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Value Added Tax Policy And Implementation In Singapore


  • Glenn Jenkins

    () (Queen's University, Kingston, On, Canada)

  • Rup Khadka


The Value Added Tax (VAT) was introduced in Singapore in 1994 as a major part of an overall tax reform package and with a strong political commitment to its implementation. As the Singaporean economy has many special features that make it difficult for a generic VAT to function well, such as a very high ratio of imports and exports to GDP and relatively large financial sector, a number of modifications were made in its design and administration to facilitate its operation. These modifications demonstrate how the basic structure of the VAT can be successfully adapted to fit the particular circumstances of a country, provided it is done with care to practical issues of compliance and administrative feasibility. The detailed preparation, openness, and high energy level of the tax authorities made it possible to implement the VAT in an exemplary manner. The case of the implementation of the GST in Singapore comes close to being a “best practices” framework to guide other governments toward a successful introduction of this important system of taxation.

Suggested Citation

  • Glenn Jenkins & Rup Khadka, 1998. "Value Added Tax Policy And Implementation In Singapore," Development Discussion Papers 1998-02, JDI Executive Programs.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:dpaper:128

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    Cited by:

    1. Zee, Howell H., 2005. "A New Approach to Taxing Financial Intermediation Services Under a Value–Added Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 58(1), pages 77-92, March.
    2. Pierre-Pascal Gendron, 2005. "Value-Added Tax Treatment of Public Sector Bodies and Non-Profit Organizations: A Developing Country Perspective," International Tax Program Papers 0514, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
    3. Mohamad Ali Roshidi Ahmad & Zuriadah Ismail & Hazianti Abdul Halim, 2016. "Awareness and Perception of Taxpayers towards Goods and Services Tax (GST) Implementation," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 6(11), pages 75-94, November.
    4. Saving, Jason L. & Viard, Alan D., 2015. "Are income taxes destined to rise? the fiscal imbalance and future tax policy," Working Papers 1502, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    5. Emran, M. Shahe & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2005. "On selective indirect tax reform in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 599-623, April.

    More about this item


    Singapore; value added tax; exemplary implementation;

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General


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