12 April 2013
The IRAS has responded to a letter “Another GST ‘anomaly’” (ST Forum) on 28 March 2013 to clarify that the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS), which is currently available to air and international cruise passengers, has not been extended to include travellers leaving via land checkpoints due to the significantly higher risk of “round-tripping”.
The IRAS explained that it had considered implementing TRS at the land checkpoints, but decided against it after assessing that GST-refunded goods brought out of Singapore by land stood a higher chance of making their way back for local consumption free of GST. Due to the high daily volume of commuters and tourists moving through the land checkpoints, availing refunds for outgoing tourists and checking on incoming travellers to mitigate round-tripping risks will adversely impact traffic flow and cause inconvenience to all travellers.
The IRAS’s full reply can be found on the IRAS website.
Source: This article was extracted from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) website.