Monday, March 19, 2012

GOODS AND SERVICE TAX (GST) REFUND: SINGAPORE

The more you shop, the more tax refund you get.  This is what Singapore shopping experience is all about for tourists.  Truly, this is one of the best ways to attract tourism and help improve or should I say continue to develop the strong economy of Singapore.  If other countries are for tax collection, make this country an exception. 


This blog entry is merely for awareness purposes, don't worry I won't write anything about its tax consequences and legal issues as can be read from my articles in a certain business newspaper.  This is purely about travel awareness.

It's easy to claim for a refund:
1.  Just shop in Premier Tax Free affiliated retail outlets and present your passport and ask for Premier Tax Free GST Refund Voucher.  There are a lot of Filipino sales ladies, so in case you need assistance, they would be of great help.  Retail stores usually has a minimum amount of purchase before you are entitled for a refund and it's usually fixed at 100 SG dollars.

2.  Present your Premier Tax Free GST Refund Voucher, the goods, the original invoice or receipt, Passport and supporting travel documents to Singapore Customs for endorsement.  For the goods to be checked in, obtain the customs stamp before checking in the items.

3.  Proceed to Premier Tax Free GST refund counters with your endorsed voucher to claim your GST refund in the form of cash, credit card, bank cheques.

Conditions to be eligible for GST Refund:
- not a Singapore citizen or permanent resident of Singapore
- 16 years old or above at the time of purchase
- have not spent more than 365 days in Singapore in the last 24 months before the date of purchase
- have not exercised employment in Singapore or at any time during the past 6 months before the date of purchase.
- spent a minimum of S$100 (including GST) on goods from Premier Tax Free affiliated retailers to qualify.  You may accumulate up to 3 same-day receipts or invoices from retailers bearing the same GST registration number to meet this minimum purchase amount
- not a member of cabin crew or flight crew operating a departing flight out of Singapore
- present Premier Tax Free GST refund voucher, the goods, original invoices or receipt, passport and supporting travel documents to the Singapore Customs for endorsement, departing with the goods from Changi International Airport or Seletar Airport within 60 days from the date of purchase
- must depart with the goods within 12 hours after your Premier Tax Free voucher has been endorsed by Singapore Customs

As a very important reminder, the Premier Tax Free Refund Voucher is a declaration to Singapore Customs.  It's a serious offense to present this form to Singapore Custom if the goods are not brought out of Singapore.



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