By Singaporean legislation, a GST registered company may claim back GST incurred on business expenses and file quarterly GST returns to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). Goods and Services Tax or GST is a broad-based consumption tax charged in addition to the price of imported products, as well as a wide-ranging category of goods and services in Singapore. It is more commonly known as Value-Added Tax (VAT) in overseas developed countries such as Japan or Korea.

Conditions for GST Registration

Companies planning to apply for GST registration in Singapore must first determine whether they fall under the compulsory or voluntary category for GST registration. By Singaporean law, companies are required to register for GST if the value of their annual taxable sales exceeds SGD 1 million. On the other hand, companies that do not meet the criteria for compulsory registration may also apply for GST registration on a voluntary basis.

Application Process for GST Registration

For companies under the voluntary GST registration category, directors, sole proprietors or partners must complete two e-learning courses: Registering for GST and Overview of GST.  An exam will then be conducted at the end of the learning period to gauge the applicants’ qualification for GST registration. Company representatives who pass the e-course exam may then proceed to submit their registration application along with the required supporting documents online through the myTax Portal on the official IRAS website. 

Checking a Company’s GST Registration Number online

Eligible businesses and companies in Singapore are assigned a GST registration number by the IRAS upon completion and approval of their respective GST applications. GST registered companies receive an official notification letter containing their GST Registration number and the effective date of their GST registration. Companies may also check their GST registration number via an online tool and database maintained by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). The online tool is hosted on the IRAS official website and is accessible through the following link: GST Registered Business Search

Significance and use of the GST Registration Number 

The GST registration number is important for printing on invoices, credit notes and receipts while the effective date of GST registration specifies the period when the company may charge GST for taxable sales. A company’s GST registration number is also an important requirement for accessing various IRAS e-services and GST related activities which may be carried out on a quarterly basis through the myTax Portal. These e-services include cancelling of GST Registration, filing for GST returns, settlement of taxes, requesting for penalty waiver or extension of the filing deadline, retrieving past GST returns and updating of GST contact details. The GST number is unique for every GST registered company in Singapore.

While there are basic guides posted on the IRAS website for new companies and businesses applying for GST registration, consulting a qualified tax professional may be a good option to clear any doubts regarding the process of acquiring a GST registration number online. Seeking professional advice can help first-time applicants efficiently prepare the necessary requirements for various IRAS e-services, avoid any penalties for late submission and remain GST compliant in Singapore.

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