Chapter 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.

A small business owner holding up a price tag

How can GST affect my business?

If you’re a business, you may be required to register for and collect GST. That means you:

  • may need to add GST to your prices
  • will need to send that extra money to IRAS
  • can claim back any GST that you’re charged on business supplies

How much is GST?

  • 7% is the GST rate for most goods and services
  • 0% is the GST rate for exported goods
  • 0% is the rate for international services (such as an air ticket from Singapore to Thailand)

GST exemptions

Some goods and services are exempt from GST, such as financial services, digital payment tokens, sale and lease of residential properties, and precious metals bought as an investment. Other things are considered out of scope (they sit outside the tax system).

You should never charge GST on exempt goods or services.

How does GST work?

The GST on any item is designed to be paid by the consumer in the end, rather than by the businesses involved in its supply. Take this example:

An infographic on how GST works

GST on imports

You have to pay GST on most imported goods, whether for domestic consumption, sale or re-export, regardless of whether the importer is GST registered or not.

GST on exports

You don’t have to charge GST on exports. That includes products you sell on the internet to overseas customers.

Disclaimer: 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 provided content.

Guide to GST

Making a start with GST? Don’t worry. It’s a little extra admin, but follow our guide and you’ll soon be on top of it.

Download the guide to GST

Get your small business tax sorted. Fill in your details to get our full GST guide as a PDF.

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