All those planning to visit Singapore as tourists can anticipate a tourist refund completely free of all hassles from the middle of 2011. A new electronic tourist refund system being developed by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) in collaboration with the Global Blue.
The main objective here is to remove redundant procedures such as that of form filling at the purchase points by the tourists. This would make it for less effort to claim the GST refunds which would be obtained from the Changi Airport.
As of now, the refund scheme for tourists is controlled either by the retailers or it is done by the central refund agencies along with Premier Tax Free and Global Blue. According to IRAS, refund system for the tourists which is paper-based is more onerous in nature. This makes it very inconvenient for the retailers at the purchase points as well as the tourists. This is because it creates a requirement to fill the forms of refund claims.
In order to further claim their funds, the tourists have to stand in queues at various counters in the airport. These counters also include those of the Singapore Customs along with other refund counters which are monitored by the central refund agencies.
Catering to the above, an electronic Tourist Refund Scheme or the eTRS would be brought about soon. This system would be an ultra change when compared to the paper-based system which is currently enforced.
With the new electronic system in place, the tourists can avail a congenial experience where in they can easily buy from the various retailers in Singapore. More so, they can expect for a quick process for clearance at the checkpoints in the airports. So, that is required of the tourists is to make use their passport and a token to recover the records of the details pertaining to their purchase at the validation kiosk. They can either select to get their GST refund to be paid to their credit card account or avail it in cash. The IRAS would be catering to about 500 retailers to particular in the initial phase of the system implementation.