From 13 to 31 July 2015, the Ministry of Finance (the “MOF”) conducted a public consultation and sought feedback on a draft Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill 2015 (the “Draft Bill”). The on-going review of the Singapore goods and services tax (“GST”) system identified three changes to existing GST policies and administration which the Draft Bill seeks to address:

  • Extending travel restriction order to person who fails to repay wrongly claimed tourist refund: The existing powers in section 82 of the Goods and Services Tax Act that allow the Comptroller of GST to impose a travel restriction order on persons owing tax will be extended to cover ineligible claimants who fail to repay tourist refunds wrongly claimed under the Tourist Refund Scheme. The change will take effect from 1 January 2016.
  • Revise definition of “aircraft” for zero-rating supplies made in relation to an aircraft, and extend zero-rating to specific supplies made in relation to non-qualifying aircraft: The existing 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. Drafting changes will also be made to the Goods and Services Tax (International Services) (Amendment) Order. The change will take effect from 1 January 2016.
  • Clarify scope of zero-rating in relation to merchandise for sale on board an aircraft or ship: This proposed change makes it clear that the supply of goods which are for use as merchandise for retail sale on board an aircraft or ship will be zero-rated.

Reference materials

The following materials are available from the MOF website www.mof.gov.sg: