Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a value added tax levied on goods and services for consumption. GST is paid by customers, collected by business and remitted to the government as per rules and regulations applicable. GST is an effective revenue stream for the government. Any corporate whose turnover exceeds 1 million SGD is required to register under GST regime. The option of voluntary registration is also given to tax payers. This means that even if registered businesses have no business activity, they have to file “NIL” GST. GST is a fair tax system and unlike past, it also reduces cost of doing business in Singapore. GST collection by the government contributes to overall growth of the economy. The registration under GST regime takes approximately up to 3 weeks and on the completion of registration, the business gets registration number, date of registration along with other instructions.

GST Return

In a nutshell, the businesses have to provide data on purchases and sales made during the period and GST collected and paid accordingly to the government. It shall also include GST on purchases and GST on sales. The accounting period can be different if the business wants to and shall state the same in GST registration form. The proposal for monthly return can also be entertained if business is subject to regular refunds.  Here are some of the important dates under Singapore GST regime:

GST Accounting Period Without GIRO Plan With GIRO Plan
Filing and Payment- Due Date Filing Due Date
January to March 30 April 30 April
April to June 31 July 31 July
July to September 31 October 31 October
October to December 31 January 31 January

Electronic Filing of GST F5 Return

It is compulsory to e-file F5 return via under Regulation 53 of GST (General) Regulations. GST returns should be filed within one month after end of accounting period.

Extension for Due date of GST return

No extension shall be provided after end of one month from accounting period unless from below exceptions. All these requests shall be made before the filing due date.

Acceptable Reasons Documents Required Maximum Extension
Newly Registered N.A. 1 month
Fire Disaster Insurance Claim, FIR 2 weeks
Breakdown of Computer System IT Service Report
Purchase of New Accounting Software Tax Invoice
Key Accounting Personnel on Long Leave or hospitalization leave Medical/hospitalization report

The other important considerations while filing GST returns are as follows:

  • To ascertain the GST payable to Comptroller, the value of outward GST liability shall be set off by input GST credit. If the answer is negative, refund shall be provided to the business.
  • If the business is filing first GST return and has pre-registration input tax claims, it shall indicate “Yes” in the relevant box and indicate the amount that it has claimed. If it is not the first return, the box will be disabled.
  • Under exceptional circumstances like business under liquidation or company struck off, GST return is allowed to filed by paper mode. The GST return shall be sent via mailing address.

Payment Due Dates:

Payment due date is different from filing due dates only in case of GIRO plan. Payment due date has already been discussed above. If you have an existing GIRO arrangement for the payment of GST, the payment will be deducted on the 15th of the following month after you have filed your GST F5/F8 return. GIRO deduction will take place on the following working day.

How to fill up the GST F5 Return 

Let us now discuss the details to be filed in GST returns:

Boxes Heading Explanations
1  Total Value of Standard Rate Supplies These are subject to standard GST rate at 7%
2 Total Value of Zero Rated Supplies Supplies of International Services
3 Total Value of Exempt Supplies Exempt Supplies Include: sale and lease of residential properties, import of precious metals
4 1 + 2 + 3
5 Total Value of Taxable purchases This is value of input tax credit after satisfying all the conditions for claim
6 Output Tax Date This includes the outward tax liability
7 Input Tax and Refunds Claim Total It includes amount of GST for the purchases
8 NET GST The amount in this box is the difference between Box 6 (Output Tax Due) and Box 7 (Input Tax and Refunds Claimed). It will be automatically computed after you have filled in the amounts for Box 6 and Box 7.
9 Total Value of Goods Imported Under the MES/A3PL/Other Approved Schemes This box is to be filled only by businesses under the Approved Schemes only.
10 Claim GST you refunded to Tourists Indicate Yes if claimed
11 Bad Debt Relief Claim Claim if the bad debt cannot be recovered
12 Pre-Registration Claims If the business is filing first GST return and has pre-registration input tax claims, it shall indicate “Yes”.
13 Revenue It includes income derived from the major income sources

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