GST (the abbreviated form of Goods and Services Tax) is a broad-based consumption tax levied on the imported supply of goods and services in Singapore and import of goods into Singapore (collected by Singapore Customs). The current GST Filing rate in Singapore is fixed at 7%.
A. Types of GST Registration
1. Compulsory Registration
As GST is levied on consumption and not on income, it is a statutory requirement for traders to initiate GST Quarterly Filing on a regular basis, if their turnover is more than S$1 million.
The turnover of the business has been more than 1 million SGD for the last 12 months
The business can expect the turnover of more than 1 million SGD for the next 12 month
2. Voluntary Registration
Taxpayer can apply the voluntary GST registration though their businesses are not liable to compulsory GST registration and the annual business turnover is less than 1 million SGD.
The annual turnover of the business has not been more than 1 million SGD
The supply of goods is not made in Singapore
Exempt supplies of financial services are made which is also deemed as international services
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) mandates that companies with revenue of more than $1 million (or expected revenue of more than $1 million) to register for GST. Company setup with revenues not more than $1 million can opt for voluntary registration.
The completion and passing of two e-Learning courses, “Registering for GST” and “Overview of GST”, by the company director / sole-proprietor/ partner/ trustee is the compulsory requirement for voluntary registration. That said, you are exempted from this requirement if :
the company director/ sole-proprietor/ partner of the business possesses the experience of managing other existing GST-registered businesses; or
your GST returns are prepared by an Accredited Tax Advisers (ATA) or Accredited Tax Practitioners (ATP); or
He or she who prepares your GST returns has completed both e-Learning courses within the last two years.
You need to attach the supporting documents when submitting your GST application. For those who register online, the system will notify you if you have missed out required documents. Please note that applications without complete information or apply with insufficient supporting documents will be treated as withdrawn.
Though paper application is still available as of now, businesses applying for GST Registration will have to apply online at myTax Portal from Oct 2018 onwards while paper applications will only be accepted for exceptional cases, like businesses without access to myTax Portal.
Once submitted, IRAS may request for additional information and supporting documents subsequently through email or letter for the case with insufficient supporting documents.
As of now, the online application will be faster than paper application. It takes only 2 days to process the compulsory registration cases if they are submitted online after company incorporation. Applicants will receive a letter of notification of his or her GST registration upon approval. He or she will also receive SMS or email notification of approval.
For successful case, a notification letter will be sent to the registered address. The notification letter contains the following details:
GST Registration Number – The number that you have to print on your invoices, credit notes and receipts; and
The effective date of GST Registration – The date indicates the day you have to start charging and collecting GST on your taxable supplies.
C. GST Registration for Overseas Entities
The same rules apply on GST registration for overseas entities. However, if an overseas entity is registering for GST, a local agent in Singapore (known as a section 33(1) agent) must be appointed where this local agent is responsible for the accounting and payment of GST.
Last but not least, all GST registered businesses must file a GST F5 tax return to IRAS.
The quick takeaways of filing GST returns:
All filing of GST tax returns must be done electronically through myTax Portal (either on a monthly or quarterly basis).
For accounting period with no GST transactions, the business must still file a nil return.
Companies must report both their input tax and output tax and they have to pay GST to IRAS within 1 month after filing an F5 return.