Proposed Reforms to Singapore’s Goods and Services Tax for the Digital Age

(2019) 93(5) Tax Notes International 521-530

15 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2019 Last revised: 17 Aug 2019

See all articles by Liu Hern Kuan

Liu Hern Kuan

Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore

Vincent Ooi

Singapore Management University - School of Law; Singapore Management University - Centre for AI & Data Governance

Date Written: February 4, 2019

Abstract

With the rapid development of the digital economy and the increasing importance of GST as a source of tax revenue, the Singapore Government has proposed several reforms to tighten the collection of tax revenue and tap its tax base more efficiently. The reforms focus on activating the currently dormant “reverse charge” mechanism to collect GST on supplies of services “imported” by businesses; creating an “overseas vendor registration regime” to catch digital products “imported” by individuals; and clarifying the “place of supply” requirement for supplies of digital products. This article considers the reforms from the perspective of a foreign business that may potentially be affected and explores the potential implications that are projected to kick in by January 2020. In the upshot, this article argues that the reforms will help the revenue authorities avoid gaps in the Singapore GST regime and better utilise GST as a revenue-collection tool for Singapore.

Keywords: Goods and Services Tax, GST, Singapore Tax, Tax Law, Taxation

Suggested Citation

Hern Kuan, Liu and Ooi, Vincent, Proposed Reforms to Singapore’s Goods and Services Tax for the Digital Age (February 4, 2019). (2019) 93(5) Tax Notes International 521-530. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3322309

Liu Hern Kuan

Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore ( email )

55 Newton Road
Revenue House
Singapore, 307987
Singapore
+65 6351 2030 (Phone)
+65 6351 2077 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.iras.gov.sg

Vincent Ooi (Contact Author)

Singapore Management University - School of Law ( email )

55 Armenian Street
Singapore, 179943
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://law.smu.edu.sg/faculty/profile/156436/Vincent-OOI

Singapore Management University - Centre for AI & Data Governance ( email )

55 Armenian Street
Singapore
Singapore

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