A guide to GST tax refunds

Unleash the Power of Your Wallet: A Comprehensive Guide to GST Tax Refunds for Travelers in Singapore

Welcome to the savvy traveler’s guide to GST Tax Refunds in Singapore! Visiting Singapore is an experience filled with vibrant culture, stunning sights, and fantastic shopping opportunities. But did you know you can make your shopping even more rewarding by understanding the Goods and Services Tax (GST) refund process? Let’s dive into how to get the most bang for your buck!

What Is the Tourism Refund Scheme?

The Tourism Refund Scheme is a financial boon for tourists shopping in Singapore. When you purchase over S$100 (including GST) at participating stores, you can claim a refund on the 9% GST paid. Keep an eye out for the “Tax-Free” shopping logo in stores, a clear indicator of participation in this scheme.

Eligibility for GST Refund

To qualify for a GST refund, you must:

  • Be a tourist, not a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident.
  • Be 16 years or older at the time of purchase.
  • Not be a crew member of the aircraft you’re departing on.
  • Depart from Changi or Seletar Airport (refunds are not available for departures by Causeway or sea).
  • Purchase within two months before applying for a refund.
  • Not be a Specified Person* as per the scheme’s criteria.

Ineligible Purchases

Some items are exempt from the GST refund:

  • Goods consumed or used in Singapore.
  • Items for commercial export.
  • Goods exported by freight.
  • Hotel accommodations, car rentals, and tour charges.

Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS)

The eTRS simplifies the refund process. At eTRS-participating retailers, show your passport and e-Pass in person. The retailer will issue an eTRS transaction with your passport details. Use the eTRS kiosk at the airport to apply for your GST refund.

How to Claim Your Tax Refund

At the Airport

Use the eTRS kiosks at Changi Airport’s departure check-in hall, departure transit lounge, and Seletar Airport. After scanning your passport, follow the on-screen instructions.

Via Global Blue Mobile Application

Download the “SHOP TAX FREE” app for a convenient, mobile-friendly way to claim your refund. Remember to turn on location services and notifications and stay within 15m of the eTRS kiosks at the airport.

Different Refund Modes

  • Cash: Available at the Central Refund Counter in the Departure Transit Lounge at Changi Airport.
  • Credit Card: The refund will be credited within ten days upon successful claim submission.
  • Alipay: For Chinese citizens, opt for immediate credit into your account.
  • Bank Cheque: Your cheque will be mailed out within 14 days.

Global Blue Downtown Refund (In-Store)

For purchases up to $25,000, opt for the in-store refund to your credit card. Validate your transactions at the eTRS kiosk before leaving Singapore.

Final Tips

  1. Arrive early at the airport to process your refund.
  2. Keep all receipts and invoices handy.
  3. Ensure your refund method is set up before shopping.

Key Providers Featured:

Understanding the GST Tax Refunds in Singapore can significantly enhance your shopping experience. Keep these tips in mind, and happy shopping!

Guide to GST in Singapore

Singapore Cruise Centre