Singapore GST – Liability to register for GST for a Singapore branch (A Case Study)

Company XYZ, a non-Singapore incorporated company, registered with the ACRA a few years ago a Singapore branch.  The principal activities of the Singapore branch were to provide management services to overseas affiliated entities in the SEA region.  The turnover of the Singapore branch has exceeded S$1 million annually. XYZ has decided to corporatise the Singapore branch in 2017 and proceeds with de-registration of the Singapore branch.

What are the GST issues arising from this case study for the Singapore branch?

1.     Did the Singapore branch have the liability to register for Singapore GST?

2.    If the answer to Question 1 is “Yes”, is there any way for the Singapore branch to have asked for an exemption from GST registration in the first place?

3.   If the answer to Question 1 is “Yes”, now that the Singapore branch is late in GST registration, will IRAS object to its de-registration on the basis that there is non-compliance issue for the branch from a GST viewpoint?

4.   What could the branch do in such cases?  Is voluntary disclosure program available in such case?

5.   If it is determined that VDP is not available, what are the penalties to be imposed on the Singapore branch?  Is there any room for negotiation for lesser penalties from IRAS.

As you can see, ignorance or failure to register for GST if the person is liable to do so is a serious offence in Singapore.  IRAS is getting very tougher and penalizing taxpayer for non-compliance with this requirement.

If you have any questions regarding the above, or if you want to have a thorough discussion about your liability to register for GST, please contact for an appointment.


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