The Singapore Tourist Refund Scheme known as the “Singapore Tourist Pass,” was introduced on April 1, 2009. The Tourist Refund Scheme is administered by Singapore customs on the behalf of the IRAS (Individual Retirement Arrangements). This scheme allows tourists to get a refund of GST (Goods and Services Tax) paid on purchases, If the goods are brought out of Singapore via Changi International Airport or Seletar Airport.
What is the Singapore Tourist Refund Scheme?
As a tourist of Singapore, If you make a purchase of more than $100 Including GST (Goods and Services Tax) at participating shops, You may claim a refund of 8% GST. But make sure to check whether the shop is a participant in the tourist scheme or not.
For Calculate GST, Visit our Singapore GST Calculator
Where can I claim GST refund?
Tourist Refund Scheme GST can be claimed at these locations
- Changi Airport
- Seletar Airport
Qualifying as a tourist
You have to meet the following criteria:
- You’re 16 years of age or above on the date of the purchase.
- You’re not a citizen or a permanent resident of Singapore.
- You’re not a member of the crew of an aircraft on which you are departing Singapore.
- You’re not a Specified Person.
Also read about: Taxes in Singapore
How do I process my GST refund?
Before departing from Singapore, You need to proceed with the eTRS (Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme) self-help kiosk to apply for your GST refund. You’ll have to scan your passport to retrieve your transactions.
Customs Inspection: If you’re notified at the kiosk to present your goods for physical inspection at the Customs Inspection Counter, you’ll have to present the following items in person:
- Goods which you have purchased.
- Original invoice/receipt issued by the retailer clearly stating the price, description of the goods, serial number.
- Physical passport and boarding pass/confirmed air ticket.
What is eTRS (Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme)?
eTRS (Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme) is the quickest way to refund your GST. The system allows you to refund your GST, as you no need to fill up different refund forms issued by different shops.
What’s the process of using the eTRS?
When making purchases from retailers who are on eTRS, you must have your physical passport and e-passport, the retailer will check your eligibility under the eTRS. Photocopies & images of passport or e-passport are not acceptable. The retailer will issue an eTRS transaction with the details of your passport.
When you apply for a refund of GST at the airport’s eTRS self-help kiosk with your passport, your transactions will be retrieved automatically.
How do I get my Tax refund?
There are several ways to apply for your GST refunds.
1: Via the Electronic Tourist Refund (eTRS) self-help kiosks at the airport
Apply for your GST refund using the eTRS self-help kiosks
- Changi Airport Departure Check-in Hall (before departure immigration).
- Departure Transit Lounge (after departure immigration).
- Seletar Airport Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) duty office.
You’ll have to arrive at the airport early to allow sufficient time to refund your GST. Scan your passport at the kiosk to retrieve details of all your transactions. Follow all the instructions on the eTRS self-help kiosk thereafter to apply for your GST refund.
2: Via Global Blue or Tourego Mobile Applications
For ease and quickest of your refund GST, We’ll recommend you to download new refund GST applications Global Blue or Tourego.
Global Blue: Global Blue application now comes with facial recognition feature, where you can easily manage your final step of Customs validation. Download the “SHOP TAX FREE” mobile app via the App Store, Google Play or the Global Blue website. Follow the instructions to complete the mobile tax refund process.
Tourego: Download “Tourego – Full Mobile Tax Refund” from the Apple Store, Google Play Store, Huawei Gallery or Tourago.com. Present your Tourago unique to the cashier for a GST refund.
To refund tax via your mobile phone application, you must have on GPS location of your mobile phone, and be within 15m radius of the eTRS Self Help kiosks at the airport.
What are the different modes of refund?
Cash refund: Head to the Central Refund Counter in the Departure Transit Lounge with your passport. Remember cash refund is not available at Seletar Airport if you’re departing from this airport.
Credit card: You may proceed for boarding after completing your claims. The refund will be credited to your card within 10 Business days after successful claim submission.
Alipay account (Applicable for Chinese citizens only): Select the Alipay app refund after declaring your transactions at help-desk kiosks eTRS. Follow the instructions and scan the QR code from the Alipay mobile application. Your money will be credited immediately into your Alipay account (Only for Chinese citizens).
Refund by bank cheque: Write your name and mailing address printed slip from the eTRS kiosk and drop the slip into the cheque refund box. Your cheque will be mailed to you 14 Business days later.
Global Blue Downtown Refund (In-Store): Global Blue now offers new ways to receive your refund GST, giving you more to spend during your tour. Whilst in-store, choose for your refund GST to be paid to your credit card, saving you time at the airport.
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 paid to credit cards within 5 business days. Purchases up to $25,000 are eligible for in-store refunds. For transactions over this value, only the standard refund is available.
If requested, provide the shop assistant with your email address or mobile number, and Global Blue will send you a secure link where you can track the status of your refunds and the required next steps to complete the process, with all your purchases for your current trip conveniently grouped together.
2: Validation by Singapore Customs
Before departing from Singapore, it is imperative to visit the eTRS self-help kiosk to validate your tax-free transactions. When leaving Changi Airport, you have the choice to complete the Customs validation using the Mobile Validation service available in the Global Blue SHOP TAX FREE mobile application. Simply follow the instructions provided on the respective platforms to finalize the validation process.
Please take note of the following:
For credit card refunds, the refunded amount will be credited to your designated credit card within 5 business days.:
- If Global Blue does not receive your validated tax-free transaction(s) within 21 days from the date of issuance (15 days for UnionPay), the refund amount will be deducted from your account.
- The refund will be reimbursed if the Tax Free transaction(s) are subsequently validated within 2 months of the purchase date.
- The individual receiving the refund must be the same person who made the original purchase.
- Global Blue aims to process the refund amount within 5 business days; however, there may be instances where your card scheme or issuer causes a delay in processing the transaction onto your account.