IRAS Tax Refunds Services in Singapore
A tax credit amounting to a minimum S$15 gets refunded automatically in 30 days. As a taxpayer, you don’t need to make a claim for your refund. Over 90% of tax credits get refunded in 7 days. Late refunds that are paid after 30 days will be paid with interest. In some cases, IRAS won’t be able to refund tax credits automatically. Interest will not be payable in these instances.
How Refunds are Processed?
You may receive your refund either via GIRO, through a cheque, telegraphic transfer, or bank draft.
Refunds processed via GIRO: If you have paid your taxes using GIRO, your refund will also be processed through GIRO. Tax credits are paid into the very same GIRO account. If you used someone else’s account to make the GIRO payment, you will receive your refund by cheque.
Refunds processed by cheque: If you do not have a GIRO arrangement, your refund will be done via cheque. The property you reside at could be owned by more than one person. In this case, the cheque refund will be issued to the owner who is first named on the Notice of Transfer. These refunds are to be deposited no later than 3 months from the cheque’s issue date. If it remains unclaimed, you can offset it against any future tax payable on your account.
Other ways refunds are processed: Don’t live in Singapore anymore or don’t have a bank account in Singapore? Your refund can be processed via telegraphic transfer or bank draft. You can even indicate your currency of choice. If your preferred currency is not available you will get paid in US dollars. Charges owing to differing exchange rates or bank charges need to be paid by you.
Reason for Delays in Tax Refunds from IRAS
Instances where an automatic refund will not get processed:
- If you have penalties or outstanding taxes on your account, your refund is utilised to offset your outstanding payments.
- If the amount you are to receive is below S$15, it is utilised to offset any future tax payments you’ll have to make. This is done for your convenience.
- When you give specific instructions to leave your credit balance with IRAS. You may leave your credit in your tax account, which may be used to offset any future taxes. If you want to do this, write to IRAS with the following details:
If you make advance payments ahead of a tax assessment.
When your tax credit was caused because of GIRO deductions on your provisional instalment plan. This would be before your tax assessment has been completed for the particular Year of Assessment.
When you have not filed GST returns.
If the Comptroller is conducting an investigation or audit on you.
When previous attempts to have the funds refunded have failed.
IRAS may require you to provide them with information. If you fail to provide this information, IRAS won’t process your refund.
If IRAS does not have adequate information to facilitate your refund.
If IRAS sends you an assessment enquiry and you do not reply to them, you will miss out on your refund.
If your company was dissolved, any credit remaining in the company’s tax account is transferred to the Insolvency and Public Trustee’s Office or IPTO. Shareholders of the company may approach IPTO and claim this credit. IPTO will levy charges to process any claims.
If you have overpaid Withholding Tax to the Comptroller under Section 45 of the Income Tax Act. To file a refund claim, either the local payer who paid tax or the non-resident who had taxable income needs to make the claim. Once IRAS agrees a refund needs to be made, they will notify the non-resident or local payer. The refund will get processed 30 days after IRAS agrees an overpayment was made.
After a property is sold, the former owner won’t get an automatic refund of credits that arise after the sale. A refund to a former owner will get processed once the owner makes a request to IRAS. This request will have to be processed in the stipulated time IRAS mentions in the letter they send the former owner.
Under certain other circumstances, IRAS will not be able to refund a credit.
- Your complete name, company name, or property address.
- Your tax reference numbers, like FIN, NRIC, ROC, or property tax reference.
- Specify your intent to have your credit offset your future taxes.
- Return any refund cheque you would have received.
Check for Unclaimed Money or Tax Credits Refund Status
|For Tax Credits|
You will have to look through the statement of account that is sent along with the Notice of Assessment. Once you log in to the myTax Portal using your SingPass or IRAS PIN, choose “View Account Summary”. You can get details of your account balance in the menu on the left.
|For Unclaimed Credit or Money|
By visiting unclaimedmonies.gov.sg, you can gain access to a record of monies that are unclaimed. These monies are held by different government agencies. If you have the necessary documentation, you can get in touch with the relevant contact person for the agency to make a claim.
|For Properties that are Auctioned|
The funds obtained from the auction of a property are held in a trust for a holding period of 5 years.If a rightful beneficiary is not found during the holding period, the funds are transferred to a Government Consolidated Fund. To know more, contact IRAS at 6356 7012. You can also send them an email at email@example.com.
|Refunds does not Include Goods and Services Tax|
If you don’t receive your refund from IRAS in 30 days, you will be paid interest. The time would be calculated from the day your request/information is received or when your credit arises.
|Refunds on Goods and Services Tax|
It takes a month to get your GST returns refunded for a monthly accounting period and 3 months for a quarterly accounting period. You will receive interest on your refund if IRAS does not make it on time.
How to Claim for Tax Credit Refund?
If you want your tax credit refunded, email or write to IRAS. Once your request is submitted, it will take 30 days to process. When requesting your refund, please mention:
- That you would like a refund.
- Your complete name, your company’s name, or property address.
- Your tax reference numbers, like property tax reference, FIN, ROC, or NRIC.
- The amount of credit that is due to you.
- And your telephone number and email address.
IRAS Interest Rates for Late Refunds
You will get an interest rate of 5.5% per year. However, this rate is reviewed annually and is decided by the Ministry of Finance.
How Interest is Calculated for Late Refunds?
Interest starts getting calculated a day after the 30-day period ends until the date your cheque is issued. If your refund is processed via GIRO, interest will be calculated till the day your refund gets deposited into your account.
Who to Contact for Refunds?
If there are other details you need clarification on, you can contact IRAS at:
55 Newton Road
Alternatively, you could also call or email IRAS to get your queries resolved.
Sometimes refunds are not processed. They could be for any of the following reasons:
- The firm in question has outstanding GST returns that haven’t been filed.
- The Comptroller is auditing the company and they have not adhered to requests from IRAS for information.
- The firm has overdue penalties or taxes.
From 1 January 2012, if you don’t receive your refund in 3 months the Comptroller will pay you interest provided:
- You file your outstanding GST returns.
- You comply with information requests.
- Outstanding penalties or taxes have been deducted from your refund.