Seeking Clarity on GST Treatments
GST is a transaction based tax ranging from simple buy-sell transactions to complex mergers & acquisitions. Depending on the nature of each transaction, the GST treatment may be standard-rated (GST@8%, 9% w.e.f. 1 Jan 2024), zero-rated (GST @0%), exempt or out-of-scope. The most common issues relate to whether goods may be treated as zero-rated and the supporting documents to be maintained, and whether services provided may qualify as "international services" and zero-rated pursuant to S21(3) of the GST Act. We will be able to provide clarity on the correct GST treatment of your transactions.
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Handling IRAS Audits & Queries
In recent years, IRAS has also stepped up their GST audit activities. We have provided support to clients where the IRAS audits/investigates on GST matters and have successfully assisted them in resolving the disputes and recovering addiitonal GST or waiver of penalties in excess of million of dollars to date. A selection of the cases we have handled include:
Resolved dispute with IRAS arising from interpretation of zero-rating GST treatment of "international services" under S21(3) of the GST Act: IRAS was of the view that 7% GST was applicable. After our explanation, the GST was treated as 0%. Client saved half a million dollars which would otherwise be subjected to 7% GST.
Successfully recovered GST under-claimed in cases where the amounts were time-barred (on a case by case basis and subject to there being good reasons for doing so) amounting to $400K.
Reduced or waived penalties and interests imposed by IRAS amounting to $600K.
Effectively concluded an otherwise pervasive and prolonged tax investigation by IRAS on GST amounting to $400,000, and agree with the IRAS on a tax instalment payment plan.
IRAS back-dated the GST registration of a sole proprietor business to 2012 in relation to a prominent annual event. After our investigation, we note that the GST registration was breached because IRAS had incorrectly calculated the business' taxable supplies. We successfully argued that there was no registration liability in the first place. Tax savings and penalties: $500K
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