Finance ministry seeks feedback on GST amendment bill

Finance ministry seeks feedback on GST amendment bill
Photo illustration of tourists getting GST refund at Changi Airport
PHOTO: The Straits Times

The Ministry of Finance will be conducting a public consultation on the draft GST (Amendment) Bill 2015 from July 13-31.

Three changes to existing tax policies and administration had emerged from on-going reviews of Singapore's GST system.

1) Allowing 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 scheme, only eligible tourists are allowed to claim a refund of the GST paid on goods purchased in and brought out of Singapore. In view that a wrongful tourist refund owed is no different from a tax due to the Government, the Comptroller will be granted powers to impose a Travel Restriction Order on a person who fails to repay a tourist refund wrongly claimed under the Tourist Refund Scheme.

A ineligible claimant will be allowed to leave the country only after he has repaid the refund wrongly claimed;

2) Revising the definition of "aircraft" for the purpose of zero-rating supplies made in relation to an aircraft, and extending zero-rating to specific supplies made in relation to non-qualifying aircraft.

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;

3) Clarifying 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.

The public can access the consultation documents and explanations for the draft bill 2015 on the Ministry of Finance's website (www.mof.gov.sg) and the REACH consultation portal (www.reach.gov.sg). You may send your comments to the Ministry of Finance directly via the website, email, fax, or post.

chenj@sph.com.sg

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