1. The Ministry of Finance is seeking public feedback on the draft Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill 2011. The Bill sets out the proposed legislative amendments to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act. We invite you to comment on the proposed amendments.
2. The primary aim of this exercise is to obtain feedback on the drafting of the legislation. Your feedback will be important in helping to improve the draft legislation with regards to its clarity or its implications for efficiency of compliance by taxpayers. A set of changes, as announced in Budget 2011 Statement, were adopted after debate in Parliament. The other changes have either been adopted after consultation with the relevant businesses, or aim to clarify the law with no changes in policy or practice.
SCOPE OF THE CONSULTATION EXERCISE
3. The draft GST (Amendment) Bill 2011 covers Budget 2011 tax changes as well as other changes to existing tax policies and administration resulting from on-going review of the GST system. The main tax changes are summarised as follows:
Budget 2011 tax changes:
(a) introduce a new scheme to allow ‘approved marine customers’ to buy or rent zero-rated goods for use or installation on a commercial ship that is wholly for international travel;
(b) expand the scope of zero-rating of repair and maintenance services performed on parts and components of a qualifying ship;
(c) introduce changes to ease GST compliance for ships which are in Singapore only for a temporary period of time;
(d) extend the Approved Contract Manufacturer and Trader Scheme to qualifying biomedical contract manufacturers. Approved contract manufacturers (including those in the biomedical sector) will also be allowed to disregard GST on services rendered on failed or excess production, and to recover GST on local purchases of goods used in the contract manufacturing process;
(e) grant import GST relief for all clinical trial materials imported into Singapore;
(f) introduce new zero-rating relief for specified supplies made to overseas persons if they are related to specified goods kept in ‘approved specialised warehouses’ in Singapore;
Other tax changes:
(g) expand the scope for local agents in Singapore to recover GST on goods imported on behalf of overseas persons; and
(h) clarify the GST accounting rules for specified transactions.
4. The summary table lists all the tax changes and explains the amendments to the GST Act.
5. We would appreciate your full support to ensure that the consultation exercise is productive. Respondents are requested to observe these guidelines:
a. Please identify yourself and the organisation you represent (if any) so that we may follow up to clarify any issues, if necessary;
b. Make your comments clear and concise;
c. Please use the prescribed template provided to help us understand your feedback better;
d. Your comments should focus on how the legislative amendments can be better written to make them clearer and to make compliance easier; and
e. As far as possible, please explain your points with illustrations, examples, data or alternative formulations of the amendments.
6. This draft legislation is released only for the purpose of consultation and should therefore not be used for individual or business decisions as it does not represent the final legislation or regulations. All comments received during the consultation exercise will be reviewed thoroughly and, if accepted, will be incorporated in the Bill for introduction in Parliament.
PERIOD OF CONSULTATION
7. The draft GST (Amendment) Bill 2011 together with the draft subsidiary legislations for the changes in paragraph 2 (a) to (f) are available for public consultation from 8 Jul 2011 to 28 Jul 2011. We regret that comments received after 28 Jul 2011 will not be considered as they will be too late for incorporation into the final Bill.
8. We encourage all interested participants to submit comments via our online submission form . Using this online submission form is the easiest and quickest way for your comments to reach us.
You can also send us your comments, using the prescribed template, through:
a. email to firstname.lastname@example.org ; or
b. fax to 6337 4134; or
c. post to: Ministry of Finance
100 High Street, #10-01
SUMMARY OF RESPONSE
9. We will publish on this website a summary of the main comments we receive, together with our responses, by September 2011. The summary will not disclose the identity of respondents, and will not separately address or acknowledge every comment received.
DOCUMENTS TO DOWNLOAD
10. For your convenience, the relevant documents relating to this public consultation exercise can be downloaded for further reference. Please click here.