Ministry of Finance
- Consultation Period:
- 13 Jun 2022 - 04 Jul 2022
Public Consultation On Draft Goods And Services (GST) (Amendment) Bill 2022
1. The Ministry of Finance is proposing five amendments to the GST Act:
a. Two amendments are to give effect to announcements made in the 2022 Budget Statement on 18 February 2022.
i. The first proposed amendment effects the change in GST rate from 7% to 8% from 1 January 2023, and from 8% to 9% from 1 January 2024.
ii. The second proposed amendment updates the GST treatment of travel arranging services.
b. The other three proposed amendments improve GST administration and the clarity of existing legislation, and arose from regular reviews.
2. The Ministry is seeking public feedback on the draft GST (Amendment) Bill 2022 which provides for these amendments.
SCOPE OF THE CONSULTATION
Budget 2022 amendments
3. The first two proposed amendments relate to the measures announced by the Minister for Finance, Mr Lawrence Wong, in the 2022 Budget Statement. We invite you to comment on the drafting of the proposed legislation.
a. Proposed amendment 1 effects the change in GST rate from 7% to 8% from 1 January 2023, and from 8% to 9% from 1 January 2024.
b. Proposed amendment 2 updates the GST treatment for a supply of travel arranging services1. From 1 January 2023, the GST treatment will be based on where the customer (i.e. the contractual customer) and where the direct beneficiary of the service belongs, rather than, for example, for the booking of accommodation, the location of the property. If the customer of the service belongs outside Singapore and the direct beneficiary either belongs outside Singapore or is GST-registered in Singapore, the supply of travel arranging services will be zero-rated. Otherwise, GST will be chargeable at the standard rate.
Other proposed amendments
4. The draft Bill provides for three other proposed amendments that arose from periodic review of Singapore’s GST system. They seek to improve GST administration and the clarity of existing legislation. We invite you to comment on the proposed changes and the proposed drafting of the legislation which will give effect to these proposed changes:
a. Proposed amendment 3 clarifies how the existing Transitional Rules in the GST Act are to operate. Such Rules govern the GST treatment and rate applicable for supplies spanning a change in GST treatment or rate.
b. Proposed amendment 4 refines the rules for taxing Low Value Goods (LVG)2 and imported services by way of the Reverse Charge (RC)3 and Overseas Vendor Registration (OVR)4 regimes. The amendments provide tax certainty and ease the compliance burden for businesses, ahead of the introduction of GST on imported LVG and imported non-digital services from overseas suppliers, with effect from 1 January 2023. This introduction was announced in the 2021 Budget Statement.
c. Proposed amendment 5 provides criminal sanctions to counter Missing Trader Fraud (MTF) schemes. MTF is a fraud scheme used by syndicates where the seller absconds with GST he collected on his sales without paying the GST over to IRAS, while businesses further down the MTF chain continue to claim refunds on input GST paid on their purchases from IRAS. To provide strong deterrence against such schemes, criminal sanctions based on a 2-tiered approach will be introduced from 1 January 2023. Tier 1 offences apply to MTF masterminds, co-conspirators and syndicate members who participate in MTF schemes (i.e. those more culpable). Tier 2 offences apply to current or former sole-proprietors, partners or directors of business entities that are eventually used in MTF schemes. These persons typically incorporate entities which are then used by syndicates for fraudulent purposes.
5. The Annex provides a brief description of the proposed amendments to the GST Act. Please refer to the draft GST (Amendment) Bill 2022 and related subsidiary legislation for details.
6. We appreciate your support and participation. Respondents are requested to observe these guidelines:
a. Please identify yourself and the organisation you represent (if any) so that we may follow up with you to clarify your comments if needed.
b. Be clear and concise in your comments.
c. Focus your comments on how the drafting of the proposed legislative amendments for the tax measures announced at Budget 2022 can be better written to make them clearer and to make compliance easier; or on how the non-Budget changes can be improved, including the drafting.
d. Use the prescribed template provided to organise your feedback.
e. As far as possible, please explain your points with illustrations, examples, data or alternative formulations of the proposed amendments.
7. This draft legislation (including subsidiary legislation) is released only for the purpose of consultation and should therefore not be used for individual or business decisions as it does not represent the final legislation. All comments received during the consultation will be reviewed thoroughly, and, if accepted, incorporated in the Bill for introduction in Parliament.
PERIOD OF CONSULTATION
8. The draft GST (Amendment) Bill 2022 and related subsidiary legislation is available for public consultation from 13 June to 4 July 2022. We regret that comments received after 4 July 2022 will not be considered.
9. We request that all interested parties submit your comments using the prescribed template, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUMMARY OF RESPONSE
10. We will publish a summary of the main comments received on the Ministry of Finance’s website, together with our responses, in August 2022. The identity of respondents will not be disclosed in the summary.
DOCUMENTS TO DOWNLOAD
11. For reference, please refer to the relevant documents below for this public consultation.
Documents to Download
Other useful references:
You may obtain a copy of the GST Act at https://sso.agc.gov.sg.
1 These services could include arrangement and facilitation of international transport, overseas accommodation, and travel insurance. They do not include the underlying good or service (like the hotel accommodation) being arranged.
2 Low Value Goods are goods valued up to $400 that are imported via air or post.
3 Under the existing RC regime, GST-registered recipients of imported services who cannot claim input GST on their purchases in full are required to perform reverse charge (i.e. charge themselves GST on their purchases) to account for GST to IRAS on their purchase of imported services. This will be extended to include imported LVG from 1 Jan 2023.
4 Under the existing OVR regime, overseas suppliers and electronic marketplace operators which make significant sales of digital services to local customers are required to collect GST on such B2C sales of digital services and pay the GST to IRAS. This will be extended to include B2C imported LVG and imported non-digital services from 1 Jan 2023.