Singapore: GST Comptroller decision denying input tax claim upheld

A decision concerning input tax claim of a taxpayer on its purchase of goods from a local supplier

GST Comptroller decision denying input tax claim upheld

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Board of Review upheld a decision of the GST Comptroller denying the input tax claim of a taxpayer on its purchase of goods from a local supplier on the grounds that it failed to prove that goods were purchased and traded.

The case is: GHY v. Comptroller of Goods and Services Tax


The GST legislation provides for an input tax claim when there is an actual supply of goods or services to the GST-registered business that uses the goods or services for the making of taxable supplies and there is a document (i.e., tax invoice) to support the claim. When the goods are supplied to an overseas customer and exported, these supplies can be zero-rated. Since output tax is zero, the input tax could be claimed as a refund.

GST Board of Review’s decision

The GST Board of Review upheld the Comptroller’s finding that there were “red flags that seriously cast doubt on the veracity of the transactions.” For instance, there was a lack of business rationale behind the transactions on account of earning a margin without having to take on any risk—a deal “too good to be true.” 

KPMG observation

Based on this case, the mere maintenance of a tax invoice along with the usual commercial documents is now insufficient to claim the input tax from purchases. Taxpayers must conduct diligence of the suppliers and trace the goods to the origins or the manufacturer.

Read an October 2023 report [PDF 252 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Singapore


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