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GST refunds for processing fees paid on Development Applications and Lodgments. Click for more details.
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Refund of Goods and Services Tax paid on processing fees for Development Applications and Lodgments

  Published: 14 February 2024

As a follow-up to the announcement by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) on 14 February 2024, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will be taking steps to make refunds for Goods and Services Tax (GST) paid on processing fees for Development Applications (DAs) and Lodgments made to URA. GST collections on these transactions ceased on 14 February 2024.

Scope of refund exercise

From March 2024, URA will proactively reach out to eligible applicants to refund, with interest, the GST charged on DA and Lodgment processing fees made in the past five years1 (from 1 January 2019 to 13 February 2024) for New Erection (NE), Additions & Alterations (A&A), Amendments to NE/A&A, Change of Use, subdivision for development, demolition works, and approval for works to conserved buildings.

Since January 2019, about 37,700 applicants – namely businesses and landed property owners – have submitted DAs and Lodgments to URA. We expect the number of actual refunds to be much lower as a significant proportion of these applicants could be GST-registered entities which had claimed input tax and are therefore not eligible for the GST refund under this exercise.

The GST refund amounts vary, ranging from $35 for Change of Use of premises to $210 to $560 for individual landed housing developments. For larger developments, where GST amounts can vary greatly depending on the scale of the development, the majority is estimated to fall within the range of $10.50 to $1,500. Applicants in this group are mostly businesses.

Development Charges for enhancement in land value are not eligible for refund because no GST was collected.

Refund process

URA is committed to ensure that the refunds are paid smoothly and correctly to the eligible applicants. To ensure that we process the refunds in a timely manner, we will be conducting the refund exercise in two phases.

Phase 1: Development Applications or Lodgments submitted on or after 1 January 2019

From 1 March 2024 to 30 June 2024, URA will be proactively contacting applicants who had paid processing fees for DAs and Lodgments made on or after 1 January 2019 via email to request for information to facilitate the refunds. There is no need for these applicants to contact URA.

Phase 2: Development Applications or Lodgments submitted before 1 January 2019

From 1 July 2024, eligible applicants who were wrongly charged GST before 1 January 2019 will be invited to step forward and reach out to URA. They can apply to URA for refunds using the GST Refund FormSG on URA’s website (go.gov.sg/URAGSTrefund).

A summary of both phases and the list of information to be requested from eligible applicants for verification and payment purposes are shown in the Appendix. More information on the refunds can also be found on URA’s website (go.gov.sg/URAGSTrefund).

Eligible applicants are reminded to provide details only through the GST Refund FormSG on URA’s website. URA will not request personal information or banking details through phone calls, SMS and social media. Eligible applicants and members of the public are advised to be vigilant against scam attempts.

Commitment to expedite refunds

URA is committed to carrying out the refunds expeditiously. To ensure refunds can be processed in a timely manner, we kindly request that eligible applicants provide to URA the complete set of required information within the stated timeframes. We seek your understanding that the processing time for applications that require manual verifications may extend beyond the two months processing time we target to effect most refunds.

For those who encounter difficulties with the refund process, please do not hesitate to reach out to URA at 6307 8980 (from 9am to 6pm on weekdays) or via email at www.ura.gov.sg/contactus. We kindly seek your patience and understanding as you may experience longer waiting times and delayed response due to the large volume of enquiries. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused and assure you that we will attend to all enquiries as soon as we can.

1As communicated in MOF’s press release, all GST-registered entities are required by law to keep records for up to five years. Agencies will therefore have a record of the taxpayers who transacted with them within the last five years (i.e. since 1 January 2019). For more details, refer to MOF’s media release at www.mof.gov.sg/news-publications/press-releases/goods-and-services-tax-(gst)-for-18-government-fees-to-be-refunded.