Singapore's tax refund scheme is a sensible way to encourage visitors to spend more in the country especially during Singapore sales
The Tourist Refund Scheme
As a tourist if you spend a minimum of S$100 in Singapore from a store that operates the Tourist Refund Scheme, you can save up to 7% of the purchase price. These 7% represent the tax levied on all goods imported to Singapore and is known as Goods and Services Tax (GST).
How to Get your Tax Refund?
In order to get your tax refund, simply apply for GST refund before departing from the airport or international cruise centre (the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore (MBCCS) and the International Passenger Terminal at Harbourfront Centre).
The Tourist Refund Scheme is a voluntary scheme. Hence, not all retailers in Singapore operate the scheme. Those who do operate it may choose to do so on their own or engage the services of a Central Refund Agency. There are currently two Central Refund Agencies in Singapore: Global Blue Singapore Pte Ltd, Premier Tax Free & Fintrax Payments (Asia) Pte Ltd. Hence look out for the Tax Free Shopping and Global Blue signs at the shops or just ask the personnel.
For years tourists had to fill up paper forms and queue up at the Customs Inspection Counter at the airport to get their tax refund but now things are much easier. In August 2012, IRAS introduced the Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS), which allows you as a tourist to retrieve your purchases yourselves. If you shop at the stores on eTRS using the same credit/debit card, you can retrieve your purchases yourself at the eTRS self-help Kiosk with your purchases, receipts, passport and eTRS tickets. And if you didn’t use your credit/debit card in the store, still keep the eTRS tickets as you’ll still be able to get your refund at the Customs Inspection Counter.
Visit IRAS' website for more information about the Tax Refund