The government is going on for the second round of bonus and sweets as part of the GST offset package which helps people cope with the 2% increase in GST. This payout will continue till 2010. If you have not signed up for it, you are encouraged to do so at www.gstoffset.gov.sg or call the CPF Board at 1800-2222-888. While some people have calculated that this offset package will last for quite a fair bit of purchases, the reality is that:

  • Some retailers will raise more than 2%
  • Some retailers will charge 7% over the current price which already comprised of the 5% tax, making it effectively 8.5%
  • There is a waterfall effect where the GST is accumulated

So, it may not really last as long as its thought after all. Nonetheless, better than nothing right?

SINGAPOREANS received about $630 million in Goods and Service Tax (GST) credits and senior citizens’ bonus last year, as part of the $4 billion GST offfset package to help them cope with the 2 per cent GST increase that took effect from last July 1.

More than 2.2 million or almost 97 per cent of the 2.3 million eligible Singaporeans signed up for them by Dec 31, including over 95 per cent of older Singaporeans aged 55 and above, and over 97 per cent of Singaporeans living in one to three-room HDB flats.

Over half (or 41,000) of the 79,000 Singaporeans who did not sign up live in private properties with annual values in excess of $10,000, said a Finance Ministry statement on Friday.

Some have decided not to receive the GST credits and senior citizens’ bonus or have moved away without leaving a valid address or who have passed away.

The ministry said grassroots leaders visited more than 30,000 one to three-room HDB flats from June 2007 to help the elderly and low-income Singaporeans sign up.

Nursing homes and voluntary welfare organisations also conducted special sign up exercises for their residents and clients.

How to receive 2008 credits bonus
All eligible Singaporeans will receive a notification letter in May , informing them of how much they can receive for this year’s payout. The letter will also indicate if the person has already signed up for the credits in 2007.

Singaporeans who had already signed up in 2007 need not do so again in order to receive their 2008-2010 payouts. Those who did not sign up in 2007 will be reminded to do so from mid-May to Dec 31 to receive their credits for 2008-2010.

But there will be no retrospective payment of the 2007 GST Credits and Senior Citizens’ Bonus.

For more information on the GST Offset Package, please visit www.gstoffset.gov.sg or call the CPF Board at 1800-2222-888.

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 18th January 2008



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