Ultimate Guide for Tourists to Claim Tax Refund in Singapore

Do you think claiming tax refunds are a hassle and not worth your time? Let me break down the easy steps for you.

Step 1: Ensure your eligibility

Step 2: Check if your purchases qualify for tax refund

Step 3: Request for tax refund at the retailers

Step 4: Proceed to Customs Inspection Counter at Airport for endorsement

Step 5: Proceed to the Central Refund Agency after immigration if you have opted for cash refund

Who’s eligible to claim tax refund?

Tourists who:

are not a Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident of Singapore;

have not spent more than 365 days in Singapore in the last 24 months before the date of your purchases;

have not been, at any time, employed in Singapore in the past 6 months before the date of your purchases;

are 16 years old or above at the time of purchase; and

are not a member of the crew, of the aircraft or ship on which you are departing Singapore.

How to qualify for tax refund?

If you have made purchases for goods:

above SGD100 (including GST). Accumulation of up to 3 same-day invoices/receipts from same retailer (bearing the same GST registration number) to meet this minimum purchase amount;

from GST refund participating retailers who usually display “Tax Refund” in their shops (no harm just to ask!);

unopened and unused;

not for business or commercial purpose; and

not exported by freight.

You must also be:

departing with the goods via Changi International Airport Departure Hall/ Seletar Airport Passenger Terminal/ Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore/ International Passenger Terminal at Harbourfront Centre within 2 months from the date of purchase;

Depart with the goods within 12 hours after obtaining approval of your GST refund; and

claiming the refund from the approved central refund counter operator within 2 months from the date of approval of the application.

What to do at the retail shop?

Ask the cashier for tax refund during payment of your purchases and you will also need to show your passport to prove eligibility. For some departmental stores e.g. Takashimaya, you may need to proceed to their customer service counters for the Tax Refund procedure. Remember to keep the original receipts and the goods unopened and unused.

QQ20150720-12@2x

Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS) 

As of 19 August 2012, the eTRS has fully replaced the paper refund form system. So you no longer need to fill up different refund forms issued by different retailers. The current eligibility conditions for tourist refund still apply.

While you may use any credit / debit card or cash for your purchases, choosing just one credit/debit card to be used as an eTRS Token makes claiming your refund later easier. The eTRS token links all your purchases entitled for refund and you can retrieve all your purchases at one go when at the eTRS self-help kiosk at the airport.

At any point of purchase, the retailer will issue you an eTRS Ticket. So even if you do not use a credit / debit card as an eTRS Token, you will still be able to use the Tickets to apply for your refund claims at the airport. Don’t forget to collect your original receipt / invoice and eTRS Ticket before leaving the shop.

QQ20150720-11@2x

How much refund can I receive?

The GST in Singapore is 7%. However, you will not be getting the full 7% refund as there will be a handling fee for the refund service deducted by the retailer, Central Refund Agency or operator of Central Refund Counter. Details of the charges will be reflected in the refund cheques or eTRS Tickets issued to you. For Global Blue Tax, the handling fee is estimated to be 2% if your purchase is SGD100. You can do your calculations here if the retailer is using Global Blue as the Central Refund Agency.

Before leaving for the airport

To ensure that you have enough time for the tax refund process, I will suggest packing of your GST eligible goods and receipts aside for easy retrieval. You may need to show the goods for inspection at the Customs Inspection Counter if there’s any issues during the tax refund request.

Also find out where the Customs Inspection Counter/eTRS self-help kiosks are located at your place of departure:

  • Changi International Airport Departure Check-in Hall (before departure immigration) and Departure Transit Lounge (after departure immigration) of Terminals 1, 2 and 3;
  • Seletar Airport, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) Duty Office;
  • Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore, Level 1, Level 2 and Level 2M Mezzanine;
  • Singapore Cruise Centre at Harbourfront - Level 1 and Level 2

How do I obtain my refund?

Do arrive at the airport early to allow sufficient time for your GST refund to be processed and goods to be inspected, if necessary. You are required to seek endorsement at the Customs Inspection Counter in the terminal where you will be checking in your goods or where your flight will be departing from. You must also depart with the goods on a flight within 12 hours after obtaining approval of your GST refund.

For check-in items: Prior to checking-in the goods, please proceed to the eTRS self-help kiosk at the Departure Check-in Hall (before Departure Immigration) to apply for GST Refund.

For hand-carry items: Please proceed to the eTRS self-help kiosk at the Departure Transit Lounge (after Departure Immigration) to apply for GST Refund.

Purchases with eTRS Tickets: Proceed to the eTRS self-help kiosk to apply for your GST refund. At the kiosk, you will be asked to:

  • Swipe your passport
  • Declare your eligibility and acceptance of the TRS conditions
  • Swipe your Token or scan the barcode of the Ticket to retrieve and verify your purchase details which you wish to claim a refund on
  • Select your refund options. For credit card refund, the approved refund amount will be credited to the specified credit card. For cash refund, you can proceed to the Central Refund Counter (CRC) in the Departure Transit Lounge (after Departure Immigration) to collect your cash.
  • Once you have completed the steps above, you will receive a Notification Slip showing the status of your refund issued by the kiosk. If "Not Approved" is indicated on the Slip, please proceed to the Customs Inspection Counter for the physical inspection of the goods. Please present the goods, together with the original invoice or receipt, your boarding pass or confirmed air ticket, eTRS Tickets and Notification Slip to the Customs Inspection Counter for endorsement.

QQ20150720-13@2x

For more information, pls refer to below links:

> Tourist Refund Scheme (Singapore Customs)

> Guide for Visitors on Tourist Refund Scheme (86KB)

> Tourist Tax Refund Guide (2.75MB)

Also check out the videos on how to claim tax refund with eTRS:

https://youtu.be/YS9Gd1M2RR8

https://youtu.be/mR3nGkXbKqg

BQ.SG is dedicated to provide the most comprehensive deal, sale, promotion news for people who live in Singapore. We have source diectly from more than 2000 online and offline retailers (Singapore and Oversea) to deliver the best deals to you everyday. We varify that each deal is valid, and from a reputable retailer. It is a place where you find great singapore sale everyday!

Previous: 

Next:      

20 - 28 Feb 2017 NTUC Warehouse Club: Open to All Renovation Clearance Sale Up to 90% OFF

NTUC Warehouse Club: Open to All Renovation Clearance Sale Up to 90% OFF
Local Posted 2 days ago

Warehouse Club (WHC) is a membership based warehouse retail club. Opened in December 2014, It is the first and only warehouse club in Singapore for groceries and household consumables. WHC members enjoy greater savings through bulks buys, value packs and exclusive access to direct import products.

Before they undergo renovation, they are having a Open to All Renovation Clearance Sale with up to 90% off storewide! No membership required so hurry down now! Sale ends on 28 February 2017.

 

(more…)

Limited time only! Timberland: Online Exclusive Sale – 40% OFF Footwear +Additional 15% OFF with Coupon Code!

Timberland: Online Exclusive Sale - 40% OFF Footwear +Additional 15% OFF with Coupon Code!
Local Posted 1 day ago

Grab a pair of quality boots from Timberland now online with their 40% off footwear sale! Limited sizes available while stocks last so hurry! Also get additional 15% off when you spend min. $150 with this coupon code!

 

(more…)

Dining Coupons – Feb/Mar 2017

Dining Coupons - Feb/Mar 2017
Local Posted 2 days ago

BQ knows how important every little saving is, that's why dining coupons are so important! Especially when fast food and restaurants are getting more and more expensive. Here's all the latest dining coupons for February and March 2017 consolidated for your easy access! Remember to stay updated on the latest coupons at BQ.sg and at our Facebook page!

 

(more…)

Book by 25 Feb 2017 FlyScoot: Coupon Code for 20% OFF 22 Destinations with Citibank Cards!

FlyScoot: Coupon Code for 20% OFF 22 Destinations with Citibank Cards!
Local Posted 2 days ago

Scoot off to more new destinations and enjoy 20% off exclusively with your Citi Credit Card. Valid from 22 – 25 Feb 2017. T&Cs apply.
(more…)

Cathay Cineplexes: Grab A Pair of Tickets @ $15 Only!

Cathay Cineplexes: Grab A Pair of Tickets @ $15 Only!
Local Posted 1 day ago

Don't miss out on Cathay Cineplexes' limited period offer! Buddy up and catch a movie with your friend at only $15 for a pair of tickets from Monday to Thursday. Top up $5 for a large popcorn & 2 soft drinks at the box office! You can now save up to $11.80 easily - grab it before it’s gone!

 

(more…)

Updated with Prices! Starbucks: NEW Petal Parade Collection

Starbucks: NEW Petal Parade Collection
Local Posted 11 hours ago

This season's soft pink hues and tender blooms have gathered on Starbucks' mugs and tumblers!

 

(more…)

Book by 26 Feb 2017 AirAsia: Airfare Promotion to Bali, Cebu, Penang, Phuket and more from just $5!

AirAsia: Airfare Promotion to Bali, Cebu, Penang, Phuket and more from just $5!
Local Posted 1 day ago

Embark on your new adventures to Bali, Cebu, Penang, Phuket and more from just $5 on AirAsia! Book before 26 Feb!

 

(more…)

From 22 Feb 2017 Starbucks: NEW Limited Edition Starbucks Siren’s Tail Set

Starbucks: NEW Limited Edition Starbucks Siren's Tail Set
Local Posted 12 hours ago

Coffee in one hand, clutch in the other.

This Starbucks Siren's Tail Set comes with one envelope clutch (available in 2 colors) and a limited edition Siren's Tail Starbucks Card (with $10 value). Yours for $25. Available while stocks last, T&Cs apply

 

(more…)

From 22 Feb 2017 Starbucks: NEW Tahitian Vanilla Macchiato and Valencia Orange Cocoa Cappuccino

Starbucks: NEW Tahitian Vanilla Macchiato and Valencia Orange Cocoa Cappuccino
Local Posted 1 day ago

Time to try Starbucks' new drinks Tahitian Vanilla Macchiato and Valencia Orange Cocoa Cappuccino from 22 February!

 

(more…)

20 - 21 Feb 2017 BQ’s Daily Top Deals: $6 OFF GrabTaxi Ride, NTUC Warehouse Club Renovation Sale, $5 OFF Movie Tickets, Courts 22.2 Online Sale, Esprit 25% OFF & More!

BQ's Daily Top Deals: $6 OFF GrabTaxi Ride, NTUC Warehouse Club Renovation Sale, $5 OFF Movie Tickets, Courts 22.2 Online Sale, Esprit 25% OFF & More!
Local Posted 1 day ago

 

This week get up to $6 off your GrabTaxi ride with this coupon code as well as discounts off movie tickets from Cathay Cineplexes!

Head to NTUC Warehouse Club for their Open House to All Renovation Sale and enjoy up to 90% off your grocery shopping!

Other offers include: AirAsia airfare promotion from $5, Courts 22.2 Febulous 1-Day Online Sale, New Starbucks drinks and Esprit sale with 25% off storewide!

 

(more…)

Till 26 Feb 2017 Esprit: Spring New Arrival Promotion – 25% OFF Storewide + Extra 10% OFF Sale Items (Min. 2)

Esprit: Spring New Arrival Promotion - 25% OFF Storewide + Extra 10% OFF Sale Items (Min. 2)
Posted 1 day ago

Exclusively for Esprit Friends, enjoy new arrivals and everything else at 25% off and sale items (min. 2pcs) at extra 10% off!

If you are not an Esprit Friend yet, just sign up free online when you check out! Sale ends 26 February 2017.

 

*Terms and conditions applied, please refer to ESPRIT official website for reference. In case of any dispute, the decision of ESPRIT shall be final.

 

(more…)

Till 31 Dec 2017 Cathay Cineplexes: Enjoy $5 OFF Movie Tickets with Your Pet Lovers Centre Card!

Cathay Cineplexes: Enjoy $5 OFF Movie Tickets with Your Pet Lovers Centre Card!
Local Posted 1 day ago

Flash your Pet Lovers Centre card to enjoy $5 off a pair of movie tickets from now till 31 December 2017 at Cathay Cineplexes!

 

(more…)

23 - 26 Feb 2017 Watsons: 4-Day Members’ Sale with 20% OFF Storewide In Stores & Online!

Watsons: 4-Day Members' Sale with 20% OFF Storewide In Stores & Online!
Local Posted 4 hours ago

Enjoy STOREWIDE 20% OFF with minimum $38 spend in a single receipt or shop online at watsons.com.sg! 4 days only from 23 - 26 February 2017. Don’t forget to start collecting stamps to redeem your very own Lock & Lock container sets! On top of that, get 3% CASH REBATE when you use your POSB Everyday Card*!

*Terms and conditions apply, while stocks last, all promotions are valid till 26 February '17. (more…)

X