GST ASK Review & Tax
GST Assisted Self-help Kit (ASK)
* ASK is a comprehensive self-assessment compliance package that aids businesses in carrying out a GST review to ensure the correctness of their GST submissions and identify past GST errors early so as to qualify for the Voluntary Disclosure Programme in IRAS. GST-registered traders may adopt the self-help kit on voluntary basis. But conducting ASK is compulsory when you are applying for or renewing these GST Schemes.
We successfully obtain certification for clients who apply for or renew Major Exporter Scheme (MES), Import GST Deferment Scheme (IGDS), Approved Third Party Logistics Company Scheme (A3PLCS).
The majority of our clients apply for or renew their certification under the MES. Our clients are in the business of trading of pumps, motors, spare parts, trading of copier consumables, shipping, general import and export with logistics warehousing.
Our achievements include:-
Major Exporter Scheme (MES)
Notable clients include Realtek, Nittsu Shoji (Singapore) Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nippon Express Co. Ltd, Japan, EOP21, Winston Engineering Corporation, Vim Ocean and Hashima (S) Pte Ltd.
Import GST Deferment Scheme (IGDS)
We successfully obtained certification for Kim Siang Jewellery, TR Formac and MMS Technologies Pte Ltd under this scheme.
Approved Third Party Logistics Company Scheme (A3PLCS)
We successfully obtained certification for Nissin Transport (S) Pte Ltd under this Scheme.
Approved Marine Fuel Trader Scheme (AMFT)
Consort Bunkers Pte Ltd is one of our clients under the MFT, a scheme where approved businesses are not required to pay GST when purchasing approved marine fuel oil locally.
If you are also applying for the following schemes, we can assist you with the ASK self-review:
Approved Contract Manufacturer and Trader Scheme (ACMT)
Under ACMT, traders and contract manufacturers need not make up for GST on enhanced activities given to non-GST registered customers abroad or overseas individuals who have been recorded officially under the Overseas Vendor Registration (OVR) system as a pay-only individual.
Approved Marine Customer Scheme (AMCS)
In accordance with AMCS, GST-registered ventures get to benefit from the 0% GST charge on any purchase or renting of merchandises and maintenance or repairs on ship components or parts under qualifying criteria.
Approved Refiner and Consolidator Scheme (ARCS)
Under ARCS, Approved Consolidators and Approved Refiners get to gain from several certain benefits comprising extra input tax benefits and GST suspension made on verifying the eligibility of imports.
Approved Marine Fuel Trader Scheme (AMFT)
Under AMFT, approved businesses are not required to make payment for GST when they engage any GST-registered supplier to make a local purchase for approved marine fuel oil.
Approved Third Party Logistics Company Scheme (A3PLCS)
Under A3PLCS, approved logistics organisations that offer logistics handling services to clients abroad are not required to charge GST or pay import GST for the stocks of their international clients’ merchandise under certain situations.
Approved Import GST Suspension Scheme (AISS) (For Aerospace Players)
Under AISS, GST-registered traders in the aerospace industry can benefit from import GST suspension benefits for qualifying aircraft parts.
Specialised Warehouse Scheme (SWS)
Under SWS, qualifying services executed on qualifying merchandises in Approved Specialised Warehouses and the tenancy/ licence/ lease of available space for storage in such warehouses are able to charge 0% GST to individuals abroad.
Local & International Tax Compliance and Planning
Our firm has extensive experience working on both local and international tax issues, including providing advice on tax issues arising from mergers and acquisitions, reverse charge, private equity transactions, overseas vendor registration, contentious tax controversies, indirect VAT/custom taxes, cross border international tax planning including setting up of family offices, Variable Capital Company, devising investment tax structures, withholding tax implications, FATCA compliance, in addition to providing advice on EDB and other government tax incentives.
Staying up-to-date on the latest regulatory changes is important, because non-compliance can lead to substantial financial penalties and irreversible reputational damage from media coverage. In addition, tax regimes across the globe are actively working together to ensure the equitable taxation of profits, especially for cross-border transactions. At Max Lewis Consultants, our team is ready to help you fulfill your tax compliance obligations in the area of corporate tax, goods and services tax (GST), international tax, and personal tax filing for foreign expatriates working in Singapore.
Going beyond just compliance, we aim to add value by working proactively with you to identify your company’s or your own individual tax risks. We will also take note of tax planning opportunities that may come up.
We provide assistance to our clients by preparing tax returns and handling negotiations and correspondence with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). This includes any enquiries that arise from IRAS investigations or audits. Our wide spectrum of corporate tax advisory in Singapore includes assisting clients with:
- Preparing and filing company income tax returns and tax computations for clients
- Withholding tax compliance
- Corporate tax planning locally and internationally to maximise tax efficiency
- Reviewing and applying for grants, local tax incentives and advance tax rulings
- Tax investigations and/or tax audit issues
- Representations on tax objections and disputes
- Reviewing corporate tax matters for due diligence purpose
- Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) compliance work
Our in-house expert has in-depth experience in the private sector, which spans domestic and international taxation, withholding tax, corporate tax, property tax, goods and services tax, stamp duties and personal income tax. He has also represented clients in exchange of information cases with IRAS. For clients in investigation and audit cases, he has achieved successful settlements following private negotiations with IRAS for taxpayers in difficulties
Our achievements include:-
Most Trusted Goods and Tax Advisory Firm at APAC Insider Business Awards 2023
In accordance with the APAC Business Awards 2023, Max Lewis attained the award for Most Trusted Goods and Tax Advisory Firm in South East Asia. It awards the most deserving businesses and individuals who have demonstrated resilience and growth amid the pandemic period, securing the position as a true business leader throughout the region.
APAC Insider’s Singapore Business Awards is one of the awards with the goal to recognise and promote companies and individuals with a relentless commitment to boosting the economy and ensuring it flourishes. The year 2023 marks the period where award winners come from all kinds of sectors like cybersecurity, finance, interior design, and many more. Regardless of the business’s size, judges are made up of an internal research team to ensure candidates are judged solely on merit. The final decision is made up of numerous factors – which include corporate success, longevity, stakeholder input, growth (quick or sustainable), key inventions, and many others.
Known as a distinguished long-running awards programme, the APAC Business Awards identifies and values companies and individuals that stand out from the rest. With this award, it strengthens Max Lewis Consultants’ position as a leading goods and tax advisory firm in Singapore and South East Asia.
A successful appeal to IRAS to avoid forfeiture of tax losses that amount to $11 million due to amalgamation between two related entities under the umbrella of a main board listed company.
Shared our expertise on withholding tax implications for many cross-border transactions.
Provided advice to clients on Reverse Charge and Overseas Vendor Registration since 1 January 2020.
Assisted a client on effective tax restructuring for a planned REIT IPO raising $15 million.
Successfully appeal under the Voluntary Disclosure Program for past errors amounting to millions.
Held the distinction of obtaining Premium Status for a Singapore main-board listed company which is in the B2B business of furniture production, with markets in Europe, America, South-East Asia, Australia, Japan, and Korea.
Assisted a client to improve its GST control framework to avoid hefty penalties for errors and non-compliance and eventually, successfully obtain ACAP status after a period of two (2) years.
Successfully appeal to IRAS on behalf of an approved bunker fuel trader to substitute ASK in lieu of ACAP.
* the above source is adapted from IRAS website
We have a team of highly qualified in-house experts:
Our in-house expert is an Accredited Tax Advisor (Income Tax and GST), who can assist you with the fuss-free application for or renewal of the MES/IGDS/A3PLCS/ACMT and the assurance of quick turnaround time.
Our in-house expert holds the following qualifications:
- Masters of International Taxation (New South Wales);
- Chartered Tax Adviser (Australia), Tax Institute of Australia;
- Fellow of the Taxation Institute of Hong Kong (TIHK);
- Member of the Tax Executive Institute (TEI), USA;
- Advanced Diploma in International Tax, Chartered Institute of Taxation;
- Advanced Professional Certificate in International Taxation (APCIT).
What is a GST ASK review?
Businesses filing GST for the first time or have just registered for GST can self-assess their GST submissions with GST Assisted Self-Help Kit (ASK) to identify past GST errors and improve their GST filings. Self-help kits can be adopted by GST-registered traders voluntarily. Additionally, conducting ASK is a mandatory requirement when applying for or renewing Major Exporter Scheme (MES), Import GST Deferment Scheme (IGDS), Approved Third Party Logistics Company Scheme (A3PLCS) or any of the GST schemes.
When can one file their GST return?
GST returns are due one month after the end of the accounting period covered by the return. GIRO deductions are made on the 15th of the month following the due date for GST payments if you are on the GIRO plan.
However, please take note that late GST returns and payments will result in penalties. Therefore, it is important that a GST-registered business needs to monitor its transactions and plan its resources to submit its GST returns on time.
What are the benefits of adopting GST ASK?
The benefits of GST-registered businesses adopting GST ASK are:
- Ensure GST submissions are accurate.
- Find previous GST errors beforehand so you can disclose them to IRAS timely and receive lowered or zero penalties.
- Satisfy requirements for application or renewal of GST schemes like MES, IGDS or A3PLCS.
- Understand the GST filing and record-keeping requirements.
- Reduce the risk of incurring penalties for errors.
- Receive administrative concessions for common errors communicated during the annual review of ASK.
What documents are needed for the ASK annual review?
The key documents needed for an ASK annual review are as follows:
- a) GST ASK templates which can be found on the IRAS website.
- b) GST F5 monthly or quarterly declarations.
- b) Purchases and Sales listings for the selected financial period under review.
- c) Source accounting documents and records supporting all GST declarations for the period under review.
- d) Annual Financial Statements or latest Management Accounts for the financial year under review.
What are some examples of errors encountered in ASK reviews?
Some common errors include:
- Exempt supplies did not include realised exchange losses or gains and proceeds from the issuance of shares.
- Insufficient documents maintained to support zero-rating of supplies.
- There was no GST charged on the disposition of fixed assets, such as motor vehicles.
- Incorrectly reporting supplies that are out of scope as zero-rated supplies.
- GST was not charged on the sale of scraps or by-products.
- Claiming GST input tax on disallowed items like upkeep of motor vehicle expenses and medical expenses.
Failure to apply the correct GST treatment and to file accurate GST returns can result in significant penalties and possible jail sentences for serious cases. The GST laws and regulations must be understood by the preparer, and the reviewer (if any) of GST returns should keep abreast of GST developments in addition to training its personnel.