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Singapore MoF Responds To GST Consultation

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

14 August 2009


Singapore’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) has accepted more than half of the suggestions received on proposed changes to goods and services tax (GST) legislation during the public consultation exercise held from June 3 to 24, 2009.

The draft Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill 2009 contains proposed legislation to put into effect a number of changes announced in the 2009 budget, as well as other changes arising from the periodic review of the GST system.

The 2009 budget proposals include two main changes: zero-rating treatment for all aircraft used wholly for international travel as well as the sale and lease of aircraft parts forming part of a qualifying aircraft; and GST suspension for goods temporarily removed from Zero-GST or Licensed Warehouses for auctions and exhibitions.

Other tax changes which have arisen from the GST review include: GST registration of a trust in the name of the trust (as an alternative to registering in the name of the trustee); extension of the current GST treatment for physical vouchers to all forms of vouchers, including electronic vouchers; and a requirement for taxpayers to state their grounds of objection when applying for a review or revision of a decision made by the Comptroller of GST.

Nine suggestions offered during the consultation have been accepted for implementation by the MoF, and will be incorporated in the revised GST Bill or Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore’s e-tax guides, or be studied by the tax department as part of its periodic review of the GST system.

Some of the suggestions accepted by the government included: extending zero-rate relief to ships used for international voyages (to be studied by the tax department); clarifying the term "warehouse" (accepted for implementation); and extending the current GST treatment of vouchers to cover all vouchers, including electronic vouchers (accepted for implementation).


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