Digital Economy: Government Studying Necessary Adjustments to GST System

On 6 November 2017, Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat, responded to a Parliamentary question with regards to what the Government’s methodology is in streamlining its Goods and Services Tax (GST) system for GST-registered local suppliers and non-GST registered overseas suppliers. This is with respect to the rapid growth of the digital economy, where local businesses and consumers are increasingly expected to purchase goods and services from overseas suppliers.

Mr Heng replied that the Government is studying how it would make the required adjustments to its GST system to protect local GST-registered business from disadvantage, due to digital-transactions and cross-border trade.

Mr Heng informed that the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) had launched its consultation papers on the proposed reverse charge and overseas vendor registration regime in May 2017, to gather response and suggestions from various affected stakeholders.

He added that IRAS is preparing to engage with financial institutions and e-commerce and electronic marketplace operators, among others, for various ideas for the cross-border taxation of goods and services in light of the digital economy, and that developments in other countries are also being monitored.

Mr Heng also informed that lead time will be provided for implementation of any measures announced by the Government.

Source: Ministry of Finance, Singapore