GST Refund

Refund of GST on SFA Application Fee

Refund of GST on Application Fee for Licence to Operate a Food Processing Establishment

In November 2023, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) discovered inconsistencies in the application of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on certain Government fees during an internal review of the GST treatment on Government fees and charges. 

MOF concluded the review in January 2024 and found that 18 fees across six agencies were wrongly charged with GST.  The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) is one of the six agencies, with the following fee wrongly charged with GST:

(a) Application fee for licence to operate a food processing establishment

(b) Application fee for licence to operate a coldstore

(c) Application fee for licence to operate a slaughterhouse

SFA will be conducting a refund exercise for non-GST registered businesses, as GST-registered businesses should have made an input tax claim for the amount duly.

SFA will be contacting all businesses eligible for the refunds via its registered email and business address. Businesses that require further assistance can contact SFA at

Please refer to MOF Press Release for more information on GST for government fees to be refunded.


Nature of Wrong Collection of GST

1.       What is the nature of the GST that had been wrongly collected by SFA?

SFA had wrongly collected GST for three types of one-off application fees:

(a) Application fee for licence to operate a food processing establishment

(b) Application fee for licence to operate a coldstore

(c) Application fee for licence to operate a slaughterhouse

The rest of SFA’s fees are not affected.

2.       Why did SFA collect GST for these 3 types of fees? Has the issue been rectified?

Administrative fees are subject to GST and SFA had classified the three affected types of fees as administrative. Following MOF’s review of GST on Government and Statutory Board fees, it was determined that the three fees are regulatory in nature and GST should not have been charged. SFA will cease collection of GST on the three affected fees from 14 February 2024.  

Eligibility for a refund

3.       How would I know if I am eligible for the refund and how will I be notified?

Only non-GST registered businesses at the point of payment are eligible for the GST refund. GST-registered business would have claimed the GST amount from IRAS duly. 

SFA will proactively reach out to all businesses that had made payment from 1 January 2019 to-date based on our available records to advise them on the matter. We will subsequently reach out to businesses eligible for refunds duly.

4.       How will SFA reach out to business with no contact information?

Businesses that had made payments for any of these three fees after 1st January 2019 and have not received any notification from SFA by 30 June 2024 can write to SFA at .

5.       My business paid for the application fee before 1st January 2019 and my business is not GST-eligible at the point of application. Is the GST refund applicable?

For businesses that had made payments before 1 January 2019 and wish to enquire if they are eligible for a refund, they can write to SFA at  by 31 December 2024 for assistance.

6.       My business has been dissolved and my business was not GST-registered. Am I eligible for a refund?

Businesses that are not GST-registered at the point of payment are eligible for a refund. Businesses that have since been dissolved can write to SFA at for assistance.

Refund Process approach

7.       How much is the refund? Will the refund include interest?

The refund amount ranges from $10.30 to $13.24, depending on the applicable GST rate at the point of licence application. The refund amount will include a simple interest at 5.5% per annum. All eligible businesses will be notified of the refund process duly.

8.       When can I expect the refund?

For companies that are on GIRO or with PayNow (UEN), the refund will be remitted by end-April 2024.

Supporting documents

9.       I made payment through internet banking/cheque for the fees prior to January 2019. Can SFA trace through your system? If not, what supporting information is required?

For transactions before January 2019, SFA will require more time to retrieve the records as some old records may not be available. Please write to SFA at for assistance on the refund process.

Contact Information

10.   I did not receive any notification from SFA. Can I check what is the email/number to call to enquire about the status of my refund?

If you did not receive any notification from SFA by 30 June 2024, you can visit SFA’s website for more information or write to for assistance.

11.   How do I verify that the email is not a scam?

Please ensure that the emails are sent from email addresses that end with You can verify the email by contacting SFA via the website livechat or via