GST will increase to eight% from 1 January 2023: Ought to property patrons, sellers, upgraders and renovators be involved?

The Singapore authorities has given us at the least eleven months to organize for at the present time, once they introduced the staggered implementation of our Items and Providers Tax (GST) hike throughout February’s finances 2022 – from 7% to eight% on 1 January 2023, and from 8% to 9% on 1 January 2024.

With about half a month extra earlier than the 1% rise, some property patrons, sellers, landlords, tenants, upgraders and right-sizers could surprise to what extent this GST improve impacts them.

Do be aware that GST is simply chargeable when you’re participating the providers from a GST-registered supplier or consultant of a GST-registered firm.

It’s obligatory for a enterprise supplier to be GST-registered if its taxable turnover over the previous yr or coming yr exceeds S$1m. It could even be liable to be GST-registered underneath the Reverse Cost and Abroad Vendor Registration regime (see importing abroad furnishings and home equipment beneath).

After all, sole proprietors, partnerships and smaller corporations might also voluntarily register to be GST-registered.

Fearful if the GST improve (8% from Jan 2023) will impression you? Right here’s a guidelines
Examples of Kinds of Merchandise or Providers GST chargeable or exemption
(notes for some situations)
Sale and lease of residential properties Vacant residential land, HDB flats, condos, government condominiums (ECs), serviced flats, residential element of a shophouse, landed residential property, and many others. GST exempt (see furnished residential properties beneath)

Notice: Should you run a small workplace dwelling workplace (SoHo) in an HDB flat or condominium, will probably be handled as residential. You must also verify the property’s permitted use underneath URA’s Grant of Written Permission (eg. Grasp Plan) to make certain.

Sale and lease of non-residential properties Non-residential elements of a shophouse, boarding or visitor home, chalets, vacation bungalows. GST-chargeable
Sale and lease that encompass each residential and non-residential parts A shophouse with each a residential and non-residential (ie. business) element GST-chargeable just for the non-residential portion
Furnished residential properties Provide of movable furnishings and fittings.

Fixtures akin to built-in cupboards, wardrobes, kitchen and sanitary wares, wall-mounted air conditioners

GST-chargeable for the availability of movable furnishings and fittings.

Notice: GST incurred from the acquisition and set up of immovable and everlasting fixtures (like air flow followers) for a leased property can’t be claimed.

GST-chargeable when you purchase new unfastened furnishings or electrical home equipment; or interact GST-registered renovation and associated providers contractors.

Actual property businesses Brokering providers to sellers, patrons, landlords and tenants of properties Agent commissions are GST-chargeable (no matter whether or not the property is residential or non-residential)
Month-to-month service bills, upkeep or service charges Water, electrical energy, Web service provision

Apartment month-to-month upkeep charges or HDB’s Service and Conservancy Cost (S&CC)

GST-chargeable (be aware that as of Finances 2022, HDB’s S&CC rebates will probably be included underneath the everlasting GST Voucher (GSTV) scheme)
Rental transactions Deposits, upkeep charges, agent commissions, property tax and month-to-month rental Rental deposit (GST-exempt if absolutely refunded; GST-chargeable if used to offset lease payable)

Upkeep charges (if a landlord pays these on behalf of a tenant, he’ll have to cost GST when he recovers the quantity from the tenant)

Agent payment for securing tenant (whereas the owner is charged GST by the company, he can’t declare it from the tenant because the lease is GST-exempt)

Property tax (if it’s a non-residential property, you should account for GST on the complete rental, whether or not the tax is included within the lease or itemised individually. If it’s a residential property, the complete rental is GST-exempt)

Month-to-month rental (GST-exempt just for the naked residential unit) – the month-to-month rental worth of the naked unit is 1/12 of the annual worth of the property. In different phrases, the month-to-month rental worth of the furnishings and fittings will the distinction between month-to-month gross lease and 1/12 of the annual worth of your property. If gross lease is decrease than 1/12 of annual worth, then the rental of furnishings and fittings is GST-exempt.


Sale and Lease of Residential and Non-residential Properties

The sale and/or lease of vacant residential land, residential buildings, flats or tenements (known as ‘buildings’) are exempted from GST.

The best option to decide if stated property sort is for residential use is to confer with URA’s Grasp Plan.

Examples of residential properties embrace dwelling homes (eg. bungalows), residing or staff’ quarters, halls of residences, the higher flooring of shophouses permitted for dwelling, and serviced flats.

Non-residential property examples embrace boarding or visitor homes, chalets, canteens (inside halls of residence), and the decrease ground of a shophouse permitted for non-residential use.

commercial property
Should you’re shopping for or promoting business property, you’ll most likely should pay extra in GST subsequent yr.


SELLING YOUR PROPERTY? Would you prefer to know the way a lot your property is price? Or perhaps you’re contemplating itemizing your property on the market? Let us know, and we’ll have a consultant reach out to you!

Furnishings, fixtures and fittings

Based on Singapore’s Inland Income Authority of Singapore (IRAS), GST is chargeable solely on the availability of any movable furnishings and fittings. IRAS advises that GST-registered sellers ought to apportion the promoting worth of their furnished residential property into:

  1. Worth of furnishings and fittings based mostly on open market worth or price (these will probably be topic to GST); and
  2. Worth of naked property (not topic to GST)


After all, when you’re promoting or shopping for a brand new or resale property, you may be uncovered to increased GST whenever you interact GST-registered shifting corporations and renovation providers subsequent yr. Should you’re buying furnishings, electrical home equipment and furnishings subsequent yr, anticipate to pay extra in GST.

Taobao's Jiyoujia furniture displayed at Taobao Home @ NomadX
From 1 Jan 2023 onwards, corporations importing low-value items (eg. low-cost furnishings and electrical home equipment) could have to issue a GST reverse cost into their accounting books.

Import of furnishings and electrical home equipment from abroad

Many new householders often lower your expenses shopping for imported furnishings and electrical home equipment from abroad on-line marketplaces and Web platforms akin to Taobao or Alibaba.

Many GST-registered Singapore-based intermediaries (eg. on-line procuring platforms like Shopee, Lazada and Qoo10) that dealer the ordering and repair deliveries from abroad distributors must cost increased GST come 1 January 2023.

Since 1 Jan 2020, “imported providers” for business-to-business transactions are GST-chargeable by way of a ‘reverse cost’ based mostly on their accounting intervals.

For instance, if a Singapore-based firm engaged the providers of a non-GST-registered buyer help firm from abroad versus a neighborhood GST-registered firm, there could also be a reverse cost incurred to “degree the enjoying subject”.

Over the previous two years, this reverse cost solely utilized to “imported providers”, not items like imported furnishings and electrical home equipment.

Sadly, with impact from 1 January 2023, GST can even apply to imported low-value items (LVG).

Broadly, non-dutiable items valued beneath the import reduction threshold of S$400 are thought of LVGs.

Renovating and furnishing your house with low-cost furnishings from abroad? You would possibly wish to be ready for increased prices if the importer is GST “reverse cost” liable.

In the mean time, this reverse cost on imported providers and LVGs will apply to the next:

  1. GST-registered personnel and corporations who should not entitled to a full enter tax credit score; or
  2. GST-registered personnel and corporations who’re a part of a GST group (eg. regulated listing of taxable and/or exempt provides), and should not entitled to the complete enter tax credit score.
  3. Non-GST registered individual whose imported providers and LVG exceed S$1m in a 12-month interval.

You’re most likely questioning – what’s a full enter tax credit score?

A full enter tax credit score permits a Singapore firm (eg. an importer of products and providers) to assert tax incurred so long as they fulfill sure circumstances.

It’s not entitled to a full enter tax credit score if it:

  1. Gives free or subsidised providers
  2. Imports sure providers and provides which exceed a mean of S$40,000 a month and 5% of all taxable and exempt provides (one thing often known as the De Minimis Rule)


Granted, these taxation guidelines could sound complicated. Nonetheless, if you wish to delve deeper into which forms of personnel or corporations will probably be topic to reverse expenses for imported providers and LVGs, you may confer with IRAS’ explainer here.

In abstract, from 1 January 2023 onwards, personnel or corporations importing LVGs and never entitled to a full enter tax credit score could have to account for reverse expenses of their related accounting intervals.

These might embrace native importers promoting you low-cost furnishings or electrical home equipment on Taobao and Alibaba.

As they might be topic to reverse expenses, they might cross on some or all of those further prices to you.

Leasing state of affairs

Nonetheless on furnishings and fittings, when you’re a GST-registered landlord and also you’re leasing out a furnished residential property to tenants, the rental of the naked residential unit is GST-exempted.

Nevertheless, you should cost GST on the rental of unfastened furnishings and fittings.

rental agreement leasing
Should you’re renting a furnished condominium from a GST-registered landlord (eg. a leasing firm), you may verify precisely how a lot try to be charged for GST on the rental of furnishings and fittings if you recognize the annual worth of the property.

IRAS’ guideline to landlords is that this: To compute the rental worth, you first want to search out out the annual worth of the property.

The month-to-month rental worth of the naked unit is 1/12 of the annual worth. The rental worth of the furnishings and fittings will then be the distinction between your month-to-month gross lease (which you cost the tenant) and 1/12 of the annual worth.

If the gross lease is decrease than 1/12 of the annual worth, you then don’t have to cost GST for the rental of the furnishings and fittings.

Sounds complicated? Right here’s an instance:

Complete lease of the furnished flat = S$4,500 a month

Annual worth within the Valuation Record = S$36,000

Worth of GST-exempted provide (per thirty days) = 1/12 x S$36,000 = S$3,000 per thirty days

Worth of provide of furnishings and fittings (per thirty days) = S$4,500 – S$3,000 = S$1,500 per thirty days

GST cost from Jan 2023 onwards (per thirty days) = 8% x S$1,500 = S$120

Notice that the worth of S$1,500 a month is whatever the quantity of rental of furnishings and fittings acknowledged within the tenancy contract (which may very well be increased or decrease).

Nevertheless, if the gross lease is decrease than 1/12 of the AV (eg. lower than S$3,000 a month), you don’t have to cost GST.

Actual property businesses and brokers

No matter whether or not the property is residential or non-residential, commissions acquired for brokering providers for Singapore-based properties from GST-registered actual property businesses are topic to GST.

GST is accounted for when:

  1. The fee is acquired; or
  2. Tax bill is issued


The GST cost applies if the property transaction is aborted and the agent continues to be entitled to the agreed fee (partially or full) for providers rendered. It is because the availability of property company work is handled as a separate taxable provide from the property’s sale (or aborted sale).

GST-registered brokers and salespersons might also obtain commissions from banks to introduce shoppers to financial institution loans. They can even should cost and account for GST on the worth of the fee acquired, as that may be a taxable provide.

propnex agent commission new launch
Agent commissions for non-residential or residential properties are GST-chargeable in the event that they’re from GST-registered actual property businesses.

Month-to-month bills and upkeep

Past furnishings and fittings, your month-to-month bills, akin to Web providers, water and electrical energy, will probably be topic to elevated GST out of your respective distributors subsequent yr.

Should you dwell in a condominium or strata-landed housing neighborhood, your month-to-month (or quarterly) upkeep charges will most likely see a rise in GST.

As HDB’s Service and Conservancy Expenses are completely a part of the GST Voucher (GSTV) scheme, householders shouldn’t be as impacted as soon as GST will increase subsequent yr.

first time homebuyers cooling measures
Month-to-month upkeep prices for condos will doubtless see the GST improve subsequent yr.

Landlords and Tenants

Lastly, when you’re a GST-registered landlord, you’ll have to know which portion of your tenancy expenses is GST-exempt and which isn’t.

For rental deposit, it’s GST-exempt whether it is absolutely refunded as soon as the lease expires however is GST-chargeable if used to offset lease payable.

Should you’re paying upkeep charges on behalf of your tenant, you’ll have to cost GST when you’re recovering the quantity from the tenant.

Should you’ve paid an agent fee for securing a tenant, you can not declare it from the tenant because the rental of the residential property is GST-exempt.

Empty house for viewing
Relying on the tenancy settlement, when you can lease a naked residential unit versus a furnished unit, know that there’s a GST element for the rental of unfastened furnishings and fittings in case your landlord is a GST-registered firm.

Should you’ve paid property tax, you may solely declare GST (both itemised or included within the full lease) from the tenant if it’s non-residential. For residential properties, the complete rental is GST-exempt.

Lastly, as described earlier, as your naked residential unit rental is GST-exempt, you may cost GST for the rental of furnishings and fittings based mostly on the distinction between month-to-month gross lease and 1/12 of the annual worth of your property. If gross lease is decrease than 1/12 of annual worth, then the rental of furnishings and fittings is GST-exempt.

Hopefully, the above situations, when it comes to which element is GST-exempt and which isn’t, enable you to make a extra knowledgeable determination in your property journey.

Whether or not you’re within the midst of buying, promoting, renovating or leasing, know which monetary element will see a GST improve subsequent yr. At the very least to keep away from any disagreeable surprises whenever you obtain your tax invoices subsequent yr.

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