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Parliamentary Replies

GST Paid by Foreigners Residing in Singapore, Tourists and Top 20% of Households, and GST Refunds Disbursed to Tourists

08 Nov 2022

Parliamentary Questions by Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim:

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance of the estimated more than 60 percent of net GST that is accounted for by foreigners residing in Singapore, tourists, and the top 20 per cent of resident households, what is the share paid by each group.  

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance between 2016 and 2021, what is the Ministry’s estimate on the proportion and amount of GST revenue that are paid by non-residents.

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance how much has the Tourism Refund Scheme paid out in GST refunds for tourists between 2010 and 2021.  

Parliamentary Reply by Senior Minister of State for Finance, Mr Chee Hong Tat:

Mr Speaker, may I have your permission to answe Parliamentary Questions *11, *12, and *13 together as they touch on the same matter? 

MOF has estimated that households and individuals paid around $6.8 billion of GST annually in 2018 and 2019, after netting off refunds under the Tourist Refund Scheme. After further netting off GST Vouchers of over $1 billion provided annually to Singaporean households, the net annual GST from households and individuals was estimated to be around $5.7 billion. Tourists and foreigners residing in Singapore accounted for around 50% of this net GST, while the top 20% of resident households accounted for close to 20%.  We have not used data for 2020 and 2021, as they are not representative of general consumption patterns due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On the Tourist Refund Scheme, from 2010 to 2019, an average of around $200 million per year was refunded to tourists. This works out to just around 2% of total GST collections. The refunds in 2020 and 2021 were much lower, averaging at around $22 million per year, due to travel restrictions associated with COVID-19.