Insights

Key GST changes from 1 October 2021 – Claiming GST on medical expenses

December 29, 2021

The key GST changes for the last quarter of 2021 are in respect of GST incurred on medical expenses.

With effect from 1 October 2021, GST incurred on the following would be claimable:

  • Expenses incurred in connection with the provision of medical treatment, medical facility, or medical practitioner to employees where the medical treatment, facility, or practitioner is provided pursuant to any written law of Singapore and the medical treatment is provided in connection with any health risk or requirement arising on account of the nature of the work required of your staff or his work environment; or
  • The medical treatment is related to COVID-19 and the staff undergoes such medical treatment pursuant to any written advisory (including industry circular) issued by, or posted on the website of, the Government or a public authority.
Please refer to the IRAS website for more information.
 
While it is clear from the second point that GST incurred on medical expense for COVID-19 is claimable, one has to think a bit harder on the applicable scenarios of the first bullet point.
One of the examples given by the IRAS in their GST e-tax guide on “General Guide for Business” is that the cost of providing a clinic and qualified medical practitioner on board of certain ships under the Merchant Shipping (Training, Certification and Manning) Regulations would now be claimable with effect from 1 October 2021.

Inferring from this example, it appears that the GST incurred on the annual medical checkups required by the Ministry of Manpower in order to renew the work permit of foreign workers would now be claimable, although we could not find the specific example from the IRAS website itself.

The challenge for you is to find the specific law supporting the requirements to have that medical treatment, medical facility or medical practitioner provided to your employees in your specific industry.
 
For instance, the specific regulation to have a qualified medical practitioner on board of a certain ship in the example provided by the IRAS can be found under regulation 16 of the Merchant Shipping (Training, Certification and Manning) Regulations:
 
 
Good luck finding the written law regarding the requirement to provide medical treatment, medical facility, or medical practitioner to your employees in your specific industry! You can access over 500 laws here.
GOT A QUESTION?
CONTACT US
× Ask JedTax