Singaporeans reminded to pay GST for abroad purchases

Singaporeans are up in arms with the recent news that TODAY & Channel News Asia has reported that Singaporeans who are returning from their holidays need to pay GST (Government & Services Tax) for goods purchased abroad.

Well… my fellow Singaporeans, please do not over-react. I think many of us do not read in detail and take for granted that we know the rules and regulations very well.

The guidelines as stated from ICA’s website was that, travellers away from Singapore for more than 48 hours will get to enjoy up GST relief for purchases of goods up to S$600 and if you are away for less than 48 hours, your cap is at S$150.

It was for a fact that and has been actively enforced for people who shop from overseas websites and have the items shipped to Singapore, that if their purchase exceeds $150, they would have to pay taxes before receiving their items!

Generally Singaporeans do know that if you go abroad, you shouldn’t buy goods in excessive quantities, otherwise you risk getting “caught” and have to pay taxes. So in actual fact… Singaporeans DO know that they are liable to pay taxes for goods they bought abroad!

There are two lessons here.

#1 News media should be careful on how they present information

#2 In this digital age, people need to learn not to jump at every “news” they read.

Nuff said.


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