input tax claims are allowed*.

*subject to conditions for input tax claim

Family benefits for staff

E.g. School fees for child of your expatriate staff 

Input tax claims are disallowed under Regulation 26 of the GST (General) Regulations.
Public liability insurance

As an administrative concession, with effect from 01 Oct 2007, input tax claims are allowed* in full.

However, the administrative concession is not applicable if the premiums relating to the insurance coverage of costs of medical treatment to third parties can be separately identified. You can only claim GST incurred on that part of the premiums not relating to the cover of medical costs.

*subject to conditions for input tax claim

GST/VAT  incurred for purchases made overseas

E.g. GST charged to you under the Australian tax jurisdiction 

Input tax claims are disallowed because the GST/VAT was paid to a party outside of Singapore tax jurisdiction.

 
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FAQs

Total value of taxable purchases (Box 5):
Declare the value of all your imports, standard-rated and zero-rated purchases and expenses (excluding the GST amount) made in the course or furtherance of your business.

Input tax and refunds claimed (Box 7):
Declare the input tax (i.e. GST amount) incurred for your imports, standard-rated purchases and expenses made in the course or furtherance of your business.


You should declare the GST reflected in the import permit issued by Singapore Customs as your input tax in Box 7 of the GST return.  Please ensure that there is no duplicate claim on the same purchase/ import.

However, for the value of taxable purchase in Box 5, you may declare either:

1) The value of imports reflected on the import permit; or
2) The value of goods reflected on your invoice.

Where the value reflected in the invoice issued by your supplier is different from the value reflected in the import permit, you should be able to reconcile the two values.  For over-declaration or under-declaration of value of import, please refer to Mistakes in import declaration for what you should do.



Where purchases are negotiated in foreign currencies, your supplier has to indicate the GST payable on the tax invoice in Singapore dollars at a rate of exchange determined by him.

You should claim GST incurred on such purchases based on the Singapore dollar GST stated in the tax invoice. This requirement is still applicable even though you may have recorded the Singapore dollar value of the purchases in your own books at a rate of exchange different from that used by the supplier.


No, you cannot claim any credit from the Comptroller of GST.


 

 

 

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Last Updated on 6 May 2014


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