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Overseas vendor registration regime 2020

With effect from 1st Jan 2020, GST will be applied to cross-border B2C supplies of imported digital services under Overseas Vendor Registration Regime.

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Published by InCorp Global Pte Ltd
on 23 Dec 2019

What is overseas vendor registration regime?

What is Overseas vendor registration regime?

With effect from 1 January 2020, GST will be applied to cross-border Business-to-Customer (B2C) supplies (such as supplies made to individuals and businesses that are not registered for GST in Singapore) of imported digital services through the overseas vendor registration (OVR) regime. This is to level the playing field in GST treatment for both local and overseas services.

According to the IRAS guidelines, ‘digital services’ are services provided over the internet or an electronic network, where the distribution is automated and requires minimal or no human intervention, and is impossible without the use of IT. These include digital products, subscription-based and licensed content, and support services to arrange or facilitate, via electronic means, the provision of transactions that may not be digital in nature.

Under the OVR regime, any supplier belonging outside Singapore that has a global turnover more than S$1million and makes B2C supplies of digital services to customers in Singapore exceeding S$100,000 is required to register, charge and account for GST under a simplified pay-only regime on a quarterly basis.

Under certain circumstances, a local or overseas electronic marketplaces operator may be regarded as the supplier of the services made by the suppliers through these marketplaces, and hence, they are required to register, charge and account for GST on these supplies, instead of the suppliers.

Compulsory GST registration on imported services

An overseas supplier, local or overseas electronic marketplace operator will be liable for GST registration within 30 days at the end of the relevant calendar year or making the forecast, under either the retrospective or prospective basis, if the following conditions are met:

Retrospective basis
Prospective basis

How to Assess your GST registration liability?

Businesses making sales of digital services to Singapore customers should first assess if the services fall within the scope of digital services under the OVR rules. Thereafter, review the customer base to ascertain the total value of digital supplies made to Singapore customers, and check if the customers are GST registered by requesting the GST registration number. To verify that the customers are indeed registered for GST in Singapore, a check may be done via the “Register of GST-registered Businesses” on the IRAS website.

As a committed tax advisor to our clients, we welcome any opportunity to discuss the relevance of the GST changes to your business, particularly how your processes and controls would be affected and the steps to take to ensure compliance. You can visit us at www.incorp.asia.


This article was first published on In Corp Asia. Information is correct at the time of publication.

Last Modified Date: 23 Dec 2019