Automatic Refunds

Tax credits of at least $15 are automatically refunded within 30 days they arise, without a need for taxpayers to submit a claim for refund. More than 90% of the tax credits are refunded within 7 days. IRAS will pay interest on any late refund beyond 30 days. However there may be circumstances where IRAS is unable to duly refund the tax credits and hence no interest will be payable for such cases.

When Automatic Refunds Will Not Be Given

Taxpayers will not be given automatic refunds under these circumstances: 

1. Outstanding Taxes/Penalties

When the taxpayer has outstanding taxes or penalties the tax credit will be used to offset the outstanding liability.

2. Tax Credit Less Than $15

When the tax credit is less than $15, the credit will be used to offset your future tax liability for your convenience.

If you would like the tax credit to be refunded, please email or write to us. Your request will be processed within 30 days. When you email or write, please 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;
  • Contact number; and
  • Email address (if any).

3. Instruction to Leave the Credit Balance

When the taxpayer has informed IRAS to leave the credit in their tax account to offset future taxes.

4. Advance Payment of Tax Assessment

When the taxpayer has made an advance payment in anticipation of a tax assessment.

5. Credit Due to GIRO Deductions

When the tax credit is a result of GIRO deductions for your provisional instalment plan and the tax assessment has not been finalised for that Year of Assessment.

6. GST Returns Not Filed

When the taxpayer has one or more outstanding GST returns not filed.

7. Under Audit or Investigation

When the taxpayer is under audit or investigation by the Comptroller.

8. Prior Refunds Unsuccessful

When prior attempts to refund the credit have been unsuccessful.

9. Failure to Furnish Details for Refund

When the taxpayer has failed to comply with any of the requests by IRAS to furnish necessary information to effect the refund.

10. Insufficient Information

When IRAS lacks sufficient information to effect a refund to you.

11. No Reply to Assessment Enquiries

When the taxpayer has not replied to any outstanding assessment enquiries which may have impact on the tax position.

12. Company Dissolved

When the company has been dissolved and any credit in the company's account with IRAS will be handed over to the Insolvency and Public Trustee's Office (IPTO).

The shareholders of the defunct company can approach IPTO to claim the credit. For procedures on how to make a claim, see IPTO's website

13. Overpayment of Withholding Tax

When there is overpayment 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.

14. Claims Approved After Sale of Property

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.

15. Other Circumstances

When there are any other circumstances that may not permit the credit to be refunded by IRAS.

When Tax Credits Arise

Type of TaxSituations Tax Credit May Arise

Income Tax

  • Overpayment
  • Repayment
  • Amended assessment

Property Tax

  • Overpayment
  • Reduction of annual value
  • Owner-occupier's concessionary tax claim

Goods & Services Tax

  • Overpayment
  • Repayment
  • Amended assessment

Stamp Duty

  • Overpayment
  • Rescinded or aborted Sale & Purchase Agreements
  • Rescinded or cancelled documents

Checking for Tax Credits and Unclaimed Monies

To check whether you have any tax credits with IRAS:

  • Refer to the Statement of Account sent together with the Income Tax Notice of Assessment or Property Tax Bill; or
  • Log in to myTax Portal with your IRAS PIN or SingPass and select "View Account Summary" on the left hand menu to check your account balance.

To check whether you have any unclaimed credit/ monies with IRAS, please see:

How Refunds are Given

Tax credits may be refunded via GIRO, by cheque or bank draft.

Refunds via GIRO

Taxpayers who pay taxes through GIRO will receive refund through GIRO - the tax credits will be credited directly to the same GIRO account. This is a fast and convenient method of receiving refunds.

If you are using a third party's bank account for GIRO payments, refunds will be made to you by cheques.

Refunds via Cheque

Those without GIRO arrangement will receive refund by cheque. Where the property is owned by more than two persons, the refund will be issued to the first named owner in the Notice of Transfer.

Refund cheque should be deposited into your bank account within three months from the cheque issue date. Credit which remains unclaimed may be applied for offsetting against any tax payable by you.

Refunds via Bank Draft

You can write to us to request the bank draft to be sent overseas stating:

  • Reason for your request;
  • Overseas address;
  • Currency type (bank draft will be issued in US dollars if the requested currency is not available); and
  • Your agreement to bear the bank charges.

Interest on Late Refunds

Tax Refunds (Excluding GST Refunds)

IRAS will pay interest if you do not receive your refund within 30 days from the date credit arises or information/ request received.  For circumstances where credits will not be refunded automatically , no interest is payable.

Goods and Services Tax (GST) Refunds

The refund due date for GST is one month and three months (after IRAS receives the GST returns) for monthly and quarterly prescribed accounting periods, respectively.  We will pay interest when IRAS fails to make the refund by the due date.

Refunds may not be made by the due date for the following reasons:

  • The company has outstanding GST returns not filed;
  • The company is under audit by the Comptroller and has not complied with our requests for information; or
  • The company has outstanding taxes or penalties due.

Effective 1 Jan 2012, the Comptroller will pay interest if the refund is not made within three 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. For circumstances where credits will not be refunded automatically , no interest is payable.

Interest Rate for Late Refunds

The interest rate is 5.35% per annum. This interest rate is subject to annual review and determined by the Ministry of Finance. 

Computation of Interest for Late Refunds (Excluding GST)

Interest is calculated from the day after the end of the 30-day period, within which the credit should have been refunded, until the day the refund cheque is issued. For GIRO cases, interest is calculated until the date the refund is credited into your bank account.

The tax assessment was finalised on 15 Jul and you have a tax credit of $5,000 to be refunded. IRAS is considered to be late if we do not make a refund by 14 Aug.

If the credit is refunded on 30 Aug, interest will be paid on the principal sum of $5,000 for the period 15 - 30 Aug (16 days) as follows:

$5,000 x 5.35% x 16/365 = $11.73

IRAS will refund $5,000 together with the late refund interest of $11.73.

Computation of Interest for Late Refunds (GST)

IRAS receives the GST return for the month of June on 15 Jul and you have a tax credit of $5,000 to be refunded. IRAS is considered to be late if we do not make a refund by 15 Aug.

If the credit is refunded on 30 Aug, interest will be paid on the principal sum of $5,000 for the period 16 - 30 Aug (15 days) as follows:

$5,000 x 5.35% x 15/365 = $10.99

IRAS will refund $5,000 together with the late refund interest of $10.99.

IRAS receives the 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 by 31 Oct.

If the credit is refunded on 3 Nov, interest will be paid on the principal sum of $80,000 for the period 1 - 3 Nov (three days) as follows:

$80,000 x 5.35% x 3/365 = $35.18

IRAS will refund $80,000 together with the late refund interest of $35.18.

The following example applies only for refunds submitted on or after 1 Jan 2012.

IRAS receives the 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 by 1 Sep. If IRAS refunds the $40,000 on 4 Sep, interest will be paid on the principal sum of $40,000 for the period 2 - 4 Sep (three days) as follows:

$40,000 x 5.35% x 3/365 = $17.59

IRAS will refund $40,000 together with the late refund interest of $17.59.

Contact for Refund Matters

Mail:  
55 Newton Road
Revenue House
Singapore 307987

Email Us

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