How to Prepare for the Second GST Rate Change?

In budget 2022, the Minister for Finance, Lawrence Wong announced that the GST rate will be increased from 8% to 9% with effect from 1 Jan 2024. Since we are only 6 months away from the second GST rate change, staying ahead of the GST rate changes is crucial to ensure smooth financial operations and avoid any potential pitfalls.

In this guide, we will walk you through the essential steps and strategies to effectively prepare for a GST rate change. Prepare early to transit smoothly to the new GST rate to avoid being non-compliant with GST rules. To check if your business is ready for the rate change, you can use the checklist on IRAS' website.

According to IRAS, there are three(3) key actions you should take to prepare for the GST rate hike:

1. Ensure the Seamless Integration of The New GST Rate Into Your Existing Systems

Get your systems modified early in readiness for the implementation of the GST rate change from 1 Jan 2024. Examples of systems include accounting and invoicing systems, retail management systems, and cash register and receipting systems for point-of-sales (POS) billing.

While certain software vendors may provide businesses with self-help materials for system updates, others may require more intricate adjustments. It is important to allocate ample time for the preparation of system changes, and with early engagement, accounting software vendors can offer their expertise and assistance in implementing the required modifications for the upcoming GST rate change. (Source: Accounting software and POS vendors engagement, Jul 2022)

To ensure a seamless transition, it is advisable to liaise with your in-house IT team or software vendors promptly, in order to ascertain their support and collaboration throughout the process. By taking proactive measures now, you can mitigate the risk of penalties resulting from non-compliance with invoicing regulations, inaccurate price display, and improper accounting of GST.

2. Make Necessary Adjustments to your Price Displays

It is imperative that all price displays, including price tags, price lists, advertisements, publicity brochures, and websites, accurately reflect the GST-inclusive prices. This means that any prices quoted, whether in written or verbal form, must already incorporate the GST. By doing so, you provide transparency to the public, enabling them to have a clear understanding of the final price they are required to pay.

It is crucial to update your price displays to reflect the new GST rate at 9% starting from 1 Jan 2024, 12 AM to ensure consistency and compliance with the revised regulations. If you are unable to change your price displays overnight, you may display two prices:

  • Prices inclusive of GST at 8% applicable before 1 Jan 2024.
  • Prices inclusive of GST at 9% with effect from 1 Jan 2024.

3. Apply Correct Rates for Transactions Across Implementation Date

Typically, the determination of when a supply is considered to have taken place for GST purposes is guided by the time of supply rules. In accordance with these rules, the prevailing GST rate should be applied. If the time of supply is triggered before 1 Jan 2024, you have to charge at the initial GST rate. If the time of supply is triggered on or after 1 Jan 2024, the new GST rate of 9% will apply. However, for your supplies straddling the date of the GST rate change, you will need to consider the transitional rules to determine whether to charge GST at 9% or 8%.

Are you ready for the GST hike?

As the GST hike looms closer, it is crucial to assess your readiness for the upcoming changes. Take the time to evaluate your financial systems, pricing strategies, and communication channels with suppliers and customers. Stay informed about the new GST rates and any associated regulations to ensure compliance and minimize disruptions to your business operations. By proactively preparing for the GST hike, you can navigate the transition smoothly, safeguard your financial stability, and seize potential opportunities that may arise. Stay ahead of the curve and position yourself for success in the changing GST landscape!