Budgeting

GST Voucher 2019 & U-Save – How Much Will You Get & When?

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Peter Lin

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The GST Voucher is something that many Singaporeans look out for every year. But many Singaporeans don’t know how much they’ll get from the government, and when the GST Voucher payout date is. Some of us don’t even know if they qualify – lagi worse.

To make things extra confusing, in 2019 there will be a second GST Voucher on top of the usual one. This is called the “Bicentennial Bonus” (hey gahmen, can pick a word that’s easier to spell and pronounce or not?) and it’s just a one-off thing for 2019.

We answer the most frequently asked questions below:

 

Contents

  1. What is the GST Voucher scheme?
  2. Do I qualify for GST Voucher – Cash in 2019?
  3. What is the Annual Value of my property?
  4. When is the GST Voucher 2019 payout date? How much will I get?
  5. Other than GST Voucher – Cash, what else can I get?
  6. Do I qualify for GST Voucher – U-Save in 2018?
  7. How much U-Save rebates will I get?
  8. Do I qualify for GST Voucher – Medisave in 2019?
  9. How much do I get from the GST Voucher – Medisave payout in 2019?
  10. When is the last year for GST Voucher?

 

What is this GST Voucher thing?

The GST Voucher scheme was introduced in Budget 2012 as a way to help lower-income Singaporeans ease the pain of – you guessed it! – the forthcoming GST hike and the rising cost of living.

Importantly, it’s a permanent scheme, which means lower-income households will definitely receive their GST Voucher package every year.

Happy Like Bird to Get GST Voucher 2018

Now, where it gets confusing is what the components are. The one that gets the most attention every year is the cash payout in August, because, duh, it’s real money. But there are also U-Save utilities rebates and Medisave top-ups under the scheme.

And for 2019, there will be a one-off additional GST Voucher known as GST Voucher – Cash (Bicentennial Payment). It’s more or less a clone of the original GST Voucher – Cash, just paid out later in the year.

So let’s summarise the complete list of GST Voucher freebies for 2019:

GST Voucher component Amount in 2019 Payout date
GST Voucher – Cash $150 or $300 August
GST Voucher – Cash (Bicentennial Payment) $150 or $300 End of 2019
GST Voucher – U-Save $240 to $400 Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct
GST Voucher – Medisave $150 to $450 August

There are different eligibility requirements, payout amounts and payout dates for each one. Details in the following sections.

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Do I qualify for GST Voucher – Cash in 2019?

There are 5 main criteria to meet before you are eligible for GST Voucher – Cash in 2019.

5 Qualifying criteria forGST Vouchers 2019SingaporeanCitizens21 years andabove in 2019Earned $28k andbelow in 2017Home annual value$21k and belowOwning only1 propertyFirst timers will need to sign up via theMy 2019 GST Voucherwebsite.Signing up opens 1 July 2019 onwards.

  1. You are a Singapore Citizen, residing in Singapore
  2. You are aged 21 years old and above in 2019
  3. You earned $28,000 or less in 2017
  4. Your home (as indicated on your NRIC) as at 31 December 2018 must not exceed $21,000 in Annual Value
  5. You must not own more than one property

…. Still not sure if you qualify?

Well, you’re gonna have to wait in suspense for a while; you won’t know until July 2019.

You will be notified in July if you are eligible, but if you are a kan cheong spider, you can log in to the My 2019 GST Voucher website (SingPass needed) from 1 July 2019 to check.

If you have never received a previous GST Voucher payout before, you will need to sign up at the website first. Sign-ups for GST Voucher 2019 begin on 1 July 2019, and don’t worry, you have the rest of 2019 to do so.

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What is the Annual Value of my property?

According to IRAS, the Annual Value of a property is the estimated gross annual rent if it were to be rented out, excluding furniture, furnishings and maintenance fees.

For example, if you’re staying in a 5-room HDB flat, and your neighbour who also owns a 5-room HDB flat is renting out their flat for $1,500 a month, then your property Annual Value is around $1,500 x 12 = $18,000.

5 Room FlatBobby leases for $1,500/monthKamildoes not leaseHome Annual Value($1,500 x 12) = $18,000

Unfortunately, simply knocking on your neighbours’ doors does not tell you the actual Annual Value of your home, because it’s calculated by IRAS.

But there’s a quick and easy way to check the Annual Value of your property. Log in to IRAS MyTax Portal and go to “View Property Portfolio” and you can see the current AV of your property.

If you need to check the Annual Value of someone else’s property, you can also do so via IRAS website’s Check Annual Value of Property. There’s a $2.50 fee per search.

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When is the GST Voucher 2019 payout date? How much will I get?

The two separate GST Vouchers will be given out a just few months apart in 2019: The first one from August 2019, and the second one at the end of the year. Woohoo! 

As for the amount you get, it depends on the Annual Value of your home.

GST Voucher 2019 Annual Value up to $13,000 Annual Value $13,001 to $21,000 Payout date
GST Voucher – Cash 2019 $300 $150 August 2019
GST Voucher – Cash 2019 (Bicentennial Payment) $300 $150 End of 2019
Total $600 $300

Because there’s a second GST Voucher – Cash (Bicentennial Payment) in 2019, your total GST Vouchers will be double than that of last year.

If the Annual Value of your home is $13,000 or less, you will get $300 + $300 = $600.

If the Annual Value of your home is between $13,001 and $21,000, you will get $150 + $150 = $300.

$13,000 or less$600 cashHow much will I get?$13,001 – $21,000$300 cash

The earliest payout date for the “usual” GST Voucher is 1 August 2019, but note that GST Voucher is given out in stages.

When you’ll actually see the money depends whether you have signed up for a previous GST Voucher payout, and whether you indicate by July 2019 what your preferred mode of payment is.

If you indicate a DBS/POSB, OCBC or UOB savings account, the GST Voucher – Cash will be credited to your account once it’s available.

But if you request payment by cheque, you will probably receive your cheque near the end of the month, which means your 2019 payout date is delayed.

DBS / POSB / OCBC / UOBsavings accounts auto-crediton 1 Aug 2019Chequesissued (upon request)issued by end Aug 2019

If you don’t have a savings account with the three local banks, consider opening one before July 2019. Here is a list of the best savings accounts in Singapore.

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Other than GST Voucher – Cash, what else can I get?

Extra benefitsElderly are eligible forGST Voucher – MedisaveLow-middle income are eligible forGST Voucher – U-save

Low-income and medium-income HDB households are eligible for GST Voucher – U-Save, a quarterly subsidy for utilities bills.

Elderly Singaporeans are eligible for GST Voucher – Medisave, an annual top up to their Medisave Account.

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Do I qualify for GST Voucher – U-Save in 2019?

GST Voucher – U-Save is given to 3 types of HDB households:

  • Those who own and live in the HDB flat
  • Those who own and live in the flat, and also rent out one or more of the rooms
  • Those who rent the entire HDB flat

Specific citizenship criteria apply to each one. Pay close attention:

GST Voucher who qualifies1. If you own and live in your HDB flat, there must be at least one Singapore citizen owner or occupier in the flat.

GST Voucher who qualifies?2. If you partially rent out the HDB flat that you own and live in, there must be at least one Singapore citizen owner or occupier in the flat.

GST Voucher who qualifies3. If you’re renting the entire HDB flat, there must be at least one Singaporean tenant.

Also, immediate family members living with you in the same HDB flat must not own any other property.

If you qualify, you will automatically receive the U-Save rebates in your utility bills. There’s no need to sign up or register.

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How much U-Save rebates will I get?

GST voucher U save

Each HDB flat will only get one of the following payouts. The amount depends on the HDB flat size – the bigger the flat, the less you get (because you are presumably more affluent that those living in small flats).

Flat Type Jan 2019 Apr 2019 Jul 2019 Oct 2019 Total amount in 2019
1- / 2-room $100 $100 $100 $100 $400
3-room $90 $90 $90 $90 $390
4-room $80 $80 $80 $80 $320
5-room $70 $70 $70 $70 $280
Executive / Multi-Generation $60 $60 $60 $60 $240

U-Save rebates will be automatically credited to the utilities account of the HDB household every quarter.

If you have received U-Save rebates before, you might notice that your U-Save for 2019 is a little higher ($5 more per quarter) this year.

That’s because the government has given an additional $20 per household for U-save rebates from 2019 to 2021. This is to offset the rise in prices due to the newly introduced “carbon tax”, announced in Budget 2018.

Should the U-Save rebate actually be higher than your utility bill for that month, the unused portion won’t disappear – it’ll simply be rolled over to the next month(s) bill. There’s no expiry date for the rebates. It will only lapse if you close your utilities account.

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Do I qualify for GST Voucher – Medisave in 2019?

There are 4 main criteria to meet before you are eligible:

  1. You are a Singapore Citizen, residing in Singapore
  2. You are aged 65 years old and above in 2019
  3. Your home (as indicated on your NRIC) as at 31 December 2018 must not exceed $21,000 in Annual Value
  4. You must not own more than one property

As with GST Voucher – Cash, you will be notified in July if you are eligible. You can log in to the My 2019 GST Voucher website from 1 July 2019 to check.

If you have previously received any sort of GST Voucher or government payout, there’s no need to sign up. Your Medisave will be topped up automatically.

Otherwise, you can sign up for the GST Voucher scheme online. The sign-up process is for the Cash and Medisave components together, so no need to sign up twice. Sign-up opens from 1 July 2019 and closes on 31 December 2019.

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How much do I get from the GST Voucher – Medisave payout?

You can get between $150 to $450, depending on your age and the annual value of your home.

Age in 2019 Annual Value up to $13,000 Annual Value $13,001 to $21,000
65 to 74 $250 $150
75 to 84 $350 $250
85 and above $450 $350

Rocking out with MediSave rebatesThis amount will be credited to your Medisave Account. You can use your Medisave for your own medical needs, or for the needs of your immediate family, regardless of their nationality.

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When is the last year for GST Voucher?

CHOI! Touch wood!

When this initiative was first introduced in 2012, it was described as a permanent scheme. Its purpose is to ensure that lower-income Singaporeans, elderly Singaporeans and most Singaporean HDB households get enough subsidies to offset increases in general spending, medical needs and utilities bills.

We expect the these payouts to keep coming *ahem*.

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Do you think the increased GST Voucher payout is adequate? Share your thoughts with us.

 

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Peter Lin

I am the poster boy for reinventing one's self. I've been a broadcast journalist, technical writer, banking customer service officer and a Catholic friar. My life experiences have made me the most cynical idealist you'll ever meet, which is why I'm also the co-founder of a local pop culture website. I believe ignorance is not bliss, and that money is the root of all evil only if you allow it to be.