IRAS created and developed the Singapore GST Assisted Self-help Kit (GST ASK) to help businesses review the accuracy of their GST submissions and quickly find and fix previous GST problems.
In order to avoid the fines that are frequently imposed for any inaccurate GST reporting, it also enables the business to discover the problems and flaws with its GST reporting and promptly disclose them to IRAS.
Businesses that are applying for or renewing one of IRAS approved GST Schemes must complete an ASK Review.
These include the Major Exporter Scheme (MES) , Approved Marine Customer Scheme (AMCS), Approved Refiner and Consolidator Scheme (ARCS) , Approved Third Party Logistics (3PL) Company Scheme, and Import GST Deferment Scheme (IGDS).
KEY ELEMENTS OF GST ASSISTED SELF-HELP KIT
GST Best Practices
Especially beneficial for new Singapore Company Registration and those who intend to register for the GST. It essentially offers instructions on how to maintain records, meet deadlines, implement internal controls, and other things that will support perfect transaction reporting for GST purposes.
This is useful for companies filing their first GST return, as well as for companies with new business arrangements or staff changes affecting GST filing. The checklists, which consist of a series of questions and responses, assist in ensuring the accuracy of GST filing.
ASK Annual Review
Intended for all GRBs, this tool helps in the review of all previous GST submissions made over the course of previous fiscal years. This helps to determine whether transactions are correctly handled and whether sufficient documentation is being maintained. Three-month sample testing must be done in addition to the 12-month transaction review.
WHY IS THE GST ASK REVIEW IMPORTANT?
Since the GST is a self-assessed transaction-based tax, it is GRBs’ responsibility to file accurate GST returns. Businesses that submit incorrect GST returns may face fines and jail time in addition to penalties equal to up to 200% of the corporate tax that was undercharged. Businesses that commit fraud may face harsher penalties. Businesses who report GST errors may be eligible for a concession in the form of a reduced or waived penalty under the Voluntary Disclosure of Errors.
If businesses come forward voluntarily to disclose past errors within a year of the statutory filing deadline of their most recent GST return for the financial year under review, IRAS will, subject to certain conditions, waive the 5% late payment penalty.
STEPS FOR GST ASK REVIEW
Step 1: Examine the GST declaration from the previous fiscal year.
Step 2: Choose GST returns that cover at least three consecutive months to evaluate.
Step 3: Run checks on the chosen returns. You must study the listing, choose and check samples for each listing, and review the supporting documentation for the samples for each entry in the returns.
Step 4: Financial statements and the GST declaration for the fiscal year should be compared.
Step 5: Quantity and notify IRAS of the errors.
What if the review reveals errors?
If problems are found during the ASK review, the GRB must use the “ASK: Declaration Form on Completing Annual Review & Voluntary Disclosure of Errors” to report the findings to IRAS.
IRAS may contact you after receiving the declaration and disclosure to get more clarifications.
IRAS will offer a GST assessment for the mistakes and give you guidance on how to fix them. Therefore, a GRB is not required to remedy its mistakes right away after finishing the review or in the GST F5 return. The company has to wait for IRAS instructions.
However, if the GRBs find mistakes in a previous GST submission before the review begins, they do not need to wait for the review to start; instead, they must submit a GST F7 Form for the relevant accounting period or make the necessary changes to the current GST F5 Form to fix the mistakes.
WHO IS QUALIFIED TO CONDUCT THE GST ASSISTED SELF-HELP KIT (GST ASK) REVIEW?
In circumstances where the review is required
When the GST ASK review is required, such as when applying for or renewing a GST scheme, it must be done by a member of the Singapore Institute of Accredited Tax Professionals (SIATP), such as an Accredited Tax Adviser ATA (GST) or Accredited Tax Practitioner ATP (GST).
It is possible for the ATA (GST) or ATP (GST) to be internal or external.
The review may also be carried out by the GRB, but it must be properly certified by an outside ATA (GST) or ATP (GST).
In circumstances when the review is voluntary
The following three agreements permit GRBs to perform the GST ASK Review voluntarily.
- The review can be carried out by GRBs directly.
- Review may be carried out by internal or external ATA(GST)/ATP personnel (GST)
- Review performed by the GRBs and approved by an outside ATA(GST)/ATP (GST)
BENEFITS OF USING GST ASK REVIEW
Understand GST requirements on filing and record keeping
By conducting an ask review, businesses can gain a better understanding of the specific requirements related to GST filing and record keeping. This can help businesses ensure that they are properly maintaining their records and submitting accurate returns to IRAS (Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore).
Review accuracy of GST submissions
An ask review can also help businesses review the accuracy of their GST submissions. This can include reviewing the amounts reported, ensuring that all transactions are properly classified and recorded, and checking for any potential errors or omissions.
Reduce risks of incurring penalties on errors made
By identifying and correcting any errors or omissions in their GST submissions early on, businesses can reduce the risk of incurring penalties or fines from IRAS. This can help them avoid potentially significant financial liabilities and legal issues.
Discover pass GST errors early for timely disposal to IRAS
With an ask review, businesses can discover any past GST errors and address them in a timely manner. This can help businesses avoid any potential delays or issues with IRAS, and can also help them identify any patterns or areas for improvement in their GST reporting and record keeping.
Enjoy 0 or reduced penalties under IRAS’ voluntary disclosure program
If businesses do identify any errors or omissions through an ask review, they can take advantage of IRAS’ Voluntary Disclosure Program. This program allows businesses to voluntarily disclose any errors or omissions in their GST submissions, which can result in reduced or zero penalties from IRAS.
Qualify for specific GST schemes mentioned above
Finally, by maintaining accurate and reliable GST records and submissions, businesses can qualify for specific GST schemes and benefits. For example, businesses that meet certain criteria may be eligible for the GST Margin Scheme, which can reduce the amount of GST payable on certain sales. By adopting an ASK-review approach, businesses can improve their chances of meeting these criteria and accessing these benefits.
What is the GST ASK?
The GST ASK is a self-assessment package that provides guidance and tools to help GST-registered businesses in Singapore to comply with their Goods and Services Tax obligations.
How can I access the GST ASK?
You can access the GST ASK through the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) website. You can either download the package or access it online.
Is the use of the GST ASK mandatory?
No, the use of the GST ASK is not mandatory. However, it is recommended as a tool to help businesses comply with their GST obligations.
What are the benefits of using the GST ASK?
The benefits of using the GST ASK include improved accuracy in the preparation of GST returns, reduced compliance costs, and better understanding of GST obligations.
Are there any fees for using the GST ASK?
No, there are no fees for using the GST ASK. It is provided free of charge by IRAS.