Under former Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore scrapped it’s 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST) from 01 October 2012. The move makes it cheaper for investors in Singapore to buy gold as a store of wealth. According to IRAS’s e-Tax Guide ‘GST: Guide on Exemption of Investment Precious Metals (IPM)’ this is the reason for such a move,
3.1 Prior to 1 Oct 2012, the importation and supply of all precious metals are subject to GST.
3.2 In his 2012 Budget Statement, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance announced that the importation and supply of precious metals which qualify as IPM will be exempt from GST with effect from 1 Oct 2012.
3.3 The change is made in recognition that IPM are essentially financial assets, just like other actively traded financial instruments (e.g. stocks, bonds) where supplies are GST-exempt, as well as to facilitate the development of IPM refining and trading in Singapore.
Investment Precious Metals (IPM) coins that are GST-free
Fifth edition of this guide was recently published 2 weeks ago on 01 September 2016 with amendments but of interest to me is paragraph 4.7 which inserted a list of IPM coins that qualify as GST-free.
To provide certainty to businesses, coins (excluding the proof, numismatic or collector’s version) that qualify as IPM are prescribed under the Fourth Schedule to the GST Act9 .
(a) List of qualifying gold coins
(i) America Buffalo
(ii) Australia Kangaroo Nugget
(iii) Australia Lunar
(iv) Austria Philharmonic
(v) Canada Maple Leaf
(vi) China Panda
(vii) Malaysia Kijang Emas
(viii) Mexico Libertad
(ix) Singapore Lion
(x) United Kingdom Britannia
(xi) Canada Call of the Wild 3-coin series
(xii) United Kingdom Lunar
(xiii) United Kingdom The Queen’s Beasts 10-coin series
(b) List of qualifying silver coins
(i) America Eagle
(ii) Australia Kookaburra
(iii) Australia Koala
(iv) Australia Lunar
(v) Austria Philharmonic
(vi) Canada Maple Leaf
(vii) China Panda
(viii) Mexico Libertad
(ix) United Kingdom Britannia
(x) Australia Saltwater Crocodile
(xi) Canada Wildlife 6-coin series
(xii) Canada Birds of Prey 4-coin series
(xiii) United Kingdom Lunar
(xiv) Armenia Noah’s Ark
(xv) Australia Kangaroo
(xvi) United Kingdom The Queen’s Beasts 10-coin series
(c) List of qualifying platinum coins
(i) America Eagle
(ii) Australia Koala
(iii) Australia Platypus
(iv) Canada Maple Leaf
(v) Austria Philharmonic18
This page on BullionStar.com is an excellent resource on each coin in the IPM qualifying list. According to our own research back in 2013, Singapore and Thailand are the best countries in Asia to buy gold.
Foreigners can buy gold in Singapore but from 01 September 2014, foreigners and Singapore residents must make a declaration if the money they bring in or out of the country exceeds $20,000 (physical currency and bearer negotiable instruments). From Asiaone.com,
This requirement to submit a report, when stipulated amounts are exceeded, was put in place to detect and monitor the movements of CBNI and take enforcement actions against cash couriers supporting terrorism financing or money laundering activities, the police said in a statement to the media today.
“The reduced reporting threshold will allow us to keep a closer watch over large volume CNBI movements,” the statement said.
Travellers entering Singapore carrying more than S$20,000 (or its equivalent in a foreign currency) are required to fill up the CBNI Report (Traveller) form and submit it to any Immigration Officer at the Customs Red Channel.
Travellers departing from Singapore who are required to give a report can complete the CBNI Report (Traveller) form and submit it to the Immigration Officer at the Immigration Counter.
The forms are available at the major checkpoints and police establishments. They can also be downloaded from the Singapore Police Force and the CAD websites.
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Soh Tiong Hum is Director of TerraSeeds Market Technician Pte Ltd. TerraSeeds is a trading educator in Singapore since 2005.
Soh's Twitter account @sohtionghum
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"I do not have a financial advisor's license. I am not qualified by any regulator to give financial advice. I do not know you the reader. Your investment means and motive may be different from me. My posts here are based on observations and meant for education. I am not responsible for for any consequence from your actions."