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Compulsory and Voluntary Registration of GST in Singapore

Implemented on 1st April 1994, Singapore’s Goods & Services Tax (GST) is a broad-based consumption tax charged on:

  • Supply of taxable goods and services in made in Singapore, i.e. place of supply is in Singapore, by a taxable person made in the course or furtherance of any business; and
  • Importation of all goods (whether for domestic consumption, sale, or re-export), regardless of whether the importer is GSTregistered or not.

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) assesses, collects and enforces payment of GST, which is also known as Value Added Tax (VAT) in many other countries. The current Singapore GST rate stands at 7%.

GST registration is not automatic in Singapore. Unless already registered, businesses are required to continually assess the need to be registered for GST, based on their Total Taxable Turnover over a 12-month period.

Compulsory Registration

Registering for GST is compulsory when a company’s Total Taxable Turnover exceeds S$1 million over a 12-month period OR is reasonably forecast to exceed S$1 million over a 12-month period, based on signed contracts and orders.

A company must make a GST application to IRAS within 30 days from the time it is deemed liable to avoid a late submission penalty.

Voluntary Registration

A cost-benefit analysis on the impact GST registration would likely reveal incentives for voluntarily registering for GST when a company is not required to so. For example, it makes financial sense to be GST-registered if most of a company’s suppliers are also GST-registered, as it would reduce actual cost of goods and services by 7%. Also, if a company imports goods into Singapore before exporting out to other countries, or purchases goods from GST suppliers to export out, it most likely will save on the GST charged by these suppliers. Once approved, a company will need to remain registered for a minimum of 2 years and adhere to record keeping, accounting and filing obligations stipulated by IRAS.

Taxable and Non Taxable Goods and Services

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GST Registration

Charging & Collecting GST

Record Keeping & Filing Requirements

Tax Invoices for filing GST Returns

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Company

Total Taxable Turnover = combined revenue, fees and income from:

  • all business activities
  • sole-proprietorship businesses
  • rental of commercial properties
  • rental of furniture & fittings

Partnership

Total Taxable Turnover = combined revenue, fees and income from:

  • all partnership businesses with same composition of partners
  • rental of commercial properties
  • rental of furniture & fittings

Sole Proprietorship

Total Taxable Turnover = combined revenue, fees and income from:

  • all businesses
  • self-employed profession or vocation
  • rental of commercial properties
  • rental of furniture & fittings

Exemption from Registration

A company is eligible to apply for GST exemption when zero-rated supplies constitute more than 90% of its total taxable supplies, even if its taxable turnover exceeds S$1 million, OR, if its input tax is greater than its output tax.

  • Charge and Account for GST on Standard-Rated Supplies
  • File GST Returns and Pay Tax Due
  • Keep Proper Business and Accounting Records
  • Display Prices with GST
  • Issue Tax Invoices with GST Registration Numbers
  • Inform IRAS of Changes
  • Accounting for GST at Point of De-Registration
  • a fine not exceeding S$10,000
  • a penalty equal to 10% of the tax due in
    respect of each year or part thereof
    commencing from the date on which you
    are required to make the notification or to
    apply for registration
  • a further penalty of S$50 for every day
    during which the offence continues after
    conviction.
  • Output tax is the GST that is charged and collected by GST-registered
    businesses from their customers and is to be paid to IRAS
  • Input tax is the GST that businesses incurred on their purchases from GST-registered suppliers or
    when they import goods into Singapore

if Net GST is positive (i.e. Output tax > Input tax), this will be the amount
that is payable by you to IRAS

if Net GST is negative (i.e. Output tax < Input tax), this will be the amount that
is to be refunded to you by IRAS

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