Registering for GST in Singapore

Updated on September 24,2017
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Registering for GST in Singapore
Foreign businessmen who have opened a company in Singapore should know that they are liable for Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration, a process which may differ in accordance with the constitution of the business. GST was introduced in Singapore in 1994 and the current standard GST rate is established at 7%. All companies providing goods and services on the Singaporean market are imposed this rate, but several exemptions can apply; at the same time, GST also applies to import products. Entrepreneurs who need assistance for GST registration can receive adequate advice from our team of accountants in Singapore
We invite you to watch the following video on GST registration in Singapore:


Companies liable for GST registration 

Companies operating in Singapore are liable to GST registration if several conditions are met: 

•    the taxable income of the business in the last three-quarters of the year and at the end of the calendar quarters was set up above $1 million; businessmen who consider that the taxable revenue for the next financial year will be below this value (proven with documentation in this sense) may be exempt from GST registration;
•    the investor is expecting that the taxable income will be established at the total value of minimum $1 million for the following 12 months.

According to the local legislation, companies in Singapore are required to register for GST in a period of maximum 30 days after the end of the quarter. For the second situation, in which the businessman expects a turnover above $1 million, the company will have to register for GST before 31st of July.

Late registration is sanctioned through a fine of up to 10,000 $ or a penalty of 10% of the due value of the GST. A waiver will generally apply for those applicants who register later than the deadline but disclose this fact upon registration. The residual GST may be paid in installments in certain cases. Our accountants in Singapore can provide you with more details on registration, late registration, and specific requirements.  

Those business owners in Singapore who have a taxable turnover from zero-rated supplies can apply for an exemption from GST registration. For this purpose, the applicant must show that zero-rated supply makes up for more than 90% of the company’s total taxable supplies. A special form is submitted with the Singapore Inland Revenue Authority, and, upon approval, the applicant will no longer need to file GST returns. Beneficiaries must notify the Comptroller if any change occurs from their first application for the GST exemption. Should they cease to qualify for this exemption they will need to register for GST.

GST rates in Singapore 

Businesses set up in Singapore are usually taxed for their goods and services transactions at the standard rate of 7%. However, it is important to know that the export of goods is exempt from GST; the same rule applies in the situation of international services, the provision of financial services, the lease and sale of residential property in Singapore and local supply of investment precious metals. 

Registered corporations are required to file the GST returns quarterly. Some can choose to file them on a semi-annual basis or on a monthly basis. Tax refunds are usually received within a three month period after the submission deadline. 

If you need further information on the GST registration in Singapore, please contact our accounting firm for assistance.