Goods and Services Tax or GST is a broad-based consumption tax levied on the import of goods (collected by Singapore Customs), as well as nearly all supplies of goods and services in Singapore. In other countries, GST is known as the Value-Added Tax or VAT.
Taxable and non-taxable goods and services
|Type||Standard-Rated Supplies (7% GST)||Zero-Rated Supplies (0% GST)|
Most local sales fall under this category.
E.g. sale of TV set in a Singapore retail shop
Imports of low-value goods (from 1 Jan 2023)
E.g. sale of laptop to an overseas customer, where the laptop is shipped to an overseas address
Most local provision of services fall under this category.
E.g. provision of spa services to a customer in Singapore
Services that are classified as international services
E.g. air ticket from Singapore to Thailand (international transportation service)
|Type||Exempt supplies (GST is not applicable)||Out-of-scope Supplies (0% GST)|
|Goods||Sale and rental of unfurnished residential property |
Importation and local supply of investment precious metals
Sale where goods are delivered from overseas to another place overseas
See Out-of-scope supplies for more information.
Digital payment tokens (from 1 Jan 2020)
|Private transactions. See Out-of-scope supplies for more information.|
Businesses required to register for GST
Charging and claiming GST
There are exceptions where non-GST registered businesses in specific industries are given concessions (subject to conditions) by the Minister to claim the GST incurred. These exceptions are:
- Qualifying funds that are managed by a prescribed fund manager in Singapore can claim GST incurred
on prescribed expenses at an annual fixed recovery rate via remission.
Details of the GST remission (such as the types of qualifying funds, qualifying conditions, prescribed list of expenses and procedures to claim GST) are explained in the circular issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
- Real Estate Investment Trusts and Qualifying Registered Business Trusts listed on the Singapore Exchange (i.e. S-REITs and qualifying S-RBTs) can claim GST on expenses incurred for their business and their Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs).
This GST concession applies regardless whether the S-REIT or S-RBT is eligible for GST registration.
For details, please refer to GST: Concession for REITS and Qualifying Registered Business Trusts Listed in Singapore (PDF, 962KB)
To claim the GST incurred, qualifying funds, S-REITs and S-RBTs need to submit a quarterly Statement of Claims to IRAS within one month from the end of the respective quarters.
As an administrative concession, funds and trusts may file their quarterly Statement of Claims after the due date, subject to the following conditions:
- The GST claims are made on tax invoices dated within the relevant quarter; and
- The quarterly Statements of Claims are filed within 5 years from the end of the relevant quarter.
Period of claims: 1 Apr 2017 to 30 Jun 2017
Qualifying funds, S-REITs and S-RBTs can submit the Statement of Claims latest by 30 Jun 2022.
This input tax credit mechanism ensures the taxation of only the value-add at each stage of a supply chain.
Example 1: How a business charges output tax and claims input tax
A GST-registered manufacturer imports leather from overseas to manufacture a bag. The manufacturer sells the bag to a GST-registered retailer. Thereafter, the retailer sells the bag to a consumer.
Pays GST to Singapore Customs for the import of leather
Import value = $100
Import GST paid = 7% X $100 = $7 (input tax claimable from IRAS)
Charges and collects GST for sale of bags to retailer
Selling price to retailer = $200
GST charged to retailer = 7% X $200 = $14 (output tax payable to IRAS)
Pays GST to Manufacturer
Purchase value = $200
GST paid = 7% X $200=$14 (input tax claimable from IRAS)
Charges and collects GST for sale of bags to end consumer
Selling price to end consumer = $300
GST charged to end consumer = 7% X $300 = $21 (output tax payable to IRAS)
|3. End consumer|
Pays GST to Retailer
Paying output tax and claiming input tax
- You must submit your GST return to IRAS within a month from the end of each prescribed accounting period. This is usually done on a quarterly basis.
- You should report both your output tax and input tax in your GST return.
- The difference between output tax and input tax is the net GST that is payable to IRAS or refundable by IRAS.
Why must Singapore implement GST?
GST was introduced in 1 Apr 1994 to enable Singapore to shift its reliance from direct taxes to indirect taxes. GST has also enabled Singapore to sustain a lower income tax rate. Being a tax on consumption, and not income, GST inherently encourages savings and investments.