Shop Tax Free In Singapore6:52 PM
Shopping is one of the many things that you can do when you travel. Shopping tax free is another thing. Wouldn't it be more fun to shop when you don't have to pay for tax? I have heard a few too many times how anyone of us at some point complain about our government's tax collection (well, at least here in the Philippines). One such country that offers tax free shopping to tourists is Singapore. Yes, the beautiful and clean and organized Singapore. The dollars you save can be put in a travel fund for your other future trips.
Before I discuss how you can shop without being taxed, let me tell you as well that Singapore loves its tourists. When you go to a mall, always make it a point to stop by the Information Kiosks and present your passport and you will then be provided with a shopping passport which has tons of shopping, lifestyle and dining privileges that have been especially put together for every tourist. Before you head to the unknown territory, pick up a copy of the illustrated shopping guide which has the store names and number. As a traveler, you don't want to get lost as time is of the essence right?
One such shopping haven is the Orchard Road where you can find rows and rows of malls spanning more than two kilometers. Establishments range from top fashion brands to retail, dining and entertainment to food courts to bars. It takes more than one visit to take it all in. It truly is a shopping paradise. Some of the malls in the road: Palais Renaissance, ION Orchard, Wisma Atria, Ngee Ann City (where Takashimaya is), Wheelock Place, Paragon, Knightsbridge, 313@Somerset, Mandarin Gallery and Orchard Central. I may have missed quite a few but these are the most visited ones. If you are in the Marina Bay area, ensure to make your way around Suntec Mall, Millenia Walk, Marina Square, Raffles City Shopping Center, CityLink Mall and Marina Bay Link Mall.
Now to get to the main topic of this entry, as a tourist in Singapore, you can claim the GST (Goods and Services Tax) that you paid for your purchases when you leave Singapore and go back to your home country. Yes, it is not deducted to the purchase price immediately. You need to show your passport at the point of purchase (before you pay) to prove that you are indeed a tourist. Do also note that a handling fee will still be deducted from the GST amount that will be returned to you. If you will use your credit cards to shop, it is advisable to just use one card for all your purchases so it would be easier to link all your purchase. Before you leave the store, make sure that you have with you a copy of the electronic tourist refund scheme ticket. When leaving Singapore, please proceed to the Customs Inspection Counter to have your refund forms stamped.
If you have items that you plan to check-in, apply for GST refund at the eTRS self-help kiosk for purchases issued with eTRS tickets. If you have paper refund forms, proceed to the Customs Inspection Counter. If there are items that you wish to hand carry, check-in and proceed to the Departure Transit Lounge (after Departure Immigration). To apply for GST refund for purchases issued with eTRS tickets, proceed to the eTRS self-help kiosk. If you have paper refund forms, proceed to the Customs Inspection Counter. At most, you will get around 5%-6% out of the 7% total sales tax.
For general inquiry, click this LINK.