GST voucher & U-Save 2021: How much will you get & when?

PHOTO: The Straits Times file

The GST voucher is something that many Singaporeans look out for every year. But many don’t know how much they’ll get from the government, and when the GST voucher payout date is. Some of us don’t even know if they qualify — lagi worse.

To make things extra confusing, in 2021 there will be additional payouts as part of Budget 2021’s Household Support Package. We answer the most frequently asked questions below:

What is the GST voucher scheme?

The permanent GST voucher scheme was introduced in Budget 2012 as a way to help lower-income Singaporeans ease the pain of — you guessed it! — the forthcoming GST hike and the rising cost of living.

Now, where it gets confusing is what the components are. There are three parts:

  • GST Voucher — Cash (cash voucher)
  • GST Voucher — U-Save (utilities rebates, given four X a year in Jan, Apr, Jul and Oct)
  • GST Voucher — Medisave (Medisave top-up in Aug)

But also, just for 2021, there will be additional free money under the Household Support Package. These comprise:

  • GST Voucher — Cash Special Payment (an extra payout on top of the usual GST Voucher)
  • GST Voucher — U-Save Special Payment (extra utilities rebates in April and July)

So let’s summarise all the GST Voucher freebies for 2021, in chronological order:

Payout date GST Voucher component Amount in 2021
Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct 2021 U-Save $235 to $395
Apr, Jul 2021 U-Save Special Payment $120 to $200
Jun 2021 Cash Special Payment $200
Aug 2021 Cash $150 or $300
Aug 2021 Medisave $150 to $450

There are different eligibility requirements, payout amounts and payout dates for each one. Details in the following sections.

Do I qualify for GST Voucher – Cash in 2021?

There are 5 main criteria to meet before you are eligible for GST Voucher – Cash in 2021. 

PHOTO: Moneysmart

 You are a Singapore Citizen, residing in Singapore

  1. You are aged 21 years old and above in 2021
  2. You earned $28,000 or less in 2020
  3. Your home (as indicated on your NRIC) as at Dec 31, 2020 must not exceed $21,000 in Annual Value
  4. You must not own more than one property

You will be notified in June 2021 if you are eligible. If you are a kan cheong spider, you can log in to the My 2021 GST Voucher website (SingPass needed) from June 1, 2021 to check.

Never received a previous GST Voucher payout before? You will need to sign up at the website first. Sign up by June 13, 2021​ to get the earliest batch of GST vouchers. If you’re not in a hurry, you have all the way until Apr 2022 to sign up.

ALSO READ: How much in GST vouchers (Cash, U-Save, MediSave) will I be receiving in 2021?

What is the annual value of my property?

According to IRAS, the Annual Value of a property is the estimated gross annual rent if it were to be rented out, excluding furniture, furnishings and maintenance fees.

For example, if you’re staying in a five-room HDB flat, and your neighbour who also owns a five-room HDB flat is renting out their flat for $1,500 a month, then your property Annual Value is around $1,500 x 12 = $18,000.

PHOTO: Moneysmart

Unfortunately, simply knocking on your neighbours’ doors does not tell you the actual Annual Value of your home, because it’s calculated by IRAS.

But there’s a quick and easy way to check the Annual Value of your property. Log in to IRAS MyTax Portal and go to “View Property Portfolio” and you can see the current AV of your property.

If you need to check the Annual Value of someone else’s property, you can also do so via IRAS website’s Check Annual Value of Property. There’s a $2.50 fee per search.

ALSO READ: GST vouchers - U-Save rebates: How much will you receive?

When is the GST voucher 2021 payout date? 

The two separate GST vouchers will be given out a just few months apart: one in June and another in August. Woohoo! Here are the GST Voucher payout dates for 2021.

Annual Value PayNow (NRIC) Bank account Cheque
GST Voucher – Cash Special Payment (Jun 2021) June 23, 2021 June 30,  2021 From July 15, 2021
GST Voucher – Cash (Aug 2021) July 30, 2021 Aug 5, 2021 From Aug 18, 2021

To get your GST Voucher — Cash payouts ASAP, make sure that you have set up your PayNow and linked it to your NRIC. Check with your bank if you have linked up your NRIC to your preferred bank account.

Otherwise, your GST Voucher — Cash payments might be delayed.

If you don’t have PayNow (or haven’t linked it to your NRIC) you will receive a direct bank credit to your DBS/POSB, OCBC or UOB bank account.

Still hoarding your money in a Khong Guan tin instead of a bank? You will receive a cheque in the mail, which you’ll need to bank in within six months. If you forget to bank it in, the money will go into your CPF OA instead.

ALSO READ: GST vouchers - U-Save rebates: How much will you receive?

How much will I get this GST voucher 2021? 

As for the amount you get, it depends on the Annual Value of your home.

Annual Value Up to $13,000 $13,001 to $21,000
GST Voucher – Cash Special Payment (Jun 2021) $200 $200
GST Voucher – Cash (Aug 2021) $300 $150

If the Annual Value of your home is $13,000 or less, you will get $200 + $300 = $500.

If the Annual Value of your home is between $13,001 and $21,000, you will get $200 + $150 = $350.

PHOTO: Moneysmart

Other than GST Voucher – cash, what else can I get?

PHOTO: Moneysmart

Most HDB households are eligible for GST Voucher – U-Save, a quarterly subsidy for utilities bills. There is no income requirement, but you must not own more than one property.

Elderly Singaporeans are eligible for GST Voucher – Medisave, an annual top up to their Medisave Account.

ALSO READ: Unity, Resilience, Solidarity Budget 2020: Here's how much S'pore households will be getting (and when) to help tide through the Covid-19 crisis

Do I qualify for GST Voucher – U-Save in 2021?

Only HDB households are eligible for the GST Voucher – U-Save.  GST Voucher – U-Save is given to 3 groups:

  • Those who own and live in the HDB flat
  • Those who own and live in the flat, and also rent out one or more of the rooms 
  • Those who rent the entire HDB flat

In all cases, there must be at least one Singapore citizen owner/occupier/tenant. Also, immediate family members living with you in the same HDB flat must not own any other property.

If you qualify, you will automatically receive the U-Save rebates in your utility bills. There’s no need to sign up or register.

How much U-Save rebates will I get?

The amount of U-Save rebates depends on your HDB flat size — the bigger the flat, the less you get (because you are presumably more affluent that those living in small flats).

Regular U-Save (Apr, Jul, Oct, Jan) U-Save Special Payment (Apr, Jul) 2021 Total U-Save Rebates
One - / two-room $395 $200 $595
Three-room $355 $180 $535
Four-room $315 $160 $475
Five-room $275 $140 $415
Executive / Multi-Generation $235 $120 $355

U-Save rebates will be automatically credited to the utilities account of the HDB household every quarter. You’ll see it reflected in your Apr 2021, Jul 2021, Oct 2021 & Jan 2022 utility bills.

In Apr 2021 and Jul 2021, you’ll get more rebates since that’s when the U-Save Special Payments are given.

Should the U-Save rebate actually be higher than your utility bill for that month, the unused portion won’t disappear — it’ll simply be rolled over to the next month(s) bill. There’s no expiry date for the rebates. It will only lapse if you close your utilities account.

Do I qualify for GST Voucher – Medisave in 2021?

There are four main criteria to meet before you are eligible for GST voucher — Medisave:

  1. You are a Singapore Citizen, residing in Singapore
  2. You are aged 65 years old and above in 2021
  3. Your home (as indicated on your NRIC) as at Dec 31, 2020 must not exceed $21,000 in Annual Value
  4. You must not own more than one property

As with GST voucher — Cash, you will be notified in June 2021 if you are eligible. You can log in to the My 2021 GST voucher website from June 1, 2021 to check.

If you have previously received any sort of GST Voucher or government payout, there’s no need to sign up. Your Medisave will be topped up automatically.

Otherwise, you can sign up for the GST voucher scheme online. The sign-up process is for the Cash and Medisave components together, so no need to sign up twice. Sign-up opens from June 1, 2021.

How much do I get from the GST Voucher – Medisave payout?

You can get between $150 to $450, depending on your age and the annual value of your home.

Age in 2021 Annual Value up to $13,000 Annual Value $13,001 to $21,000
65 to 74 $250 $150
75 to 84 $350 $250
85 and above $450 $350

This amount will be credited to your Medisave Account. You can use your Medisave for your own medical needs, or for the needs of your immediate family, regardless of their nationality.

Other than GST voucher, what other freebies can I get?

The GST voucher scheme is permanent. But in certain years, like this one, the government gives extra payouts. The extra payouts for 2021 are under a wider budget called the Household Support Package, which includes:

  • GST voucher — Cash Special Payment
  • GST voucher — U-Save Special Payment
  • 1.5 to 3.5 months of Town Council S&CC rebate
  • $100 in CDC vouchers
  • $200 top-up for Singaporeans under 21

Now, we’ve already covered the two GST voucher Special Payments above. But what about the rest?

Town Council S&CC rebate: Singaporean HDB households get 1.5 to 3.5 months’ rebate off their usual monthly Service & Conservancy Charges.

Read Also
How much in GST vouchers (cash, U-Save, MediSave) will I be getting in 2019?
How much in GST vouchers (cash, U-Save, MediSave) will I be getting in 2019?

So in Apr, Jul, Oct 2021 and Jan 2022, you pay less than the usual Town Council bill. Check with your respective Town Council website on the fee schedule for 2021.

$100 CDC vouchers: ALL Singaporean households will get $100 worth of Community Development Council (CDC) vouchers, which can be used at participating hawker stalls and heartland shops.

Details are not out yet, but you will most likely get a notification letter to collect the vouchers from your designated CC.

$200 top-up for Singaporean kids: All Singaporean kids below age 21 will receive a one-off top up on $200 into their Edusave, PSEA or CDA account. This will be disbursed either in May 2021 (Edusave or PSEA) or Sep 2021 (Child Development Account).  

This article was first published in MoneySmart.