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The Truth About GST in Singapore

All you need to know about GST and how it affects your shopping sprees and dinner outings, right here.

GST, or Goods and Services Tax, is a consumption tax implemented by the Singapore Government on most good and services in Singapore as well as the import of goods (this includes overseas purchases made during holidays!). Goods and services which are exempt from this tax include financial services and the sale and lease of real estate.

In Singapore, the prevailing GST rate is currently 7%. This is calculated after any service taxes charged by many restaurants in lieu of tips (hence, tipping is not mandatory here!).

In many other countries, this tax is also known as VAT or Value-Added Tax. For the purposes of comparison, below is a table of tax rates in some countries and territories around the world:

Singapore

7%

Indonesia

10%

Australia

10%

Japan

8%

China

17%

Malaysia

6%

France

20%

Philippines

12%

Germany

19%

Thailand

7%

Hong Kong

0%

United Kingdom

20%

India

12.5-15%

United States

0-7.5%*

*depending on the state

 

As you can see, Singapore enjoys one of the lowest Goods and Services Tax rates in the world – one of many reasons why Singapore is such a popular shopping destination – and also possibly why Singaporeans simply love to shop.  More importantly, some cafes and restaurants in Singapore have opted to absorb GST which means what-you-see-is-what-you-pay! Below are a couple of popular food joints that absorb GST:

Pepperoni Pizzeria 56 Zion Road, Singapore 247781 or 6 Greenwood Avenue, Singapore 289195

Nam Nam Noodle Bar 252 North Bridge Road, #B1-46/47 Raffles City Shopping Centre, Singapore 179103

Food for Thought  Several outlets island-wide.

The Sushi Bar 14 Scotts Road, #03-89 Far East Plaza, Singapore 228213

Fatboys the Burger Bar Several outlets island-wide.

 

By Joshua Tan, March 2016

 

Related articles:

Guide on Paying Taxes for Overseas Purchases When You Return to Singapore

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