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Singapore Launches Consultation On GST Bill

by Mary Swire, Lowtax.net, Hong Kong
14 July, 2015

Singapore's Finance Ministry has announced a two-week-long consultation on the draft Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill 2015.

The draft Bill provides three changes to existing tax policies and administration that arose from ongoing reviews of Singapore's Goods and Services Tax (GST) system.

The first change would allow the Comptroller of GST to impose a Travel Restriction Order on a person who fails to repay a tourist refund wrongly claimed under the Tourist Refund Scheme. Under the Tourist Refund Scheme, only eligible tourists are allowed to claim a refund of the GST paid on goods purchased in and brought out of Singapore.

The second change would revise the definition of "aircraft" for the purpose of zero-rating supplies made in relation to an aircraft, and extend zero-rating to specific supplies made in relation to non-qualifying aircraft. The policy intent is to zero-rate supplies of and supplies relating to aircrafts that are used for international travel and international transportation of passengers and goods. To affirm this policy intent, the definition of "aircraft" will be revised to refer to any aircraft that is wholly used or intended to be wholly used for international travel, or any military aircraft. Zero-rating will also be extended to specific supplies relating to international flights made by a non-qualifying aircraft, as they are regarded as consumed outside Singapore.

Last, the Bill clarifies the scope of zero-rating in relation to merchandise for sale on board an aircraft or ship. This is a technical change to clarify that zero-rating applies to the supply of goods for use as merchandise for retail sale on board an aircraft or ship.

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