Singapore to hike GST, tightens duty free allowances

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Singapore To Hike Gst, Tightens Duty Free AllowancesAmid slowing global growth, ongoing geopolitical uncertainty and technological disruptions to industries and jobs, Singapore issued a budget for 2019 that will see new support programmes for small and medium companies, technology, innovation, infrastructure and cyber security, as well as for lower-income households and the elderly, but also streamline public expenses.

The budget also makes provisions for the implementation of a carbon tax and – in the medium term – the raise of the Good and Services Tax (GST) to nine from seven per cent sometime between 2021 and 2025. The primary justification for the rise is to accrue funds for future infrastructure projects and renovation of the existing infrastructure. Increased social spending to help cope with an increasingly ageing population has also been given as a reason, as well as expenses for healthcare and pre-school education.

There are also some changes in the duty-free policy of the city state. With effect from midnight on February 19, incoming travelers have a smaller allowance on tax-exempt overseas shopping.

Those who spend fewer than 48 hours outside Singapore will have to pay the seven per cent GST on items bought abroad worth above S$100, down from S$150.

The threshold will be lowered from S$600 to S$500 for travelers who spend 48 hours or more outside the country, finance minister Heng Swee Keat said.

The duty-free concession for alcohol will also be reduced, from three liters to two liters, starting on April 1. The cap on the allowance for spirits will remain at one liter. This means that, under the new rules, returning travelers will be entitled to only two liters of wine, beer or a combination of the two, or a liter of spirits and a liter of either wine or beer duty-free.

Incoming travelers are reminded to declare their taxable goods upon arrival in Singapore, and are advised to keep and produce their purchase receipts to calculate the amount payable. An advance declaration and payment of GST can also be made using the Customs @ SG mobile app or the custom’s web portal, the finance ministry said.

Failure to declare, or making an incorrect declaration, is an offense that carries a fine of up to S$10,000 or the equivalent of the amount of tax payable –  whichever is greater –  as well as up to twelve months in prison.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Amid slowing global growth, ongoing geopolitical uncertainty and technological disruptions to industries and jobs, Singapore issued a budget for 2019 that will see new support programmes for small and medium companies, technology, innovation, infrastructure and cyber security, as well as for lower-income households and the elderly, but also streamline public expenses.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Singapore To Hike Gst, Tightens Duty Free AllowancesAmid slowing global growth, ongoing geopolitical uncertainty and technological disruptions to industries and jobs, Singapore issued a budget for 2019 that will see new support programmes for small and medium companies, technology, innovation, infrastructure and cyber security, as well as for lower-income households and the elderly, but also streamline public expenses.

The budget also makes provisions for the implementation of a carbon tax and – in the medium term – the raise of the Good and Services Tax (GST) to nine from seven per cent sometime between 2021 and 2025. The primary justification for the rise is to accrue funds for future infrastructure projects and renovation of the existing infrastructure. Increased social spending to help cope with an increasingly ageing population has also been given as a reason, as well as expenses for healthcare and pre-school education.

There are also some changes in the duty-free policy of the city state. With effect from midnight on February 19, incoming travelers have a smaller allowance on tax-exempt overseas shopping.

Those who spend fewer than 48 hours outside Singapore will have to pay the seven per cent GST on items bought abroad worth above S$100, down from S$150.

The threshold will be lowered from S$600 to S$500 for travelers who spend 48 hours or more outside the country, finance minister Heng Swee Keat said.

The duty-free concession for alcohol will also be reduced, from three liters to two liters, starting on April 1. The cap on the allowance for spirits will remain at one liter. This means that, under the new rules, returning travelers will be entitled to only two liters of wine, beer or a combination of the two, or a liter of spirits and a liter of either wine or beer duty-free.

Incoming travelers are reminded to declare their taxable goods upon arrival in Singapore, and are advised to keep and produce their purchase receipts to calculate the amount payable. An advance declaration and payment of GST can also be made using the Customs @ SG mobile app or the custom’s web portal, the finance ministry said.

Failure to declare, or making an incorrect declaration, is an offense that carries a fine of up to S$10,000 or the equivalent of the amount of tax payable –  whichever is greater –  as well as up to twelve months in prison.

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