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GST Assisted Self-Help Kit (ASK) Review

The GST ASK review is a self assessment compliance package developed by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (“IRAS”) to review the correctness of their GST submission and discover past GST errors early so as to qualify for IRAS Voluntary Disclosure Programme (“VDP”).

The ASK consists of the following three sections:

Section 1 - GST Practices

This section helps you to put in place internal processes covering PeopleRecord-KeepingSystems and Internal Controls to ensure overall GST compliance.

Basically, this is a list of essential (i.e. must have) and good practices (i.e. good to have”) requirements that the IRAS has developed and put together in an excel spreadsheet.  The Company will tick off the requirements accordingly and at the end of the day, you will be provided with an assessment.

Businesses are expected to achieve 100% for essential requirements to be deemed to have put in place adequate GST internal processes.  It is not difficult to achieve 100% as the requirements can be as basic as knowing when the GST returns are due for filing to having records maintained according to the statutory requirements of five years.

On the good to have requirements, the preparer of the GST return is expected to have a good understanding of areas where GST application rule are less straightforward (e.g. difference between reimbursement and disbursement and significance of partial exemption and input tax apportionment).

Section 2 – Pre-filing Checklist

Pre-filing checklist helps you to perform quality checks on your GST return before submission.  This is a self-assessment tool that helps GST-registered businesses understand the appropriate GST treatment for their business transactions, thus ensuring the completeness and accuracy of their GST returns before submission to the IRAS.

It is a series of “Yes” or “No” questions covering all the boxes in the GST return.

For example, one of the questions on purchases is “Did you make any purchases in foreign currency?  If you answer “Yes”, the checklist will tell you that GST incurred in foreign currency should be claimed using the SGD equivalent amount stated on the supplier’s tax invoice and if the SGD amount is not stated on the supplier’s tax invoice, you have to check with the supplier on the rate used.

It is a good reminder of the common GST reporting errors so that you should avoid making those mistakes in the filing of the GST return.

Section 3: ASK Annual Review

The ASK Annual Review helps you to perform regular review of past GST returns for early detection of errors.  This is the methodology that has been developed by the IRAS on how to conduct a review on the past GST returns.  Within the ASK methodology, the IRAS has prescribed the checks that must be done for each category of supplies and purchases and the IRAS has also prescribed the number of samples to be tested under the ASK review.

The ASK review is necessary for companies who are applying or renewing the following GST schemes:

  • Major Exporter Scheme (“MES”);
  • Import GST Deferment Scheme (“IGDS”);
  • Approved Contract Manufacturing and Trader (“ACMT”) Scheme.
  • Approved Marine Customer Scheme (“AMCS”)
  • Approved Refiner and Consolidator Scheme (“ARCS”)
  • Approved Third Party Logistics (3PL) Company Scheme

In the recent years and as part of the IRAS’ compliance initiatives on large companies, we have also seen the IRAS sending letters to selected companies (based on risk profile) inviting companies to conduct a self review using the ASK annual review methodology even though the companies are not on any GST scheme.

How can we help?

We can help to with the ASK review as we have the accreditation (i.e. Accredited Tax Advisor (GST)) from the Singapore Chartered Tax Professional to sign off the ASK review for the application/renewal of GST schemes.

Our team of advisors are formally from the big four accounting firm/IRAS and we are good because we only do GST work.

Contact us for a fee quotation.

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