Singapore Tax Rates

Goods & Services Tax (GST)

What Is GST?

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a tax charged on the supply of goods and services made in Singapore and on the importation of goods into Singapore.

The current GST rate is 7%.

What Happens When The GST Rate Changes?

You will need to know exactly when to change the new rate. This will depend on the date you:

  • invoiced your customer
  • delievered the goods or performed the service
  • received the payment

What Goods And Services Are Subject To GST?

All goods and services are taxable and known as taxable supplies.

However, some items are specifically exempt from GST by law. Exempted items include financial services and the sale or lease of residential properties.

When Do I Pay GST?

You have to pay GST when you buy goods or services from GST-registered businesses and when you import goods into Singapore. For imports, GST is paid to Singapore Customs.

When Do I Collect GST?

You can collect GST if you register with the Comptroller of GST to collect GST.

When Is It Compulsory To Register?

Your business must be registered to collect GST if your annual turnover exceeds or is likely to exceed S$1 million from the sale of taxable goods and services.

You can apply for exemption from GST registration if most of your goods or services are exported or supplied internationally (“zero-rated supplies”).

What are types of supplies?

Examples of supplies at a glance:

Standard-Rated Supplies Zero-Rated Supplies Exempt Supplies Out-Of-Scope Supplies
Goods Most local sales would fall under this category. Goods that are exported. Sale and rental of unfurnished residential property. Goods which are sold but never enter Singapore.
Services Most local provision of services would fall under this category. Services that are classified as International Services. Financial Services. Not applicable

Can I Choose To Register?

You may also apply to the Comptroller of GST to collect GST voluntarily. Approval for voluntary registration is at the discretion of the Comptroller.

Once approval is given, you must remain registered for at least two years.

 Why Should I Register?

Most businesses register for GST to claim back the GST incurred on their business purchases.

  • When GST paid exceeds GST collected, the difference can be claimed from IRAS as a GST refund.
  • When GST collected exceeds GST paid, you have to pay the difference to IRAS.

When GST rate increase, it may make business sense to voluntarily register to collect GST in order to claim back GST incurred on business purchases.

 Who Can Register?

  • Sole proprietorships
  • Partnerships
  • Limited partnerships
  • Limited liability partnerships
  • Companies
  • Clubs, associations, management corporations or organizations
  • Non-profit organisations
  • Statutory boards
  • Government bodies

How Do I Charge GST And Claim Refunds?

When to charge GST and how to claim for refunds can be rather technical and complex.

Different GST rules apply to zero-rated supplies, exempt supplies and deemed supplies. You can find the definition of these terms in the IRAS tax glossary.

Certain items such as disbursement and donations are also outside the scope of GST. It is best to have your accountant take care of these matters for you.

If you prefer to do it yourself, you are encouraged to attend GST classes that are conducted by IRAS regularly.

What Paperwork Must I Take Care Of?

You are required to maintain your business records for all GST-related transactions for at least 5 years (effective 1st January 2007, previously was up to 7yrs). Records include tax invoices, receipts and credit notes.

How Do I File My GST Returns?

The standard procedure is to file GST returns every 3 months (quarterly). You may request for monthly or half-yearly filing instead, however, this is subject to the Comptroller’s approval.

You need to file your GST returns online (e-Filing) using myTaxPortal.

You should always file your GST returns on time to avoid penalty fees.

When Do I Pay The GST Collected To IRAS?

You must pay the net GST not later than the last day on which you are required to file your return, i.e. within 1 month after the end of your accounting period covered in the return.

For instance, if the GST return is for the quarter ending June 2009, the due date to file is 31 July 2009.

Can I De-Register Myself?

You can de-register your business from collecting GST if:

  • the annual turnover of your taxable supplies in the next 12 months falls below S$1 million; or
  • you are no longer making taxable supplies.
  • If you have voluntarily registered to collect GST, you cannot de-register your business in the first 2 years after registration, unless you have stopped making taxable supplies or ceased business.

Are There Any GST Schemes To Help Businesses?

To create a pro-enterprise environment, the Government has several assistance schemes relating to GST. These schemes generally help to ease the cash flow for businesses.

Goods and Services Tax (GST) Assistance Scheme

Get a grant to lower the costs involved in becoming a GST-registered trader. GST traders can collect GST and claim back for GST paid to suppliers.

Major Exporter Scheme (MES)

Major exporters can improve their cash flow by deferring GST payments on goods imported mainly for re-export out of Singapore.

Licensed Warehouse Scheme

Transform your warehouse into a licensed warehouse for storing dutiable goods. In licensed warehouses, duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) are suspended until the goods are released for sale into Singapore.

Zero GST Warehouse Scheme (ZGS)

Businesses can transform their warehouses into zero-GST warehouses to minimise red tape and bypass the Goods and Services Tax (GST) process.

Where Can I Download GST Guides?

To learn more about GST and how it affects your business, download these GST Guides specially prepared by IRAS for:

See full list downloadable guide