11 November 2011
Tourists to Singapore can now look forward to both a hassle free and speedier process to obtain their goods and services tax (GST) refunds on purchases made.
Speaking at the official launch of the Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS) on 9 November 2011, Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister of State For Finance and Transport explains how the system works.
“The receipts are simply scanned, the purchase details at the point-of-sale are captured electronically, and tagged to the credit card of the tourist. When they get to the airport, there’s no need for further form-filling and long queues. All that will be needed will be a quick swipe of one’s passport and credit card at the eTRS kiosks to retrieve records of the purchases, followed by a few keystrokes to instruct the system to pay the GST refund into a specific credit card account.”
Tourists can also opt to claim their refunds in cash at the Central Refund Counter at the Departure Transit Lounge after scanning their receipts.
As of October 2011, 1,400 retailers have come on board the eTRS and IRAS expects the remaining 2,100 retailers who are currently still operating on the paper-based Tourist Refund Scheme to come on board the eTRS by August next year.
Source: IRAS and Ministry of Finance