If your business is required to file for Goods and Services Tax (GST), the GST Assisted Self-Help Kit (ASK) is useful for all GST-registered businesses. It is a program designed by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) to help businesses in determining the accuracy of every company’s GST filings. The GST ASK may be implemented voluntarily or as required by the IRAS.
While it is not uncommon to have errors in GST reporting, miscomputations and incorrect recording may happen, which can significantly affect your business operations since you will attract the government to perform audit checks on your business, taking valuable time for you efficiently do business with your customers. So, it’s best to implement a GST ASK review or hire outsourced accounting services in Singapore to avoid any problems in the long run.
How Does ASK Work?
The kit is comprised of three main stages to help businesses assess and ascertain the errors they have committed in the prior GST reports. This allows companies to realise their GST errors early, optimise business reporting procedures for future submission, and avoid being penalised.
The main stages of the ASK program include:
Stage 1: Identifying Good GST Practices
To enhance the accuracy of this self-reviewing program, the company will be prompted to assess their internal processes based on four key aspects: people, record-keeping, internal controls and systems.
To complete this stage, the company must answer a questionnaire aiming to identify the business’ GST practices.
Stage 2: Before the GST Review: Pre-Filing Checklist
The second stage involves many thorough questions for the company to determine if certain items, business processes, etc are in place. A pre-filing checklist is available at the User Guide for Assisted Self-Help Kit. This step is useful, especially for companies that are filing their first GST returns. It is also highly recommended for businesses that have new business arrangements or personnel handling the GST filing.
The pre-filing checklist has four to six sub-sets of questions to be reviewed and reflected, according to the company’s actual scenario. Once completed, it can be of great use in understanding the accuracy level of the GST filings.
Stage 3: GST ASK Annual Review
Businesses that have filed a GST return will undergo a strict and rigorous review of the GST returns filed for all the past periods since the entity first became GST-registered.
You can seek GST ASK annual review guides or consult different professionals and firms offering accounting services in Singapore to make the whole process simple. And the good thing is that the IRAS provides a guide for businesses to conduct this annual review.
The GST ASK review should be conducted by your in-house staff. It could also be performed by an external party, such as:
After the review is completed; they must report any errors that were found and learned during the assessment to the IRAS.
During the annual review, the two types of errors that will be discovered are as follows:
These are due to the wrong application of GST treatment or a lack of adequate evidence to back the transaction records.
GST Reporting Errors
Unlike transactional errors, GST reporting errors relate to the inaccuracies committed during the preparation of GST reporting. The erroneous data can be a result of using incorrect data, claiming disallowed input tax, and GST adjustments for certain scenarios.
What Are the Main Benefits of Conducting the ASK?
If your company fully submits itself to the GST ASK annual review, you can enjoy a lot of benefits, including:
- A better understanding of the GST requirements;
- Accurate reporting of future GST returns;
- Lower risk of incurring penalties on avoidable errors;
- Quick identification of GST errors for early reporting to IRAS, under the voluntary disclosure program;
- Administrative concessions for common errors reported through the participation of ASK Annual Review; and
- Streamlined application or renewal of GST Schemes (like Import GST Deferment Scheme, Approved Third Party Logistics Company Scheme, Major Exporter Scheme, etc.)
While the GST ASK is not mandatory, a company’s voluntary participation in the program can significantly help them maximize resources. If there are any errors committed in the process of filing their GST returns, they will enjoy lower penalties if proven that the mistakes made were not made on purpose or to avoid taxes.
What Can We Do at Mighty Glory Corporate Solutions?
Whether you want to get your business started, or your company needs to carry out the annual review, Mighty Glory Corporate Solutions can work closely with your company throughout all the stages of the GST ASK processes.
We will enhance your business’ GST compliance level by carefully reviewing the existing procedures and giving recommendations on areas that can be improved. Our experienced team of professionals can support you from the GST pre-registration to conducting the mandatory ASK review for the specific GST Scheme application or renewal.
If you’re interested in our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We can also give you a customized quotation.