subpage banner

Goods and Services Tax

What is GST?

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a tax that is paid on goods or services consumed domestically, including imports.

GST is a multi-stage tax that is collected at each stage of the production and distribution chain.

  • Output GST - the GST that a GST-registered business charges on its local supplies of goods and services. Output GST is collected by the business on behalf of the Government.
  • Input GST - the GST that a GST-registered business pays on its purchases of goods and services for business purposes.

To determine the net amount of GST payable by or refundable to the GST-registered business in a given period, the input tax paid is deducted from the output tax collected in that period.

 

What does GST apply to?

GST is levied on:

a) goods and services supplied in Singapore by GST-registered persons;

b) goods imported into Singapore (unless these goods are investment precious metals or are granted import relief); and

c) Imported services procured from overseas suppliers. With effect from 1 January 2020, GST is chargeable on business-to-consumer (“B2C”) imported digital services under the overseas vendor registration regime and business-to-business (“B2B”) imported services by way of a reverse charge.

In general, a supply of goods and services is either taxable or exempt.

 

Taxable goods and services

A taxable supply is one that is standard-rated or zero-rated.

  • Standard-rated supply - GST is chargeable at 7%.
  • Zero-rated supply - GST is applied at 0% for the transaction. A GST-registered person charges GST at 0% on his zero-rated supplies, but he can claim the GST paid on his purchases to make those supplies. In Singapore, only exports of goods and international services are zero-rated.

 

Exempt goods and services

No GST is levied on a supply that is exempt from GST.

  • Exempt supply – A GST-registered person does not charge any GST on his exempt supplies and generally cannot claim the GST incurred on goods or services used to make the exempt supplies. In Singapore, the sale and lease of residential properties, financial services, investment precious metals, and digital payment tokens (from 1 January 2020) are exempt from GST.

If you wish to know how to register for GST, or to browse the relevant details and forms, visit the IRAS website

Read also: How GST and GST Voucher Are Part Of A Fair System (Infographics) (icon_pdf342 KB)



What is GST?

Goods and services tax (GST) is a tax on domestic consumption. It is paid when money is spent on goods or services, including imports.

GST is a multi-stage tax which is collected at every stage of the production and distribution chain.

  • "Output tax" is the GST a registered trader charges on his local supplies of goods and services. The GST is collected by him on behalf of the Comptroller of GST.

  • "Input tax" is the GST that the trader has paid on purchases of goods and services for the purpose of his business. The trader may claim a refund on the input tax paid.


When was GST introduced in Singapore?

GST was introduced in Singapore on 1 April 1994.


What were Singapore’s GST rate over the years?

When GST was introduced in 1994, the rate was 3%. This was increased to 4% in 2003, 5% in 2004 and 7% on 1 July 2007.

In Budget 2018, the Government announced that GST would be raised from 7% to 9%, sometime in the period from 2021 to 2025.

After reviewing national revenue and expenditure projections, and considering the current state of the economy, the Government decided that the GST rate increase will not take effect in 2021. However, as indicated in Budget 2020, Singapore will not be able to put off the increase indefinitely. Thus, the GST increase will still be needed by 2025.


What does GST apply to?

GST is levied on:

  1. goods and services supplied in Singapore by any taxable person in the course or furtherance of a business; and

  2. goods imported into Singapore by any person.

In general, a supply of goods and services is either taxable or exempt.

A taxable supply is either standard-rated or zero-rated.

  • A standard-rated supply is subject to GST at 7%.

  • Zero-rated supply means the GST rate applied for the transaction is 0%. A GST registered trader need not charge GST on his zero-rated supplies, but he is nevertheless allowed a refund of the tax he has paid on his inputs. In Singapore, only exports of goods and international services are zero-rated.

If a supply is exempt from GST, no GST is chargeable on it.

  • A GST-registered trader does not charge his customer any GST on his exempt supplies.

  • At the same time, he is not entitled to claim input tax credits for any GST paid on goods and services supplied to him for the purpose of his business.

  • The sale and lease of residential properties, and financial services, are exempt from GST in Singapore.

If you are a trader, visit IRAS' website for information on how to register GST and to download forms.

Read also: Frequently-asked questions on Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Why is Singapore increasing the GST?




Why is Singapore raising the GST?



How will the GST increase support the lower-income?




How will the GST increase support the lower-income?



How will Singaporeans cope with the increased cost of living?




How will Singaporeans cope with the increased cost of living?



How do Singaporeans benefit from taxes?




How do Singaporeans benefit from taxes?



Why don't we borrow more instead of raising the GST?




Why don't we borrow more instead of raising the GST?



Why don't we take more from our reserves instead of raising the GST?




Why don't we take more from our reserves instead of raising the GST?



Why don't we use money from land sales?




Why don't we use money from land sales?



Why don't we tax the wealthy more?




Why don't we tax the wealthy more?



Why don't we exempt basic necessities from GST?




Why don't we exempt basic necessities from GST?



Is the Singapore Government heavily in debt?




Is the Singapore Government heavily in debt?



Is the GST a regressive tax?




Is the GST a regressive tax?

Could Singapore's increased spending needs to be better funded with surpluses instead?




Could Singapore's increased spending needs be better funded with surpluses instead?



Why raise a broad based tax like GST to fund our future spending needs?




Why raise a broad based tax like GST to fund our future spending needs?



Is a 2% point increase in GST rate too much?




Is a 2% point increase in GST rate too much?



How will Singaporeans be supported when the GST is raised?




How will Singaporeans be supported when the GST is raised?



How will the Government combat illegal profiteering from the GST hike?




How will the Government combat illegal profiteering from the GST hike?



Why raise the GST and not other taxes?




Why raise the GST and not other taxes?



Why not raise corporate tax instead?




Why not raise corporate tax instead?



Is Singapore's GST high when compared globally?




Is Singapore's GST high when compared globally?



Why don't we borrow to pay for an increase in spending?




Why don't we borrow to pay for an increase in spending?



Why don't we use more reserves to pay for an increase in spending?




Why don't we use more reserves to pay for an increase in spending?



Why don't we tier the GST or exempt basic necessities from it?




Why don't we tier the GST or exempt basic necessities from it?



Why can't we take more from our reserves?




Why can't we take more from our reserves?



Why do we still need to raise GST when the High Speed Rail may not go ahead?




Why do we still need to raise GST when the High Speed Rail may not go ahead?