Updated: Jun 12
To those of you who may not know that there were some adjustments to the Good & Service Tax (GST) import relief with effect from 19 Feb 2019. Yes, the GST relief for goods purchased overseas and brought (or imported) into Singapore was lowered from S$150 to S$100!
If you are over the Straits of Johor into Johor Bahru for a day trip or to Bangkok or Batam or any overseas places for 2 days (less than 48 hours), the amount of your purchases above SGD $100 is subjected to 7% GST. Note that this does not apply to dutiable goods such as tobacco and liquor and goods imported for commercial purposes, they are taxed separately.
For example, you went over to Johor Bahru and bought back non-dutiable purchases that are worth, say, S$160 in total value. S$100 relief will be granted and S$60 will be taxable at 7%. Your GST payable at Singapore Customs Tax Payment Office will be S$4.20 — if declared and paid voluntarily.
If you do not declare your payable tax via the red channels and are caught, you will be fined 10 times the GST amount subject to a minimum of S$50.
If you are away for 48 hours or more, the total relief granted is SGD $500.
Reliefs before 19 Feb 2019 were as follows:
- Away for less than 48 hours: S$150
- Away for 48 hours or more: S$600
Reference: Singapore Customs
Oh, and remember to keep your receipts as proofs of purchase. It is not worth the money to buy something at cheaper prices or at discounts, "lost" the receipts and are taxed based on retail prices (whatever the recorded prices in the Tax Payment Office's database).