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Singapore GST missing trader fraud reforms

  • Jul 21, 2020 | Richard Asquith

Singapore is considering a range of Goods and Sales Tax reforms to reduce fraud and simplify the regime. The measures are going to public consultation. They include:

  • Businesses which attempt to reclaim GST where their supplier has perpetrated a ‘missing trader fraud’, and the business should knew or should have known that the purchase was part of such a fraud, may be denied the deduction by the Singaporean Comptroller of Taxes. The burden of proving that the business knew or should have known of the fraudulent arrangement lies on the Comptroller, with the standard of proof being the balance of probabilities. This measure is similar to the approach taken in the United Kingdom and the European Union to safeguard tax revenue;
  • A 10% penalty on any denied missing trader fraud GST deductions
  • Free the Comptroller from the obligation to refund VAT within 90 days of a claim if the Comptroller suspects missing trader fraud
  • Permit the Comptroller to deregister any businesses who acted fraudulently or who knowingly facilitated a fraud
  • There are a range of other amendments to clarify e-payments, reclaims of overpaid GST and GST anti-avoidance rules.

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VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He can be contacted at: richard.asquith@avalara.com. He is part of the European leadership team which won International Tax Review's 2020 Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard trained as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.
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