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What is GST?

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What is GST?

You’ve probably heard about GST before – it stands for goods and services tax and is added to the price of most products and services sold for domestic consumption in Singapore. As it’s almost always included in the price on the shelf you probably don’t give it a second thought.

How can GST affect my business?

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

  • GST is only charged by GST registered businesses. Only businesses that exceed S$1 million in annual taxable turnover are required to register. However, companies with revenues below this threshold can voluntarily register as well.
  • you may need to add GST to your prices.
  • you will need to send that extra money to the IRAS.
  • you can claim back any GST that you’re charged on business supplies.

How much is GST?

  • This depends on the type of supply it is.
  • 7% is the GST rate for most goods and services.
  • 0% is the GST rate for export of goods, for example, the sale of a laptop to an overseas customer where the laptop is shipped to an overseas address. And also for services that are classified as international services, for example, an air ticket from Singapore to Thailand.

GST exemptions

Some goods and services are exempt from GST. Financial services, digital payment tokens, sale and lease of residential properties and investment previous metals. You should never charge GST on exempt goods or services. Learn more on this page.

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:

How does GST work in New Zealand?

GST on imports

You will 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, which includes products you sell on the internet to overseas customers.

Chapter 2: Registering for GST

Ready to register for GST? We’ll take you through each step, from what you need before you register to choosing your filing frequency and accounting basis.

Read next chapter

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Everything you need to know about GST in Singapore.

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