Parliamentary Question by Mr Thomas Chua Kee Seng:
To ask the Minister for Finance in view of the rapid development of the digital economy whereby local businesses and consumers will increasingly buy goods and services from overseas suppliers (a) what steps are being taken to level the playing field between GST-registered local suppliers and non-GST registered overseas suppliers; and (b) when will the implementation of measures to level the playing field take place.
Parliamentary Reply by Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat:
1. As mentioned by the Minister for Finance in his Budget statement in February this year, we are studying how we could make the necessary adjustments to our GST system, to ensure that local businesses which are GST-registered, are not disadvantaged due to digital transactions and cross-border trade.
2. In May 2017, IRAS launched its consultation papers on the proposed reverse charge and overseas vendor registration regime to seek feedback and suggestions from the various stakeholders. IRAS is in the process of engaging these businesses and associations on the different ideas for taxing such cross-border goods and services in the digital economy. A wide range of segments are being engaged, including financial institutions, e-commerce companies, electronic marketplace operators, logistics players and consultancy firms. We are also monitoring developments in other countries. We will take into account the feedback gathered and the issues raised in our review. If any measure is to be announced by the Government, lead time will be provided for implementation.