GST Refund in Singapore
A guide to GST tax refunds
Don't miss out on potential savings - If you're a traveler in Singapore who has made purchases during your stay in the Island, you might be eligible for a refund on the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Explore this quick and straightforward guide to our tourist refund scheme, discover if you qualify for refunds, and learn how to make the most of your money!
Understanding the Tourist Refund Scheme
As a tourist in Singapore, you can claim a refund on the 8%* Goods and Services Tax (GST) paid if you make a purchase of more than S$100 (including GST) at participating stores. This scheme is known as the Tourist Refund scheme.
Ensure that the shop you're visiting participates in the Tourist Refund Scheme - look for the "Tax Free" shopping logo or sign displayed at the shop. The logos above are provided for your convenience. Alternatively, you can inquire with the friendly staff to confirm if your purchases are eligible for a GST refund.
* 9% for purchases on or after 1 Jan 2024.
Determining Your Refund Amount
You can combine up to 3 receipts or invoices from the same day to reach a minimum purchase amount of $100. These receipts should come from shops that share the same GST registration number and shop name.
Eligibility for GST Refund
To be eligible for a GST refund, in addition to being a tourist in Singapore, you must fulfill the following criteria:
- You are not a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident.
- You are aged 16 and above at the time of purchase.
- You are not a crew member of the aircraft you're departing on.
- You are leaving Singapore from Changi Airport or Seletar Airport. Departures through the Causeway or sea are not eligible.
- Your purchases were made within two months from the time you apply for a refund.
- You are not a Specified Person*:
- On the purchase date.
- At any point within 3 months before the purchase date.
- On the date you submit your claim for a GST refund at the airport.
(*For detailed information on Specified Person criteria, eligibility, and scheme conditions, please refer to Official Website.)
Ineligible Items for GST Refund
- Goods that have already been used or consumed in Singapore.
- Goods intended for commercial export.
- Goods to be exported by freight.
- Services such as hotel accommodation, car rental, and tour charges.
Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS)
The Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS) provides a quick and easy way to apply for GST refunds electronically.
When shopping at retailers on eTRS, show your passport and the e-Pass* to the retailer in person to prove your eligibility. Copies or images of passports or e-Pass are not accepted.
The retailer will issue an eTRS transaction at the time of purchase with your passport details. When you apply for your GST refund at the airport's eTRS self-help kiosk with your passport, your transactions will be automatically retrieved.
(*The e-Pass is issued by ICA and can be obtained from your email.)
Options for Getting Your Tax Refund
There are multiple ways to apply for your GST refund:
i) Via the Electronic Tourist Refund (eTRS) self-help kiosks at the airport
Utilize the eTRS self-help kiosks at Changi Airport's Departure Check-in Hall (prior to departure immigration)1 and Departure Transit Lounge (after departure immigration)2, as well as at Seletar Airport Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) duty office.
Arrive at the airport with sufficient time to process your GST refund and potentially have your goods inspected (if required).
Scan your passport at the kiosk to retrieve your purchase details. Follow the eTRS self-help kiosk's instructions to apply for your GST refund.
After completion, carefully review the refund outcome displayed on the kiosk to determine if you need to visit the Customs Inspection counter for purchase verification.
ii) Via Global Blue or Tourego Mobile Applications (App)
For a convenient tax refund experience and to track your purchases, it's recommended to download the eTRS mobile apps provided by Global Blue or Tourego before or upon arriving in Singapore.
Global Blue: The "SHOP TAX FREE" mobile app from Global Blue now features Mobile Validation and Facial Recognition Authentication. Manage Customs validation on your own through this app. Download it via the App Store, Google Play, or the Global Blue website. Follow the app's instructions to complete the mobile tax refund process.
Tourego: Download the "Tourego–Full Mobile Tax Refund" app via the App Store, Google Play, Huawei Store, or tourego.com. Present your unique QR code from the Tourego App to the cashier for tax refund during payment. Stay updated on your tax refund status while on the move.
Note: To ensure that the mobile app tax refund functions properly, activate your location service and notification alert on your mobile phone. Also, be within a 15m radius of the eTRS Self Help kiosks at the airport.
Afterwards, carefully review the refund outcome displayed on the mobile app to determine if you need to visit the Customs Inspection counter for purchase verification.
1. If you plan to check in luggage with items purchased in Singapore, process the tax refund at the Departure Check-in Hall (before departure immigration).
2. If you plan to carry items purchased in Singapore with you, process the tax refund within the Departure Transit area (after departure immigration) at the airport.
Options for Receiving Your Refund
For cash refunds, visit the Central Refund Counter in the Departure Transit Lounge (after departure immigration) with your passport. Note that cash refunds are not available if departing from Seletar Airport.
For credit card refunds, complete your claims at the eTRS kiosk and proceed to board your flight. The refund will be credited to your designated credit card within ten days of successful claim submission.
For refunds credited to your Alipay account (applicable for Chinese citizens), select the Alipay refund option after declaring at the eTRS self-help kiosks. Follow the instructions on the kiosk and scan the QR code from your Alipay mobile app. Your refund will be instantly credited to your Alipay account upon successful transaction.
For bank cheque refunds, write your name and mailing address on the slip printed from the eTRS kiosk and drop it into the cheque refund box. The bank cheque will be mailed to you 14 days later.
Due to handling fees, the actual refund amount will be less than the total GST paid. You can verify transaction details by registering and logging into eTRS e-Services, or using the "eTRS" app available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.
Alternatively, you can access details via the "Global Blue SHOP TAX FREE" mobile app or "Tourego–Full Mobile Tax Refund" app through their respective platforms.
You must depart Singapore with your goods within two months from the purchase date and within 12 hours after receiving approval for your GST refund. Claims for a GST refund must be made within two months of approval.
iii) Via Global Blue Downtown Refund (In-Store)
Global Blue now offers an in-store refund option, allowing you to receive your refund within the store and giving you more spending power during your trip. This option is available for purchases up to $25,000.
How does it work?
1. Request a Downtown Refund (In-Store)
When requesting a tax refund, ask the Shop Assistant for the 'Downtown Refund (In-Store)' service and provide your credit card. Refunds will be processed within 5 business days to your credit card. For transactions exceeding $25,000, only the standard refund is available.
If requested, provide the Shop Assistant with your email address or mobile number. Global Blue will send you a secure link to track your refund status and complete the process. This link conveniently groups together all your purchases for your current trip.
2. Validation by Singapore Customs
Before departing Singapore, you must validate your tax-free transactions at the eTRS self-help kiosk. If leaving from Changi Airport, you can complete Customs validation via the Mobile Validation service in the Global Blue SHOP TAX FREE mobile application. Follow the provided instructions to complete the validation process.
* For credit card refunds, the refund amount will be credited to your nominated credit card within 5 business days.
If Global Blue doesn't receive validated tax-free transactions within 21 days of issuance (15 days for UnionPay), the refund amount will be debited from your account.
Refunds will be reissued if Tax Free transactions are validated within 2 months from the purchase date.
The cardholder or account holder receiving the refund must be the same person who made the purchases.
*Global Blue processes the refund amount within 5 business days. However, there may be delays in the transaction processing time by your card scheme or issuer.
Don't miss out on potential savings! If you've made purchases while in Singapore, explore the Tourist Refund Scheme to see if you're eligible for a GST refund. This guide provides an overview of the scheme's details and how to apply for your refund. Make the most of your shopping experience in Singapore!