Saturday, July 31, 2010

TWFT: Singapore GST

Saving on Singapore GST

Great news for tourists to Singapore - thanks to their Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) you can receive a refund of the GST you paid while shopping during your stay.

Not all stores in Singapore participate, and you need to spend a minimum of S$100 per day at that store, and the goods can't be consumable within Singapore (i.e. your hotel or a meal) to be eligible, but it's a great scheme regardless.

Here's the details:

~ carry your passport when shopping as the store clerk will need to sight it when you make your purchases

~ once eligible (spent enough) the participating store will give you your TRS receipt in an envelop (it's REALLY long and will be separate to your normal purchase receipt)

~ when you fly out of Singapore you have 2 opportunities to claim at the airport
1. For goods packed in you Check-in luggage, take your TRS receipt + the goods you purchased to the GST Customs table in the departure hall, or
2. Once checked in take your TRS receipt + the purchased goods to the GST Customs table near the departure gates (it's near the Duty Free shops)

I got a little confused at this point so learn from my bumblings...

~ Show the Customs officer your
  • passport
  • flight ticket
  • goods
  • purchase receipt 
  • TRS receipt
They'll then stamp the TRS

~ Now you have a choice of 2 counters - look at the envelop your TRS receipt came in, it'll have a company logo (i.e Global Refund OR Premier Tax Free) [I didn't notice this and went to the wrong counter...opps]

~ The clerk at the counter will just need to see your stamped TRS receipt and will then give you the option to have your GST reimbursed as Cash or direct to your Credit Card

And you're done! If there's not to big a queue you should be in and out in 15 minutes - with enough time to spend your change at Duty Free before departure :) [I stocked up on some Bombay Gin, tasty]

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