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Singapore GST Services: About GST

24th November 2010
By Shayne in Taxes
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Goods and Services Tax (GST) is applied almost similarly to Value Added Tax (VAT) in most countries. It was implemented on April 1, 1994 in Singapore and was used as a guide on the UK VAT legislation and New Zealand legislation.

Goods and Services Tax is administered, reviewed, implemented and collected by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). GST is an indirect tax on the supply of goods and services made in Singapore and on the importation of goods into Singapore with its current rate at 7%.

GST is applied on all goods and services except for financial services and the sale or lease of residential properties. Just like business registration and incorporation, there is also a need to register your business for GST and this is the reason why there are different Singapore GST services available in the country.

Here are some of the basic information you need to know about Goods and Services Tax:
A business is required to register if your annual turnover exceeds or is likely to exceed S$1 million from the sale of taxable goods and services. This requirement may be waived if most of your goods or services are exported or supplied internationally ("zero-rated supplies").

Sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability partnerships, companies, clubs, associations, management corporations or organizations, statutory boards and government bodies can register for GST.

Here are some of the basic reasons why a business should register to GST:
Most businesses register for GST to claim back the GST incurred on their business purchases.
When GST paid exceeds GST collected, the difference can be claimed from IRAS as a GST refund.
When GST rate increase, it may make business sense to voluntarily register to collect GST in order to claim back GST incurred on business purchases.

Below are the available GST schemes for businesses.
Goods and Services Tax Assistance Scheme
Get a grant to lower the costs involved in becoming a GST-registered trader. GST traders can collect GST and claim back for GST paid to suppliers.
Major Exporter Scheme (MES)
Major exporters can improve their cash flow by deferring GST payments on goods imported mainly for re-export out of Singapore.

Licensed Warehouse Scheme
Transform your warehouse into a licensed warehouse for storing dutiable goods. In licensed warehouses, duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) are suspended until the goods are released for sale into Singapore.
Zero GST Warehouse Scheme (ZGS)
Businesses can transform their warehouses into zero-GST warehouses to minimize red tape and bypass the GST process.

Rikvin is a leading Singapore based professional services firm that provides incorporation, accounting, tax, Singapore GST services, immigration and related incorporation services. Our office is located at Raffles Place, in the heart of the Singapore business district.
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