What Does GST Mean to Businesses in Singapore?

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What Does GST Mean to Businesses in Singapore?

SCS Admin

calendar Jul 19, 2016

What Does GST Mean to Businesses in Singapore?

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) defines the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as a broad-based consumption tax levied on the import and supply of goods and services in Singapore. Also known in other countries as the Value-Added Tax (VAT). Put simply, GST is an indirect tax that is levied each time a business sells a product or service within Singapore. 


Only the following goods and services within Singapore are exempted from GST:

  1. Financial services such as the sale of shares  

  2. Digital payment tokens such as the exchange of Bitcoin for Fiat

  3. Sale and rental of residential properties 

  4. Import and local supply of investment precious metals.



Does Your Business Need to Register for GST?

Compulsory Registration

Businesses in Singapore must register for GST when their taxable turnover exceeds $1 million in the past 12 months, or is reasonably expected to exceed $1 million in the next 12 months. 

Voluntary Registration

Businesses can also voluntarily register for GST even if your annual turnover is less than $1 million if they satisfy IRAS requirements. The Comptroller will decide if your approval is successful if it meets their criteria, such as the selling of goods and services in international markets.


There are cases where businesses may be exempted from GST registration even if their annual taxable turnover exceeds $1 million. These are cases where the business’s goods and services fall under zero-rated supplies, meaning they export goods overseas or provide international services.

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