Does Twilio Inc. (US Entity) Charge Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Singapore?

As of January 1, 2020, Singapore requires non-resident entities like Twilio Inc to collect a Goods and Services Tax (GST) for any digital services sold to customers in Singapore. This guide covers how Twilio charges GST and what goods are taxable.

Notice: Twilio services consumption may be subject to state and/or local taxes in a number of jurisdictions. To see if Twilio collects taxes in your country, please see the Taxes section of our Support Help Center.

The following topics are discussed in this guide. Click a topic to skip directly to this information:

Goods and Services Tax (GST) overview

Singapore passed legislation effective Jan 1, 2020, requiring non-resident entities selling digital services to collect and remit a 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST) on it sales to customers located in Singapore. Non-residents are only required to apply GST on Business to Customer (B2C) transactions. Business to Business (B2B) transactions will not be charged GST if a valid GST number is provided by the B2B customer.

When will Twilio start charging GST in Singapore?

Twilio will begin collecting GST on services sold to customers located in Singapore starting January 1, 2020.

GST for the previous month is assessed and applied to your account at the start of the month for the previous month’s usage. For example, you will be charged GST for your January usage in February.

How can I be tax exempt for GST?

B2B customers with a valid GST number will not be taxed. This can be entered in the Invoicing Settings page in Console. However, B2B customers should self-assess the GST through the reverse charge mechanism.

I am a business, but do not have a GST number. I am not required to register for GST since my business falls under the required sales threshold for registering

The GST laws for nonresidents are designed to capture GST from B2C consumers and from B2B consumers that fall under the sales threshold. Unless a B2B customer can provide a valid GST number, they will be considered a B2C and the transaction will be subject to tax. Nonresidents are not required to tax B2B customers with valid GST numbers since B2B customers are suppose to self-assess the GST on their end.

How do I enter my GST number?

B2B customers can enter their 9-10 character GST number in the “GST Number” field on the Billing Preferences page in Console.
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Customers can use one of three options here:

  • Standard GST registration number
  • National Registration Identity Card number (NRIC - for individuals who own sole proprietorships).
  • Unique Entity Number (UEN - used as your GST Number)

You can validate your GST, NRIC, or UEN number at the Singapore GST Registered Business Search (mytax.IRAS.gov.sg). Here are examples of how the different numbers may be formatted:

Tax identification type Description Example
GST registration number Business under GST registration, Sole proprietorships MX1234567X
National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) number Individuals who own sole proprietorships X1234567X
Unique Entity Number (UEN) Local company (Pte, Ltd, Ltd Co) 200312345A
  Partnership 52912345A
  Foreign company, LLP, club, association, agency, etc. T08XX1234A

How is GST determined?

GST is applicable based on the type of products or services that are purchased. We have determined that most of Twilio’s software services and are subject to GST while telecommunication products are not, as shown in the examples below. Bundles of software and telecommunications, such as SMS, are taxable.

Please confirm your service address is up to date in the Twilio Console for accurate taxation in the correct jurisdiction. For help updating your service address, see How do I Update my Billing Settings.

What rate is GST charged in Singapore?

Twilio's services will be subject to the 7% GST rate as determined by the Singapore Taxation Office.

For example, a customer in Jan 2020 would be charged the GST standard rate of 7% for all taxable sales. If this customer spends $1,500 with Twilio out of which $1,000 is taxable, they would be charged an additional $70 for GST, for a total of $1,570 ($1,500 + $70).

              Total taxable sales: $1,000
Goods and Services Tax (GST) @ 7%: $   70
           + Total pre-tax sales : $1,500
    = Total sales including taxes: $1,570

Examples of taxable Twilio products and services include the following:

  • SMS (e.g. Singapore Outbound SMS)
  • Voice calls (e.g. Programmable Outbound Minute - Singapore - Toll Free)
  • Flex (e.g. Flex - Active User Hours)
  • Whatsapp (e.g. WhatsApp Outbound Template Message - Armenia)
  • Expert Services (e.g. Expert Services - Call Center - Accelerator Program I)

Examples of Non-Taxable Twilio products and services include the following:

  • Carrier Fees (e.g. UNITED STATES Inbound Shortcode SMS - Carrier Fee - AT&T)
  • Trunking services (e.g. UNITED STATES Emergency Calling Number - Trunking)
  • Wireless SIMs (e.g. Super SIM - Data MB - PAYG - China - China Mobile)

Some Billing adjustments may also have tax implications:

  • Credits applied against specific usage will refund you taxes at the same rate as the respective product (e.g. Credit - Voice Singapore Outbound)
  • Promotional balances are not taxable (e.g. Promo - Twilio.org)
  • Minimum spend adjustments are taxed at the same rate as the respective product (e.g. Quarterly Min Spend Adjustment - Voice)

I forgot to enter my GST number, but am a GST registered B2B customer - can I request a refund?

If you are a B2B customer with a valid GST number in Singapore, please contact our Support team for a credit of the GST amount charged within 90 days of the initial charge. For invoices issued in closed periods, we will credit the GST charged in the following month’s invoice. You will see the credit listed as Promo - GST.

Where can I see the GST charged on my Invoice?

GST can be found on your invoice in the Usage Summary section under “Taxes”. This line item represents the GST charged.
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Tax calculation is explained on the tax page:
SG-GST_02_450px.png 

Taxes are also visible in the Invoice Details section, where we specifically call out any GST charged.
GST_03-B_450px.png 

For more details, see Reading your Twilio Invoice.

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