Most frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to GST in Singapore

GST & Income Tax Filing Services in Singapore

Is GST applicable in Singapore?

Yes, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is applicable in Singapore. GST is a tax on the supply of goods and services in Singapore. It is also charged on the import of goods into Singapore. GST is levied at every point in the supply chain. The final consumer pays the tax when he or she buys the goods or services.

When am I eligible to register for GST?

If your company has a turnover of more than S$1 million in the last 12 months or is expected to exceed this amount in the next 12 months, then it is required by law to register for GST. However, if your annual turnover is below S$1 million, registration is not compulsory but you may do so voluntarily.

What are the requirements for GST in Singapore?

To register for GST in Singapore, your business must:

  • have a turnover of more than S$1 million
  • be providing taxable goods and services
  • be registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)
  • have a valid business license

You will also need to appoint a tax expert if your business is not based in Singapore.

Is there any penalty for late GST registration?

Yes, there is a penalty for late GST registration. The amount of the penalty will depend on the length of time that you were late in registering. If you were more than three months late in registering, the penalty will be 10% of the tax due. If you were late in registering by less than three months, the penalty will be 5% of the tax due.

Are GST & VAT the same?

There is often confusion between Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Value-Added Tax (VAT), with many people assuming they are one and the same. However, there are some key differences between the two taxes. 

GST is a consumption tax levied on the sale of goods and services in Singapore, while VAT is a tax levied on the value added to goods and services at each stage of the production process. GST is also known as an indirect tax, while VAT is a direct tax.

Can I deregister or cancel GST registration?

Yes, you can deregister or cancel your GST registration in Singapore. If you no longer meet the criteria for registration, you can apply to deregister through the IRAS website. If your business has ceased operations, you can cancel your registration by completing the cancellation form on the IRAS website.

What is my GST Number?

Your UEN number is your GST number.

How long is the processing period to be registered for my GST application?

The processing period for GST registration can vary depending on a number of factors, including the completeness and accuracy of your application, as well as the current volume of applications being processed. In general, however, you can expect the process to take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.

How can I cancel GST registration?

If you need to cancel your GST registration in Singapore, you can do so by contacting the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). You will need to provide IRAS with your company name, registration number, and contact information. 

Once your cancellation is processed, you will no longer be required to charge GST on your products and services.

What are exempt and zero-rated supplies?

Exempt supplies are supplies of goods or services that are not subject to GST. This means that no GST is payable on the sale of these goods or services. 

Zero-rated supplies are supplies of goods or services that are subject to GST at a rate of 0%. This means that although GST is payable on the sale of these goods or services, the amount of GST charged is 0%.

What is the accounting period for GST filing returns? Can it be changed?

The accounting period for GST filing returns in Singapore is usually a quarter but can be changed if necessary. This is because businesses may have different financial years, or may need to align their GST reporting with their accounting periods. If a change is needed, businesses should consult with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) to ensure that all requirements are met.

Do you want to know more about GST filing services in Singapore? Contact us now!

Recommended post: Navigating the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Singapore


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ACRA Cancels Registration of Filing Agent and Qualified Individual for AML/CFT Breaches

The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) had cancelled the registrations of filing agent (RFA) and qualified individual (RQI) on 18 January 2024. The registrations were cancelled in view of breaches of anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) controls under the ACRA (Filing Agents and Qualified Individuals) Regulations 2015 (the “ACRA Regulations”).

Some of the basic AMT/CFT controls that a RFA and RQI are required to exercise are as follows:

(a) perform additional customer due diligence measures when a customer is not physically present during onboarding;

(b) inquiring if there exists any beneficial owner in relation to some of its customers; and

(c) perform risk assessments i

RQIs and RFAs provide corporate secretarial services for business entities, such as helping customers to incorporate companies, file annual returns and fulfil other filing requirements under the Companies Act 1967 or other Acts under ACRA’s purview. RQIs and RFAs are required to perform customer due diligence measures in accordance with the ACRA Regulations, and conduct their business in such a manner as to guard against the facilitation of money laundering and the financing of terrorism. RQIs and RFAs must also satisfy statutory requirements such as being fit and proper persons, to be registered or continue to be registered.

RQIs and RFAs who breach their statutory obligations may be subject to enforcement actions, such as financial penalties of up to $10,000 or $25,000 per breach respectively or have their registrations with ACRA suspended or cancelled.

Therefore, RQIs and RFAs play an important role in helping to detect and combat illicit activities.

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