28 October 2013
During the public consultation exercise held from 5 to 25 August 2013 on the draft Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill 2013, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) received 13 suggestions. Eight of these suggestions were accepted by the MOF and will be incorporated into the revised Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill 2013 or Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore’s (IRAS) e-Tax guides. The remaining suggestions were not accepted for implementation as they are inconsistent with the policy objectives for the proposed changes or would require further study.
Most of the suggestions received are on the following changes:
a) Allow Goods and Services Tax (GST) obligations to be imposed on the new local agent – An overseas person can import and supply goods in Singapore through a local agent. Where there is a change of local agent between the time of import and the subsequent supply of goods, the proposed amendment allows GST obligations to be imposed on the new local agent; and
b) Provide for enforcement powers in relation to fraudulent claims under the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) – To facilitate investigation and prosecution of TRS fraud, the Comptroller and authorised persons will be allowed to seize goods and arrest persons where TRS fraud is suspected.
Brief overview of the key submissions accepted by the MOF
Allow GST obligations to be imposed on the new local agent
- By November 2013, IRAS will publish a self-review form for the situation where goods being transferred have been or will be treated/processed. The form is to be completed by the overseas principal, together with the current and new local agent.
- IRAS will clarify in its e-Tax Guide “GST: Guide on Imports” by November 2013 that the transfer of goods from a previous local agent to a new local agent does not constitute a supply of goods and output tax need not be accounted for the transfer.
Provide for enforcement powers in relation to fraudulent claims under the TRS
- While IRAS is unable to provide an exhaustive list of scenarios on what constitutes TRS fraud, it will provide information on TRS fraud and the consequences of committing TRS fraud on its website by December 2013.
This summary of responses was released by MOF on 21 October 2013.
Source: Ministry of Finance