GST- Goods and Services Tax is a tax imposed on the import of goods, as well as almost all supplies of goods and services in Singapore. In some countries, GST is known as the Value Added Tax (VAT). Businesses’ liability for GST registration depends on the value of their taxable turnovers. This refers to the value of goods and services supplied by businesses which are deemed as taxable supplies for GST purposes.
Applying for GST Registration
The GST registration process differs slightly depending on the type of registration and constitution of your business. You are encouraged to plan ahead when applying for GST registration.
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 by Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) – ” 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
It is encouraged that you register online via myTax Portal as such applications are processed faster.
You are required to attach supporting documents together with your application. If you register online, the system will also prompt you if you have missed out necessary information or did not attach the required documents.
For voluntary registration, you have to be on the GIRO plan for GST payment and refund. You are required to mail your completed GIRO application form after submitting your application.
*From 1 Oct 2018, businesses applying for GST Registration will have to do so online at myTax Portal. Paper applications will only be accepted for exceptional cases e.g. businesses not granted access to myTax Portal.
Step Four: GST Registration Application is Processed
To enable your application to be processed, please ensure that your application is duly completed with the necessary supporting documents.
Additional information and supporting documents may be requested subsequently through email or letter. Applications with incomplete information or insufficient supporting documents will be regarded as withdrawn.
If your application is approved, you will receive a letter of notification of your GST registration. You will also be notified of the approval via SMS or email if you have provided a local mobile number or email address in the application.
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 who will act on your behalf for all your GST matters. This agent is responsible for the accounting and payment of GST.
Please follow the GST registration process by IRAS to apply for GST registration. In addition, you need to provide a letter to appoint a local agent.
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 Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority – 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.
For information on Government Grants and Subsidies for companies, kindly refer to this article.
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