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MOF Invites The Public To Give Feedback On The Goods And Services Tax (GST) (Amendment) Bill 2013

05 Aug 2013

The Ministry of Finance will be conducting a public consultation on the draft GST (Amendment) Bill 2013 from 5 to 25 August 2013.

Proposed Amendments

2. The draft GST (Amendment) Bill 2013 provides for changes to existing tax policies and tax administration that arose from on-going reviews of our GST system. These include:

a) Providing for enforcement powers in relation to fraudulent claims under the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS). To facilitate investigation and prosecution, the Comptroller of GST and authorised persons will be allowed to seize goods and arrest persons where TRS fraud is suspected;

b) Allowing GST obligations to be imposed on the new local agent. Where there is a change of local agent between the time of import and the subsequent supply of goods, the GST obligations may be imposed on the new local agent;

c) Refining the scope of disclosure of information on taxpayers and clarifying confidentiality obligations. The circumstances under which IRAS will be allowed to disclose information will be expanded to include:

  • Disclosure of anonymised information to Government and Statutory Boards for statistical or research purposes; and
  • Disclosure of information relating to professional misconduct to the relevant professional body and authority for their investigation of the said misconduct.

The Act will also be amended to clarify the obligations of all recipients to observe the confidentiality of taxpayer information;

d) Providing for repayment of GST from the purchaser under the Approved Refiner and Consolidator Scheme. If a person has been allowed under the scheme to purchase goods without GST, but was subsequently found to be ineligible for such a benefit at the time of purchase, he will be required to repay the GST to the Comptroller; and

e) Clarifying the definition of “refine” used in the Approved Refiner and Consolidator Scheme for refiners of precious metals. This is a technical change to clarify that “refine” includes casting precious metals into another form.

3. The draft GST (Amendment) Bill 2013 also provides for the following changes that arose from non-tax policies:

a) Allowing IRAS to directly share with the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and Singapore Police Force (SPF) information that is needed for the domestic investigation of money laundering of proceeds of serious tax crimes. Since 1 July 2013, the money laundering of proceeds of serious tax crimes has been designated as a criminal offence. The proposed changes will enable CAD and SPF to obtain information from IRAS for investigating money laundering of proceeds of serious tax crimes, without having to go through a court process as is currently required; and

b) Expanding the definition of “public officer” to include IRAS officers for the purpose of deducting tax arrears from Government payments. This is to make clear that IRAS may directly deduct any outstanding taxes of a taxpayer from the amount to be paid by the Government to that taxpayer under any law, contract or scheme.

Consultation Details

4.  The public can access the consultation documents and explanations for the draft GST (Amendment) Bill 2013 on the Ministry of Finance's website ( and the REACH consultation portal ( Respondents may send their comments to the Ministry of Finance directly via the website, email, fax or post.   

5 AUGUST 2013