This year, the Singapore Budget will coincide with Chinese New Year. Huat ah!
On the 4th day of Chinese New Year (19th Feb), Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat will carry his briefcase and head to Parliament to make his Budget statement (see below for the typical media shot).
Economists are speculating that the Government will announce a raise in the goods and services tax (GST) from 7 per cent to 9 per cent in this year’s Budget.
However, it will probably take some time before the new GST rate kicks in.
Assuming that GST really increases to 9% and you’re eating out, you’ll need to pay $3.60 for GST instead of $2.80 for a $40 meal.
Before you kanchiong and blame the Government for making lives difficult, here’re some ways to help you siam the potential GST increase.
Cook your own meals
Don’t eat out so often lah.
Of course it’s convenient to settle your meals outside after work but if you can, whip up simple dishes for dinner everyday.
This way, you can hone your culinary skills, save money and have control over how much oil and salt is used in your meals.
Isn’t that great?
Be smart about overseas purchases
Remember the 25-year-old lady who failed to declare her $11,000 worth of branded goods purchase from Paris?
Don’t be like her.
There’re ways to avoid falling into the GST trap such as removing all new packaging, distributing your goods to family and friends who are travelling with you and not overbuying things.
Be sensible and smart.
Don’t shop in SG
Not all businesses in Singapore are GST-registered.
But if they have a taxable annual turnover of $1 million, they’re supposed to register for GST.
Apart from the F&B industry where GST costs are shown to customers, other businesses will quote prices inclusive of GST. This includes clothing, electronic purchases etc.
If you really want to avoid paying more for GST, do your shopping across the causeway or shop in Bangkok!
The clothes are so much cheaper compared to Singapore that you won’t feel like shopping in retail malls anymore.
Why GST increase?
If you’re still feeling upset that GST might increase, you might be comforted to know that the last GST increase was 12 years ago in 2007.
Revenue from GST will help to pay for healthcare expenditure and investment in infrastructure.
Wouldn’t you rather an increase in GST than a raise in income tax?
You can control how much you spend and find smart ways to avoid paying GST but you cannot tell your boss to give you higher salary to pay more for income tax!