IRAS issues new e-Tax Guide, “GST: Guide on exemption of investment precious metals (IPM)(5th Edition)”

6 September 2016

On 1 September 2016, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) issued the fifth edition of the e-Tax Guide, “GST: Guide on Exemption of Investment Precious Metals (IPM) (5th edition)”.

The e-Tax Guide explains the GST exemption of investment gold, silver and platinum which takes effect from 1 October 2012.  It is relevant to businesses which trade in physical gold, silver and platinum (“precious metals”).

The e-Tax Guide covers the following:

  • Definition of Investment Precious Metals
  • GST treatment for the importation and supply of IPM
  • Claiming of input tax incurred for precious metals trading business, and
  • GST reporting for the importation, purchase and supply of IPM.

With effect from 1 October 2012, the importation and supply of IPM in Singapore are exempt from GST. The supply of IPM which is exported continues to be zero-rated. Only precious metals in the form of a bar, ingot, wafer and coin which meet certain criteria can qualify as IPM. To provide certainty, precious metal coins that qualify as IPM are prescribed in the GST Act.

Precious metals which do not meet the criteria cannot qualify as IPM (“non-IPM”) and the supply of non-IPM continues to be taxable. Examples of non-IPM are jewellery, scrap precious metals, numismatic coins and precious metals which are refined by refiners who are not on the ‘Good Delivery’ list of the London Bullion Market Association or the London Platinum and Palladium Market.

To differentiate exempt supplies of IPM from taxable supplies of non-IPM, an invoice with specific information for an exempt supply of IPM will need to be issued to customers.

Under the normal input tax claiming rules, the input tax directly attributable to an exempt sale of IPM is not claimable and only the portion of the residual input tax that is attributable to the making of taxable supplies is claimable.

In this edition, the following were updated:

  • Amendment of paragraphs 4.2(d), 4.5 and 4.8 (Criteria for IPM bar, ingot and wafer)
  • Insertion of qualifying IPM coins in paragraph 4.7 (Criteria for IPM coin)

The previous edition was published on 1 April 2015.

Source: This article was extracted from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) website. Visit for more information.