If you purchase goods in Singapore from retailers who operate under the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS), you may claim a refund of the GST paid when you bring the goods out of Singapore via Changi International Airport.
- you are not a Singapore citizen or permanent resident;
- you spend 365 days or less in Singapore in the last 24 months before the date of purchase;
- you have not been, at any time, employed in Singapore 6 months before the date of purchase;
- you are not a member of the cabin or flight crew of the aircraft on which you are departing from Singapore; and
you are 16 years of age or above at the time of purchase.
You must spend a minimum amount of S$100.00 (including GST) on purchases from the same retailer in the same day to qualify for refund under the TRS. You may accumulate up to a maximum of 3 same-day receipts or invoices from the same retailer to meet this minimum purchase amount.
- No more than SGD500 (US$320) in taxes may be refunded per person. Merchandise must be brought out of Singapore within two months of purchase.
As the Tourist Refund Scheme is voluntary, not all retailers in Singapore operate under the scheme. GST-registered retailers may either choose to operate the scheme on their own or engage the services of central refund agencies. With retailers affiliated with these agencies, look out for 'Premier Tax Free' signs displayed in their shops. Currently, there are 2 such central refund agencies:
- Global Blue Singapore Pte Ltd
- Premier Tax Free (Singapore) Pte Ltd
In addition, retailers who operate the scheme on their own usually display signs that indicate 'Tax Refund' in their shops. However, it is best that you confirm with the retailers themselves if they are operating the scheme.
Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS)
To offer tourists a hassle-free shopping experience and an easy refund claim process, IRAS has introduced an Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS) in phases starting on 18 May 2011. The current paper-based refund system will continue until the eTRS is fully implemented by the 3rd quarter of 2012.
Purchases Made from Retailers on eTRS
You may watch the How-to Guide below for a step-by-step walkthrough of the process.
When shopping at retailers who are on eTRS, you should choose one credit card to be used as an eTRS Token for linking up all your purchases entitled for refund. With a single credit card as your eTRS token, you will be able to retrieve all your purchases at one go when applying for your GST refund claims using the eTRS self-help kiosk at the airport. Payment can be made with this or any other credit card or cash.
The retailer will issue an eTRS Ticket to you at the point of purchase. If you do not use a credit card as an eTRS Token, you can still use the Tickets to apply for your refund claims at the airport. Please collect your original receipt/invoice and eTRS Ticket before leaving the shop.
Purchases Made from Retailers Not on eTRS
When shopping at retailers who are not on eTRS yet, you will be issued with paper refund forms. You need to complete and sign the refund form at the point of issue. Please collect your original receipt/invoice before leaving the shop.
Location: eTRS self-help kiosks are located at Changi International Airport Terminals 1, 2, 3 and the Budget Terminal.
Reap the benefits of the Tourist Refund Scheme at Ion Orchard!
Note: The actual amount refunded may be lesser than the GST you have paid as a handling fee for the refund service will be deducted by the Retailer/Central Refund Agency/operator of Central Refund Counter. If goods are purchased from retailers affiliated to the agencies (Global Refund Singapore Pte Ltd or Premier Tax Free (Singapore) Pte Ltd), the details of charges will be reflected in the vouchers or eTRS tickets issued to the tourists.