GST is charged on the majority of purchases made in Singapore. If certain criteria are fulfilled, tourists in Singapore may be able to claim a GST refund related to purchases they have made. These are the directions for tourists who wish to do so.

GST Refund

In Singapore, the costs of most products purchased include a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 7%. Tourists in Singapore who make a purchase of at least S$100 (with GST included) are eligible to receive a GST refund when they depart from the country. Each tourist is allowed up to three receipts or invoices on the same day from shops that have the same GST registration number to reach the minimum total of S$100. Shops from which tourists may claim GST refunds have a sign or logo in or outside the shop certifying this fact.

However, even if the products purchased by the tourist do not exceed a value of S$100, they will not be eligible for a GST refund if they are in any of the following categories: goods that the tourist has already used or consumed in Singapore, goods that the tourist intends to export for commercial purposes, goods that are to be exported by freight, accommodation in a hotel or hostel, and certain services such as tour charges or vehicle rental.


Obtaining a GST refund

It is possible to obtain a GST refund at one of two Electronic Tourist Refund self-help kiosks. These kiosks are located at Changi Airport Departure Check-in Hall and Departure Transit Lounge, as well as at Seletar Airport Immigration & Checkpoints Authority duty office. Tourists who leave Singapore via the Causeway or the Second Link may not obtain a GST refund, as there are no self-help kiosks in those locations.

Once at the self-help kiosk, the tourist will be instructed to call up details of all purchases made. After this has been done, depending on which airport the tourist is leaving Singapore from, the tourist will be told to select the method by which the GST refund will be received. Tourists may receive their GST refund credited to their credit card, in cash (Changi Airport only), or by bank cheque (Seletar Airport only). Citizens of China may also opt to receive their GST refund by having it credited into their Alipay account.

Some tourists might prefer to obtain their tax refund by using the Tourego app. Tourego is a mobile tourist tax refund app which can also be used to apply for tax refunds online. Those who use this app will have their GST refund tickets issued and stored digitally from any affiliated retailers. Once this step has been completed, the tourist may proceed to the self-help kiosk at either airport. At the airport, the tourist will then scan all tickets one by one. After following instructions displayed on the kiosk, the tourist will then be able to obtain the GST refund.

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It is very much recommended that tourists carry their passports with them when they shop in Singapore. This will make it much easier for tourists to claim their GST refund when they leave the country. Such is the case because while most of the major shopping malls in Singapore do offer tax refunds, they also require proof of purchases and the buyer’s original passport to confirm the tourist’s identity.