Like any other GST-registered persons, GST-registered non-legal entities are entitled to claim input tax and required to account for GST on the purchase and supply of business properties respectively.

Property Transactions by Non-Legal Entities

Under the GST Act, non-legal entities including partnerships and limited partnerships (but excluding limited liability partnerships), charities, societies and other unincorporated bodies can register for GST. Like other GST-registered entities, they can claim input tax and must account for GST on their purchases and sales of business properties respectively.

Due to the lack of legal capacity, non-legal entities may hold properties (movable, immovable and intellectual) for their business through legal entities that act as bare trustees for them. These bare trustees, whether individuals or companies, are appointed solely to hold properties on behalf of the non-legal entities. Typically, these trustees have no duties other than to act on the instructions of the non-legal entities when supplying the property. For partnerships, the partner(s) can hold the partnership properties on behalf of the partnership.

Claiming of Input Tax

GST-registered non-legal entities can claim input tax* for the GST incurred on properties acquired through their bare trustees. To do so, they must maintain the following:

  • Tax invoice addressed to the bare trustee; and
  • Documents (e.g. trust deed) or records showing that the purchase is made by the bare trustee on behalf of the GST-registered non-legal entity.

*subject to conditions for input tax claim

Accounting of Output Tax

The non-legal entities must account for output tax on supplies of properties made on their behalf by the bare trustees. This requirement also extends to deemed supplies, including:

  • Properties given away for free (click here for more information);
  • Properties put to personal or non-business use (click here for more information); and
  • Properties held at point of de-registration (click here for more information).