Requirement to Register for GST

Charities and non-profit organisations are required to register for GST if their annual taxable supplies exceed S$1 million even if they are engaged mostly in non-business activities.

For more information on GST registration, please refer to Registering for GST.

Receiving Grants, Donations & Sponsorships

When you receive grants, donations and sponsorship freely from the givers, and do not provide benefits in return to the givers, the amounts received do not attract GST (i.e. you do not need to account for GST on the grants, donations and sponsorship).

However, when you provide benefits in return to the giver of grants, donations and sponsorship, you are treated as making a supply. You have to account for output tax at the prevailing tax rate on the open market value (OMV) of the benefits.

When the OMV is not available, you should account for GST at tax fraction (e.g. 7/107) on the money received or at the prevailing tax rate on OMV of goods or services received.

For more information and examples, please refer to Receiving grants and Receiving donations and sponsorship.

Donations to Registered Charities or Institutions of a Public Character (IPC)

Certain donations to registered charities or IPC are deemed to be pure donations even when there is a benefit given in return for the donations. The recipient of the donations need not account for GST.

To qualify for the concessionary tax treatment, the benefits must be treated as having no commercial value. The following conditions must be met:

  1. The benefit is given in acknowledgement of the donation; and
  2. The benefit has no resale value.

Claiming Input Tax

Input Tax Incurred for Wholly Business Activities

Input tax incurred for business activities to make taxable supplies is claimable, subject to the input tax claiming conditions.

Input Tax Incurred for Non-Business Activities


Free Activities

Non-business activities are generally activities of philanthropic, religious, political or patriotic nature for the public domain.

Input tax incurred for non-business activities provided for free is not claimable.

For example, you may incur input tax for the provision of free talks or free medical services that benefit the public. Such input tax is not claimable.

Subsidised Activities

You may perform activities that consist of business and non-business elements.

For example, you organise a public performance for philanthropic purpose and charge the attendee a nominal fee. In this case, the business element refers to the nominal fee charged. The non-business element refers to the subsidised part of the fee (i.e. not borne by the attendee) that is funded by non-business receipts such as outright donations and grants.

Input tax incurred for subsidised activities which consist of business and non-business elements, has to be apportioned.

To determine the amount of input tax claimable, take the input tax incurred for activities multiply by [Amount charged after subsidy / (Amount charged after subsidy plus Non-business income*)].

*Non-business income comprises non-taxable receipts of donations, sponsorships and grants that fund the activities.

If you face difficulties in attributing the input tax incurred for the various activities (wholly business activities, free activities and subsidised activities) a simpler basis of apportionment is allowed. For details, please refer to GST Guide for Charities and Non-profit Organisations (350KB).

  • I am in charge of organising a food festival. Customers of participating outlets will get a chance to win a car. A third party sponsors the car. In return for the prize, I provide an advertising banner for the car sponsor. Do I have to account for GST?

    Yes, you have to account for GST on the advertising services you provide to the sponsor. The value is based on the open market value of the advertising services. The sponsor has to account for GST on the car if he is GST-registered.
  • I am organising a charity show where donors can call our hotline to donate. Are the administrative fees imposed by my telephone operator subject to GST?

    For each call or SMS message to a specific hotline to make donation, the service provider (separate from the charity) may impose an administrative fee for the service rendered.

    If the service provider is a GST-registered person, the administrative fee is subject to GST. This is similar to other local telephone call charges.


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