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Thread: Can shops quote prices without mentioning GST?

  1. #1

    Default Can shops quote prices without mentioning GST?

    I had a litter frustraction few days ago when I was buying a new handphone.

    I had a model in mind and roughtly know its best price availabled from the Internet, then I approached a shop to ask how much were they selling, was told $750. OK, this is slightly higher than my expected price, consider the trouble of trevelling to another place, I decided to buy from the shop, after opening up and tested the set, I took out $750 from my wallet and pass it to the shop keeper.

    That guy took out a calculator started to do some typing and told me that total price was $802. Then he told me, "Off course we need to pay GST to the government, that is not for me but for the government". Since I already opened the box to test and agreed, it was my fault for not asking "$750 include GST?". The point is few $10 is no big deal but felling like been cheated yet have to swallow in silence is really hard to accept.

    Now, my questions are below:

    1. Did I deserved it because I was not careful?
    2. I am sure the shop keeper knew very well from the way I asked for the price that if he would have told me the total price was $802, I will definitely walk away from the shop, but kept it quiet so that he can close the deal - for sure I will never walk into that shop anymore in my life.
    3. The receipt printed the shop GST registeration number, therefore it is rightful for them to collect GST, but can they keep quiet about GST for not saying "$750 before GST"?

    Well! it is a $52 lesson, is not a big deal, but just want to air my frustration. in future I will definitely ask "Price include GST?"
    Last edited by poh6702; 22nd February 2010 at 01:55 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Can shops quote prices without mentioning GST?

    The shop is being unethical in this case. The GST regulation requires sellers to state clearly the GST amount to be paid upfront or at least states that the amount include 7% GST. Nevertheless, it is always prudent for one to confirm that the agreed price is inclusive or exclusive of GST and the mode of payment - cash, NETS or credit card?

    I would have walked away in this case even I have opened up the package.

    One thing you may want to do now is to check the receipt to confirm that the shop is a GST registered company/business. The receipt/invoice has to state the GST amount separately and it should also bear the GST registration no. If these are not present, it could be mean that they are not GST registered and it is an offence to collect GST. If the later is true, you will have a recourse. The shop will end up have to refund you the GST collected and incurred a fine from IRAS. Good luck to you.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can shops quote prices without mentioning GST?

    There is GST registeration number printed on the receipt and the GST amount is stated on the receipt. The frustration is that he didn't mentioned the GST at all when quoting the price to me.

    I have learnt a lesson and hope others will not fall into similar trap.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Can shops quote prices without mentioning GST?

    Quote Originally Posted by kkgoxplore View Post
    The shop is being unethical in this case. The GST regulation requires sellers to state clearly the GST amount to be paid upfront or at least states that the amount include 7% GST. Nevertheless, it is always prudent for one to confirm that the agreed price is inclusive or exclusive of GST and the mode of payment - cash, NETS or credit card?

    I would have walked away in this case even I have opened up the package.

    One thing you may want to do now is to check the receipt to confirm that the shop is a GST registered company/business. The receipt/invoice has to state the GST amount separately and it should also bear the GST registration no. If these are not present, it could be mean that they are not GST registered and it is an offence to collect GST. If the later is true, you will have a recourse. The shop will end up have to refund you the GST collected and incurred a fine from IRAS. Good luck to you.
    How to expect good business practice from most of the Ah Beng/Ah Seng handphone shop?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Can shops quote prices without mentioning GST?

    Not sure about regulations which require shops to give quotes with GST, but I think it's pretty common for shops to quote prices without GST, just to make the pricing 'sound' more competitive.

    An example: Last week I was at Parisilk HV, and I asked for the quote of a lens, which the salesman told me XXX amt. I then asked if GST was included in the quote, and he said No, which didn't surprise me.

    I have the same experience as you in 97 when buying my first portable CD player at Fu Lu Shou, cant remember what it's called. After that 'bad' experience, I told myself to always remember to check on GST inclusions.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Can shops quote prices without mentioning GST?

    It is not unethical to quote without GST. In fact it is quite a common thing to do. see resturant menu does their price include gst? no.

    in business practice, we usually dont really care about GST too. since its claimable.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Can shops quote prices without mentioning GST?

    Quote Originally Posted by wildsoyabean View Post
    It is not unethical to quote without GST. In fact it is quite a common thing to do. see resturant menu does their price include gst? no.

    in business practice, we usually dont really care about GST too. since its claimable.
    For restaurant, you will find printed somewhere "10% service, and 7% GST". Maybe I should check whether is there any sticker pasted on the shop indicates "GST registered shop"?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Can shops quote prices without mentioning GST?

    your receipt should have indicated gst registration/company registration.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can shops quote prices without mentioning GST?

    Quote Originally Posted by wildsoyabean View Post
    It is not unethical to quote without GST. In fact it is quite a common thing to do. see resturant menu does their price include gst? no.

    in business practice, we usually dont really care about GST too. since its claimable.
    Unfortunately you're wrong here. Only the Hotel and F&B industry is exempt from displaying GST-inclusive prices.

    http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page04.aspx?id=824

    It is not only unethical, it is also in breach of IRAS regulations, you can get a nice fine for quoting prices without GST.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Can shops quote prices without mentioning GST?

    Some smaller companies do not even require to pay GST. They may last minute quote you GST to get another cut. Those that do that usually do not write or print their so call GST on their receipts to avoid prosecution. When dealing with companies that quote GST, make sure they print seperately another line 'GST' or have denote "GST incl." on their receipts. Check online later if they're a GST registered company or use the live SMS service to verify their status.

    It is unfair bill consumers GST when the company itself doesn't pay GST.
    Tum podem extulit horridulum...日出東方﹐唯我不敗。

  11. #11

    Default Re: Can shops quote prices without mentioning GST?

    Quote Originally Posted by eyes View Post
    Some smaller companies do not even require to pay GST. They may last minute quote you GST to get another cut. Those that do that usually do not write or print their so call GST on their receipts to avoid prosecution. When dealing with companies that quote GST, make sure they print seperately another line 'GST' or have denote "GST incl." on their receipts. Check online later if they're a GST registered company or use the live SMS service to verify their status.

    It is unfair bill consumers GST when the company itself doesn't pay GST.
    if the company is not registered for GST, it doesnt mean they don't pay GST. They still have to pay as their suppliers will probably be GST registered. It just means that they cannot pass the GST on to their customers.

    But if they are not GST registered and they charge GST, it means they pocketed the extra amount since they are not required to pay this amount to IRAS.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Can shops quote prices without mentioning GST?

    hi poh,

    if you felt that the price indeed is 7% more expensive than the average price, tell him politely it is too expensive and walk away from the sale regardless of whether the box was open.

    everytime i call a camera shop i always ask - is gst included and is it cash or credit card price.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Can shops quote prices without mentioning GST?

    Quote Originally Posted by sabee View Post
    Unfortunately you're wrong here. Only the Hotel and F&B industry is exempt from displaying GST-inclusive prices.

    http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page04.aspx?id=824

    It is not only unethical, it is also in breach of IRAS regulations, you can get a nice fine for quoting prices without GST.
    Thanks for the link, at least I am comforted now. In future I know how to quote the IRAS regulations when confronted with such situation.

    BTW, do you think IRAS will take action if I were to write in and complain about the shop? Seems like Parisilk is also practing quotation of prices before GST for years without any issue from IRAS?

    Whatever it is, I must always remember to confirm whether with GST or not, if I slip my mind at least I can get away with the IRAS regulations.

    Thanks.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Can shops quote prices without mentioning GST?

    I'm sure if enough people lodge a complaint, IRAS will at least investigate or issue a warning. Whether or not the situation will change is another issue altogether. Personally I find the quite situation rather annoying but not quite over the top such that I feel the need to lodge a complaint with IRAS against retailers. Besides it is certainly not too difficult to always ask for the GST-inclusive cash price.

    "How much is the XX lens including GST?"
    "Any discount if I pay by cash?"
    "Thanks"

    Also the fact that most of these shops do not actually list any pricing exclusive of GST, so its hard to obtain any kind of proof I guess. Most of it seems to be verbal quotations - which still ought to be under IRAS regulations but seems like a potential gray area.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Can shops quote prices without mentioning GST?

    Quote Originally Posted by pokiemon View Post
    hi poh,

    if you felt that the price indeed is 7% more expensive than the average price, tell him politely it is too expensive and walk away from the sale regardless of whether the box was open.

    everytime i call a camera shop i always ask - is gst included and is it cash or credit card price.
    I don't say they are selling expensive, they are about the price of "Recommended Retail Price (RRP)". I don't say they cheat me on price as long as it is lower than RRP, but I was angry that I was mis-led.

    To clarify; the RRP is $800+, but there are shops like "mobilesquare.com" who are selling below $700, if the shop keeper told me the "nett price", I will definitely walk away.

    Now that I know the "regulation", at least I will feel better to walk away, I admit that I am quite an obliging character, I don't feel good if it was my mistake for missing out the GST and opened up the box to test the set and spent quite a lots of time with the sales person to test and confirm the set.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Can shops quote prices without mentioning GST?

    I would like to thanks all brothers and sisters who have help and enlighten my query.

    I really like this forum with so many matual people around who are willing to help and contribute.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Can shops quote prices without mentioning GST?

    Quote Originally Posted by poh6702 View Post
    BTW, do you think IRAS will take action if I were to write in and complain about the shop?
    I think its quite difficult since its your words against the shop's words. Take it as lesson learnt. Although it is mandatory to quote prices inclusive of GST, alot of shops don't practise it. Maybe if u complain to IRAS, they will send some undercover agents to the shop and catch them in contravention of the regulations.

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