About GST Refund in Singapore
In Singapore, it is required to pay GST on purchases when buying the goods from a GST registered retailer. The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) allows the customer to claim GST refund at the Singapore airport that has been paid on goods purchased from the participating retailers if they are brought out of Singapore via Changi International Airport or Seletar Airport, based on certain criteria and conditions of the scheme.
Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme
At present, there is a new system called Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS) which can be identified as a replacement of the paper refund form system since 19 August 2012. With this new eTRS, tourists are no longer needed to fill up different refund forms issued by the retailers at each retail shop.
Eligibility Criteria for eTRS
• Purchases made from retailers on eTRS
It is necessary to select one credit/debit card to use as an eTRS Token to link all the purchases that are entitled to a refund. By using the eTRS Token, the customer can connect all the purchases together when applying for GST refund claims. Payment can be made either with any other credit/debit card or cash. At the time of purchasing products, the retailer issues an eTRS Ticket. So if he/she does not use a credit/debit card as an eTRS Token, they can use the Tickets to apply for their refund claims at the airport.
There are two main systems that can be used to get a tax refund in Singapore i.e. through in-house tax refund counters available at malls like DFS Galleria along Scotts Road or through tax refund agencies like Global Blue and Premier Tax Free.
To Claim GST Refund in Singapore Airport…
As indicated below, the new eTRS system involves few steps in claiming the GST refunds from the retailers.
1. Checking whether the shopping place has the Singapore tax-free sticker in their shopping window which portraits that they are one of the participating retailers.
2. Do the payments continuously using one credit or debit card that will link up all the purchases electronically for a simpler refund at the airport.
3. Request an eTRS ticket with the receipt, to ensure that if any problem occurs, there is a possibility to go for a Global Blue or Premier Tax Free desk at the airport in the event of any questions.
4. Before checking in at Changi airport, make sure to bring any bulky purchases destined with the checked baggage, plus the tax refund paperwork, to the GST kiosk in the departure hall.
5. Make sure to get the customs stamp from the GST refund officers if the person is not using the electronic process.
6. Check in and go to the GST refund counters with the customs stamp to claim the cash back.
1. Changi Airport Group (2014) GST Refund [Online] Available at : [Accessed on 09.08.2014]
2. Australian Business Traveler (2014) How to claim Singapore GST sales tax rebate at Changi airport [Online] Available at : [Accessed on 09.08.2014]