As known that a Singapore company will be required to register GST if it meets two requirements below:
- The turnover for the past 12 months of the company has been more than $1 million; or
- The company is reasonably expecting the taxable turnover to exceed $1 million in the next 12 months.
However, Singapore companies which do not meet these requirements are still allowed to apply GST on a voluntary basis.
Refer to Overview of Goods and Services tax (GST) in Singapore to get more information
Details on the GST registration process and matters pertaining to the GST registration of overseas entities and joint ventures below will be mentioned below.
GST Registration Process
Step One: Determine the Type of GST Registration
You must determine if you are applying for compulsory or voluntary GST registration.
Step Two: Complete e-Learning Course (Only for Voluntary Registration)
For voluntary registration, the company director / sole-proprietor/ partner/ trustee must complete two e-Learning courses – ” Registering for GST” and ” Overview of GST” – and pass the quiz. You are not required to do so if:
- The company director/ sole-proprietor/ partner of the business has the experience of managing other existing GST-registered businesses; or
- The person who prepares your GST returns is an Accredited Tax Advisers (ATA) or Accredited Tax Practitioners (ATP); or
- The person who prepares your GST returns has completed both e-Learning courses within the last two years.
Step Three: Submit Your Application for GST Registration
All applications for GST registration are to be submitted online via myTax Portal
Things to note:
- You must first be authorised in CorpPass by the business to be able to access the GST registration e-Service on myTax Portal. The authorisation can be for access to any of IRAS’ e-Services (e.g. e-Filing of Corporate Tax / e-Submission of employment income).
- You will be required to attach supporting documents(117KB) at the end of the application process. Please prepare the required documents in softcopy before you start the application process.
- Businesses registering for GST on a voluntary basis are required to be on the GIRO plan for GST payment and refund. Please mail the completed original copy of the GIRO application form to 55 Newton Road Singapore 307987 after submitting your application online.
**Any person with a CorpPass account, which has been authorised to access IRAS’ e-Services (e.g. e-Filing of Corporate Tax / e-Submission of employment income) on behalf of your business, can apply for GST registration online via myTax Portal.
**Refer to IRAS’ CorpPass webpage to know how to register for CorpPass if there are no employees or third parties have a CorpPass account.
Step Four: GST Registration Application is Processed
To facilitate the processing of your application, please ensure that your application is duly completed with the necessary supporting documents.
It usually takes 10 working days for GST application process. (You may be required to submit additional information to IRAS if provided information and documents are not complete and sufficient.)
If your application is approved, you will receive a letter of notification of your GST registration.
Processing of GIRO forms
GIRO or General Interbank Recurring Order is an automated electronic payment service which allows you to make monthly payment to the billing organisation (BO) from your bank account directly.
The GIRO application form submitted will be sent to your bank for approval. The approval process may take between two to four weeks.
Step Five: Receive Notification of Effective Date of Registration
You will receive a letter which notifies that you have been GST registered successfully to your registered address.
The letter will provide the following details:
- Your GST Registration Number
This is the number you have to print on your invoices, credit notes and receipts; and
- Your Effective Date of GST Registration
This is the date when you have to start charging and collecting GST on your taxable supplies. You must not charge or collect GST before the effective date of your GST registration.
You may also retrieve a copy of the notification letter by logging in to myTax Portal (select “Notices/Letters”)
If you applied for registration on a voluntary basis, you will be registered within two to three weeks from the date of the approval letter. The date of registration will not be backdated for the purpose of claiming input tax.
GST Registration for Overseas Entities
- An overseas entity is defined as one that is not a resident in Singapore and/or does not have an established place of business in Singapore.
- The same rules on GST registration apply for both local and overseas entities.
- If you are registering for GST, you must appoint a local agent in Singapore, known as a Section 33(1) agent, who will act on your behalf for all your GST matters. This agent is responsible for the accounting and payment of GST.
Alternatives for Overseas Entities that Import Goods for Supply in Singapore
If you import goods for supply in Singapore, you have the following alternatives:
- You can import goods into Singapore and supply them in your business name. If your taxable supplies exceed the threshold, GST registration is compulsory. Otherwise, you may choose to register for GST voluntarily so that you can claim GST paid on imports.
- You may appoint a GST-registered Singapore agent who will import and supply goods on your behalf. This agent, known as a Section 33(2) agent, is responsible for the goods as if he is the principal. He will import goods into Singapore in his name and claim GST paid on imports. Subsequent supply of the goods will be treated as his taxable supplies and he has to account for GST on the supplies. You do not need to register for GST.
GST Registration for Joint Ventures
A Joint Venture (JV) is a business arrangement where two or more parties (members) come together to carry out certain activities jointly.
- Registered with ACRA
If registered with ACRA, a JV is a legal entity and can be registered for GST.
- Not Registered with ACRA
If not registered with ACRA, a JV can only be registered for GST if:
– The JV is a distinct, organised entity with documentary evidence governing the constitution, objects, rules and activities. Documentary evidence includes partnership agreements, JV contracts, deeds, and letters of undertaking among others;
-The members are carrying on a business in common under the JV;
-The JV is in the business of making taxable supplies;
-Each member is participating in the business carried on by the JV; and
-One member is nominated and authorised by the others as the representative member to fulfil the administrative requirements of filing and payment of GST as well as other GST obligations for and on behalf of the JV.
The same rules on GST registration for partnerships apply to JVs.
Appointing a Local Agent for Non-Resident JV Members
If all the members are not residents in Singapore , the JV must appoint a local agent in Singapore, known as a Section 33(1) agent, who will act on the JV’s behalf for all the GST matters. This agent is responsible for the accounting and payment of GST.
If you would like to register GST for your business, please contact ACE Global Accountant for a free consultancy in Singapore.
Source: Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore