e-Tax Guide (Revised): GST Guide on the Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS) (Second edition)

1 August 2011

First published on 28 February 2011, IRAS has released a revised e-Tax Guide: GST Guide on the Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme.

To facilitate tourists in refunding goods and services taxes (GST) incurred, IRAS had early this year introduced an electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (“eTRS”) system to replace the current paper-based system in phases. The initial phase, which will last six  months, had commenced in mid-2011 and full implementation is targeted for 3rd quarter of 2012. Once eTRS is fully implemented, the paper-based system will cease. All GST-registered retailers and Central Refund Agencies operating the paper-based Tourist Refund Scheme must transit to the eTRS.

Under eTRS, the purchase details at the point-of-sale will be collected through an electronic system and linked to a token, such as a credit card, which tourists can carry. Tourists will have to present the token, together with their passport, at the IRAS validation kiosk to expedite the retrieval of their purchase records. Tourists may opt to get their GST refund in cash or paid to their credit card account.

The e-tax guide covers the following:

  • Description of process and data flow under eTRS
  • Conditions and fees applicable for participation in the eTRS
  • Descriptions of what the existing CRAs and retailers should do during the transitional period
  • Application procedures under eTRS, and
  • Overview of the system requirements under eTRS.

In this revised edition, editorial revisions had been made to various paragraphs and to its appendices.

For the full version of the e-tax guide, please click here (Ref 2010/GST/5).

Source: This article was extracted from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) website. Visit http://www.iras.gov.sg/ for more information.