Singapore introduces tax on imported digital services

Singapore’s Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has announced a goods and services tax on imported digital services, such as ‘movie and music streaming services and mobile apps’, to come into effect from 1 January 2020. The measure is aimed to create a ‘fair and resilient’ tax system for the modern economy, and to ensure that foreign services are treated the same as those that are locally created. Currently, the country can only tax imported digital services from companies that have an establishment in Singapore. With the new regulation, online service providers that meet certain criteria will need to register themselves with the Singaporean authorities to continue offer their services. The tax does not apply to physical goods that are bought online.