Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Act 2013 [No. 21/2013] passed by Parliament

19 December 2013

The Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Act 2013, passed by Parliament on 11 November 2013 and assented to by the President on 2 December 2013, was published in the Government Gazette, Electronic Edition, on 17 December 2013.

The Act amends the Goods and Services Act (Cap. 117A, 2005 revised edition) and makes related amendments to the Income Tax Act (Cap. 134, 2008 revised edition), Property Tax Act (Cap. 254, 2005 revised edition) and Stamp Duties Act (Cap. 312, 2006 revised edition). The amendments to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act include:

  • Sec 6 (Official secrecy) — New subsections (6A) and (6B) are inserted to allow the Comptroller of GST to disclose certain information relating to a money laundering offence, the predicate offence of which is an offence under the Act, to the Commissioner of Police and the Director of the Commercial Affairs Department. New subsections (8) and (9) are also inserted to mirror sections 6(11) and 6(13) of the Income Tax Act.
  • Sec 25 (Refund or remission of tax in certain cases) — Subsection (2)(f) is amended to refer to approvals applied for through prescribed means, rather than to a prescribed person). Subsection (2)(g) is also amended to expand on the power of the Minister for Finance to make regulations in connection with the seizure and forfeiture of goods.
  • Sec 27 (Importation and supply of goods by taxable persons) — Subsection (2)(b) is amended to clarify that regulations made can prescribe the person (including persons other than the importer or supplier of goods) by whom the tax in question (or an amount equivalent thereto) is to be paid.
  • Sec 33 (Agents) — New subsections (2B), (2C) and (2D) are inserted to provide that goods imported by a taxable person as agent, and supplied by a substituted agent as agent, for a person who is not a taxable person may be treated as imported by the taxable person as principal and supplied by the substituted agent as principal, and for matters consequential thereto. A definition for “substituted agent” is also inserted in subsection (5).
  • Sec 37B (Refining of goods into investment precious metals) — The definition of “refine” in subsection (2) is amended to clarify that it includes changing an investment precious metal or a precious metal from one form to another (for example, from granules to a bar), or to a different level of purity.
  • Sec 79 (Power to appoint agent, etc., for recovery of tax) — Subsection (5A)(c) is amended to clarify that the Comptroller of GST’s power to serve a notice on a public officer includes serving a notice on an employee of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), to enable moneys which are intended to be paid by the Government through the IRAS to a taxpayer to be off-set against tax owing by the taxpayer.
  • Sec 83E (Arrest of persons) — This new section is inserted to empower the Minister for Finance to make regulations to allow the Comptroller of GST and any authorised person to arrest without warrant certain persons in connection with any refund sought or obtained pursuant to regulations made under sec 25, and matters consequential thereto.

For the full details, please refer to the Singapore Statutes Online.

Source: Government Gazette