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Singapore Sets Out Plans For GST Regime Overhaul

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

04 July 2018

Singapore's Ministry of Finance has launched a consultation on comprehensive changes to the territory's goods and services tax regime, announced in Budget 2018, which are intended to tackle fraud. These are included in a draft GST (Amendment) Bill 2018.

The consultation concerns law provisions to introduce GST on business-to-business imported services from January 1, 2020, with GST to be accounted under a reverse charge by the domestic business.

In addition, from January 1, 2020, if the total value of a taxpayer's imported services for a 12-month period exceeds SGD1m (USD733,000), that taxpayer may become liable for GST registration under the new GST registration rules.

The consultation also seeks feedback on the introduction of a new registration system for those businesses providing broadcasting, telecommunications, and electronic services to Singaporean consumers. A new registration obligation is being introduced for overseas suppliers and electronic marketplace operators where they have an annual global turnover exceeding SGD1m and make B2C supplies of digital services to customers in Singapore exceeding SGD100,000. The obligation will also be introduced from January 1, 2020.

The consultation also discusses other amendments intended to boost the territory's ability to challenge tax fraud. These include enhancing the tax agency's powers to investigate tax crime, including through improved multi-agency information sharing; enhance the ability of enforcement authorities to challenge the unauthorized collection of GST; require that government agencies withhold GST on fraud-prone supplies made by private-sector entities under a reverse charge; and provide that documents or items seized during a GST investigation are disposed of where a case is dropped.

TAGS: Finance | tax | business | value added tax (VAT) | law | goods and services tax (GST) | Singapore | enforcement | services | BEPS

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