GST Filing or Goods & Services Tax Filing Singapore
GST filing refers the filing of Goods and Services Tax or Value Added Tax. Sometimes, it is called Consumption Tax. In Singapore, GST filing is usually done every quarter (i.e. 3 months) though some companies file it every month. The Form used for GST filing is called Form F5.
GST is imposed by a GST registered person on the sale of its goods and services. It is also imposed on imports of goods. GST can be 7% or 0% (zero-rated). 0% is applicable to export of goods and international services. Some goods and services are exempted from GST like the sale and rental of residential properties, the importation and local supply of investment precious metals and the provision of qualifying financial services.
When to register for GST?
GST registration can be voluntary or mandatory. It is mandatory when the business turnover or revenue for the current quarter or 3 months (January to March, April to June, July to September or Oct to December) plus the past 9 months exceeds SGD1 million. If your business revenue for July 2018 to September 2018 is SGD300,000 and the revenue from October 2017 to June 2018 is SGD701,000, the total revenue for current 3 months plus last 9 months have exceeded SGD1 million and you have the obligation to register for GST. Even if the financial year end is December 2018, you have to assess whether you have triggered the mandatory GST registration every quarter.
With effect from 1 Jan 2019, you need not monitor your turnover or revenue every quarter anymore. IRAS has changed the way they determine mandatory GST registration. You are only required to determine your taxable revenue or turnover at the end of a calendar year and see if it is more than SGD1 million. If yes, you are required to register for GST registration.
When can you start collecting GST?
After you have informed IRAS on your voluntary or mandatory GST registration and submitted the necessary forms and documents, IRAS will issue a letter to inform your GST registration effective date. You can only impose GST on the sale of goods and provision of services from this date onwards.
Can you be exempted from GST registration?
You may apply to IRAS to be exempted from GST registration if:
- 90% or more of your supplies are zero-rated (i.e. export of goods and international services) compare to your total supplies of goods and services; and
- Your total GST output tax is less than GST input tax if you are a GST registered business.
To apply for the exemption to register for GST, you are required to submit a GST Form F2. If your application is approved, you do not have to charge GST on the goods and services you provide but also cannot claim the GST input tax which you suffer. You have to monitor if the business continues to satisfy the conditions required for the exemption. If it no longer satisfies the conditions for exemption, you have informed IRAS and get the business registered for GST.
If the application to be exempted from GST registration is rejected by IRAS, the business needs to submit a GST Form F1 to register itself for GST and files its quarterly GST F5.
What if you have filed an incorrect GST return?
If you realize that your GST filing or Form F5 filing is incorrect, you should file a GST F7 to correct your previous GST mistakes or errors. However, IRAS has provided an administrative concession to allow mistakes or errors to be adjusted in the next GST F5 if:
- The GST output tax error minus the GST input tax error for all affected periods (i.e. for all GST returns to be corrected) is SGD1,500 or less; and
- Revised Box 4 amount minus Original Box 4 amount for each accounting period (usually for each quarterly GST F5) divided by Original Box 4 amount multiply by 100% is 5% or less. If Box 4 is zero, Revised Box 5 amount minus Original Box 5 amount for each accounting period (usually for each quarterly GST F5) divided by Original Box 5 amount multiply by 100% is 5% or less.
Claiming GST Input Tax in GST Filing
For GST input tax claim on purchases and expenses, businesses need to take note that some GST input tax is not claimable. It is important for businesses to ascertain the nature of purchases and expenses and determine if they meet all conditions for GST input tax claim.
Let us perform a thorough review, surface the errors and perform a voluntary disclosure to IRAS on your behalf. You face lower penalty for Voluntary Disclosure as compared to IRAS Tax Audit and Investigation.