As a tourist in Singapore, if you make a purchase of more than $ 100 S (including GST) at participating stores, you can claim a 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST) refund paid on your purchases.
Singapore’s electronic refund scheme (eTRS) has reduced tax recovery steps. While the normal paper return service will be available for unregistered eTRS visitors.
When registering for eTRS, you will have the choice between a credit or debit card to apply for certain promotions when shopping in Singapore. Of course, you can still buy free with other cards, but these promotions only apply to registered cards.
At the airport
To process the refund process, go to the airport’s eTRS kiosks. There are 2 kiosks at the airport, one in the check-in area and the other in the waiting area.
Here you need to scan your passport and scan the dry or eTRS cards. You then have two options: pay directly on the card or receive money.
You will then receive written notice of your return details, please bring this type of certificate to the service counter with your purchased goods and purchase receipt.
If you do not purchase from eTRS, it is necessary to present the checks and passports received, the goods purchased and the receipts to process the refund.
Invalid invoices or invoices not showing the goods purchased will not be reimbursed.
At the store
Look for stores that have a blue sign that says “Tax-Free Shopping” or “Premier Tax-Free” to shop.
You must purchase a minimum of 100 SGD, almost equal to 64 USD. A reimbursement invoice will be sent to you by post, each day you may receive 3 tax reimbursement invoices in a store.
If the store is in an eTRS system, you will receive an eTRS card for each payment. Please keep all receipts and eTRS cards you receive so that you can return later.
If the store is not part of the eTRS system, give the passport to the inspector and request a global refund check or a refund slip. These checks should be kept with your invoice so that you can get your money back in the future.
At the tax refund counter
After registration, cc or at the Premier Tax-Free counters. The choice depends on the company you sell to, see details below.
The refund will go directly to your account, or in cash or vouchers for items at the airport. You will lose money for service charges.
Tax refund agencies in Singapore
Most stores in Singapore are affiliated with one of two tax refund agencies – Global Blue Singapore (+ 65-6225-6238; http://www.global-blue.com) or Premier Tax-Free (+ 65-6293-3811; http://www.premiertaxfree.com). The two agencies reimburse invoices with a value greater than 100 SGD.
Stores not affiliated with these agencies often have different minimum prices and refunds, so ask before you shop.
Exceptions and non-refundable cases
Any legal tourist over 16 can receive a refund, except in the following cases:
- Visitors must not be Singaporean citizens or permanent residents of Singapore.
- Visitors should not stay in Singapore for more than 365 days for 24 months before shopping.
- Visitors should not work in Singapore for 6 months before shopping.
- You are neither a flight crew member nor an attendant on a flight departing from Singapore.
Students with an identity card must meet these requirements and must:
- Purchase within 4 months before the expiration of the student card.
- Goods must be picked up from Singapore within 2 months of payment.
- Travelers with a student card after their return must leave Singapore at least 12 months before continuing to be reimbursed.
Goods not eligible for tax refund:
- Items used or partially used in Singapore (you cannot get a refund for an open beer can).
- Commercial items or for advertising purposes only.
- Goods for export.
- Bonus items
- Once only a maximum of 500 SGD (around 320 USD) is refunded to a person and the goods must be removed from Singapore within 2 months.
- You will not be reimbursed if you leave Singapore by land or sea.
- You probably don’t know it: goods bought after immigration procedures don’t include taxes, so if you don’t want cumbersome procedures, you can buy goods at the airport. Items such as perfumes, indigo oil, and branded items are no more expensive than at the center.
To find out if a store participates in the tourist reimbursement program (TRS), look for a “Tax-Free” logo or sign displayed in the store. You can also check with the retailer to see if your purchases are eligible for the GST rebate.