The Goods & Services Tax (Amendment) Act 2013, passed by the Parliament on 11 November 2013 and assented by the President on 17 December 2013, is published. It comes into operation on 1 January 2014.
The amendment to the GST Act includes:
Section 6 – Official secrecy
New subsections (6A) and (6B) are inserted to allow the Comptroller of GST to disclose certain information relating to a money laundering offence, the predicate offence of which is an offence under the Act, to the Commissioner of Police and the Director of the Commercial Affairs Department.
New subsections (8) and (9) are also inserted to mirror sections 6(11) and 6(13) of the Income Tax Act.
Section 25 – Refund or remission of taxes in certain cases
Subsection (2)(f) has been amended to refer to approvals applied for through prescribed means, rather than to a prescribed person).
Subsection (2)(g) has also been amended to expand on the power of the Minister for Finance to make regulations in connection with the seizure and forfeiture of goods.
Section 27 – Import and supply of goods by taxable persons
Subsection (2)(b) has been amended to clarify that regulations made can prescribe the person (including persons other than the importer or supplier of goods) by whom the tax in question (or an amount equivalent thereto) is to be paid.
Section 33 – Agents
Subsections (2B), (2C) and (2D) have been inserted to provide that goods imported by a taxable person as agent, and supplied by a substituted agent as agent, for a person who is not a taxable person, may be treated as imported by the taxable person as principal and
supplied by the substituted agent as principal, and for matters consequential
thereto. Subsection (5) is amended in which to insert a definition for “substituted agent”.
Section 37B – Refining of goods into IPM
The definition of “refine” in subsection(2) has been amended to clarify that it includes
changing an investment precious metal or a precious metal from one form to
another (for example, from granules to a bar), or to a different level of purity.
Section 79 – Power to appoint agent for recovery of tax
Subsection (5A) has been amended to clarify that the Comptroller’s power to serve a notice on a public officer includes serving a notice on an employee of the Inland Revenue
Authority of Singapore, to enable monies which are intended to be paid by the
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore to a taxpayer to be off-set against tax
owing by the taxpayer.
Section 83E – Arrest of persons (new)
A new section 83E has been introduced to empower the Minister to make regulations to allow the Comptroller and any authorised person to arrest without warrant certain persons in connection with any refund or remission sought or obtained pursuant to regulations made under section 25, and for matters consequential thereto. This new largely mirrors section 112 of the Customs Act.
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