Singapore’s Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) has confirmed that it does not have the power to force consumers to pay GST on commission fees charged by real estate agents.
In an email sent to all Singapore real estate agencies yesterday, Yeap Soon Teck, Deputy Director (Licensing) for CEA, said that his organisation cannot mandate the payment of GST, adding that agents may decide to charge GST or absorb it.
Yesterday’s email came after an online petition attempting to force CEA to make the payment of GST mandatory attracted more than 360 signatures. A Facebook page in support of the petition also gathered close to 200 supporters.
CEA’s advice to real estate agents who face the problem of getting their clients to pay GST is to explain that GST is a consumption tax that is levied on goods and services, and that the agent is required to pay that tax to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).
The email added: “If the salesperson has delivered good service, he should be entitled to his full commission payment without having to absorb the GST, and if he is asked to absorb the GST then he will be getting a lesser amount that what he is entitled to.”
Source – PropGuru – 25 jun 2013