Mediacorp Channel 8’s charity show to raise funds in aid of those affected by China’s earthquake has collected more than S$9.5 million as of 9:30am on Monday. The money raised will be channelled to welfare and education programmes as well as rebuilding efforts which will include hospitals, schools and orphanages. STOMPers are now asking why these donations are subject to taxes. For this reason, I actually chose to donate directly via the Bank of China instead of calling in to the show to donate. Not because I am "stingy" about giving the 7% GST but I seriously do not see any point for them to charge the GST. It’s charity! Hello! Probably they should make good use of the 7% and donate it back to the Sichuan Charity Show? Please…..

The show has ended. The money has been raised. With more than $9.5m raised for the victims of the Sichuan earthquake in MediaCorp’s Sichuan Earthquake Charity Show last night (May 25), STOMPers are now asking why these donations are subject to taxes.

Viewers could call in to donate fixed amounts via 1900 hotline numbers, while larger amounts of donations were made through a landline.
STOMPer DPW was surprised when he saw that charity tax would be charged for the show.

"If the goverment want Singaporeans to be united and do more charity work I guess they have to be a good leader and show a good example to donate for all this charity too and not only ask fellow Singaporeans to donate only," he said.

Another STOMPer questioned the GST charges for the phone calls made.
"It’s supposed to be a meaningful charity show, but why is there a 20-cent administrative charge and 7% GST?" asked Robin Hood.

STOMPer Derrick was concerned that telcos did not absorb the 20-cent administrative charges.

He said: "Even small remittance companies are willing to help by absorbing administrative charges, why can’t our telcos do the same? It seems to be me that being the only service provider, they are free to monopolised the market. What happened to corporate social responsibility?

"If today, my call is one of voting for my favourite contestant in Miss Singapore XXX or Project Superstar XXX, I will gladly pay the administrative charge, and today if they tell me that the $0.21 will be fully donated to the relief funds I will gladly pay, no qualms about it.

"Having said all these, I will still continue to donate to future fund raising programs and knowing fully that all the talk about fulfilling corporate social responsibility is just mere talk and I am sorry, talk is cheap.

The three-hour charity show televised on MediaCorp’s Channel 8 last night saw artistes gather in an effort to raise funds through song, dance and even poetry. Some were roped in to receive donations through phone calls as well.

STOMP is seeking comment from SingTel.

Article obtained from STOMP at

Reader's Comments

  1. Ian | May 26th, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    I can’t believe they are taxing this… dun make sense when its charity. So this charity is profitable to certain organisations? or we are doing charity to “somewhere” beside Sichuan

  2. GeekyCoder | May 26th, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    By the way, did anyone manage to find out if this S$9.5 million is taxable by China or Singapore government ?

    Look like ridiculous question but one never know until scrutinize further after all it is Singapore Incorporated running by business-minded government.

  3. GeekyCoder | May 26th, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Is it really taxable for all charity fund ? A uniquely Singapore after all…

  4. Vic | May 26th, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    I believe that if they have had asked for a waiver, GST will not be collected. MediaCorp could have also waived the admin charges, but I think they still want to try covering some of the show production cost…

  5. motd | May 26th, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Running such shows cost huge amount of money. Ultimately how much money that we donated during the show actually reach the people in need?

    I rather donate straight to the organization instead of letting the business man make money in the name of charity.

  6. Waffle | May 27th, 2008 at 12:26 am

    Funny lor…
    Singapore Govt game US$200,000…
    Then they taxed the Charity Show which actually gave more than 10 times their donation…
    One hand out, another hand in…

  7. dead_cockroach | May 27th, 2008 at 8:46 am

    One of the famiLEE heads singtel right?

  8. Joe | May 27th, 2008 at 9:31 am

    As usual, this is what MM Lee called “dynamic economy”.

    It is the daily small tax collections that make the biggest differences for the government.

  9. GeekyCoder | May 27th, 2008 at 10:16 am

    The government is behaving more like a profiteer. Head and Tail both also win. No wonder it call itself world-class. Really shameful to take advantage of Singaporean’s kindness.

    Did anyone not forget the telco’s infrastructure is built on Taxmoney too ? How about writeoff in the past ? Is it on taxmoney too ?

  10. The Singapore Daily » Blog Archive » Daily SG: 27 May 2008 | May 27th, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    […] The Sichuan Earthquake – Simply Jean: Why tax donations for Sichuan Charity Show? […]

  11. John | May 27th, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    A laughing stock for the world to see. “Tax on Charity donation?” What has gotten into these people’s mind. Whoever initiated this idea needs to explain to the public the logic behind this. Its enough of “Uniquely Singapore”.

    Charitable donation comes from the heart from each an every individual. Just wait till my Hong Kong friends learn about this ideosyncracy. Really feel embarass to tell my friends I am a Singaporean. Singapore, just take a look at how Hong Kong does charity work. 3 thumbs up!

  12. The Singapore Daily » Blog Archive » Weekly Roundup: Week 22 | May 31st, 2008 at 11:47 am

    […] The Sichuan Earthquake – Simply Jean: Why tax donations for Sichuan Charity Show? […]

  13. Joel | July 6th, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Charity TV show with donations made by telephone or SMS message to the donation helpline
    If the charity TV show does not give away prizes or rewards to donors, GST is not payable on the public donations received. GST is payable on the public donations only when the charity TV show has lucky draws, giving the donors a chance to win prizes and rewards. Accounting of GST is based on 7/107 on the gross donations received less cash payouts to the winners.

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