Chapter 4

Claiming back GST

GST-registered businesses can claim back the GST they pay on business expenses. Learn when and how.

Money changing hands

When you can claim GST back

You can claim GST back when:

  • you’ve paid GST on goods or services purchased for your business
  • the goods or services that have been supplied to you
  • you have a tax invoice for the purchase
  • the claims aren’t disallowed by regulations 26 and 27

Rules for importers

You can claim back GST paid on imports if:

  • the goods or services would have attracted a GST if they had been made in Singapore
  • you have import permits showing you as the importer

How to claim GST

You claim back GST when filing your return. Simply add up the GST you paid on business expenses and subtract it from the GST you collected on sales. Learn more in working out your GST.

Separating private and business expenses

Some invoices will contain both private and business expenses on it. Be careful not to claim back the GST on the personal portion.

Say you pick up phone expenses for your employees – including their private and business calls. You can only claim back the GST on their business calls. You need to be able to identify which calls were for business purposes.

When you’re not collecting any GST

In most situations, you can claim back GST on supplies even if the end product or service that you’re selling doesn’t attract GST.


Xero does not provide accounting, tax, business or legal advice. This guide has been provided for information purposes only. You should consult your own professional advisors for advice directly relating to your business or before taking action in relation to any of the content provided.

GST Guide For Business

Making a start with GST? Don’t worry. It’s a little extra admin, but this guide will help you get sorted.

  1. What is GST?

    You’ve probably heard about GST before – it stands for goods and services tax and is added onto prices in Singapore.

  2. Registering for GST

    Find out if your business needs to register for GST. If so, learn how to do it and find out what happens next.

  3. Calculating GST and issuing tax invoices

    If you’re a GST-registered business you must add GST to your prices. You also need to issue GST invoices. Find out how.

  4. Claiming back GST

    GST-registered businesses can claim back the GST they pay on business expenses. Learn when and how.

  5. Working out your GST refund or payment

    Working out GST is simple maths. Keeping track of all your transactions is the tricky part. Let’s learn the process.

  6. GST returns and due dates

    GST-registered businesses must declare how much they’ve collected and paid. You do this by filing GST returns (GST F5).

  7. Tools and guides for your business

    Now you know the ins and outs of GST, but it can be tough to keep on top of it all. Xero’s got the resources to help.

Download the GST Guide for Business

Get your GST sorted. Fill out the form to receive this guide as a PDF.

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