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SG Agent petition gathers support

Property Here - Monday, June 17, 2013

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By Andrew Batt:

Almost 200 Singapore real estate agents have now signed an online petition to make the payment of GST mandatory on their deals.

The petition to Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) President Greg Seow was launched on Friday by Jason Lim of Vestor Realty. Lim and other agents have become increasingly frustrated at having to absorb GST when clients simply refuse to pay.

As of Monday morning 193 agents had signed the petition, while the Facebook page in support of the petition had attracted more than 125 ‘likes’.

Commenting on the petition, real estate agent Daniel Lim said: “The CEA needs to come up with practical and workable solutions for salespersons who are on the ground dealing with their clients.”

Another agent, Valentino Lin, added: “GST is supposed to be paid by the consumer, and since property seekers are consumers in this case, by human norm rights and by law, they should be the ones paying for it.”

Mabel Khiew, an agent with ERA, noted: “At most times we have to debate on the GST portion and we are asked to absorb it. We have to stand firm, and all agents should abide that. We are professional advisors, matching buyers to suitable properties, market their properties with best intentions. Shouldn't we be in the same category as doctors, accountants and education providers?”

Lim, the author of the petition, told PropertyGuru: “I was happy to see our petition achieve 100 signatures in just the first 24 hours. These realtors are only the minority who have been forced to absorb GST. I strongly encourage every realtor in the industry to make the effort to sign the petition and help each other out.”

On Friday Yeap Soon Teck, Deputy Director (Licensing), Council for Estate Agencies, confirmed that the Council for Estate Agencies has previously received similar feedback, and is currently reviewing the standard forms to emphasise that if the estate agent is GST-registered then GST should be payable to the estate agent.

Petition: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/council-for-estate-agencies-cea-impose-gst-as-non-negotiable-and-compulsory-payable-by-all-consumers

 

Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email andrew@allproperty.com.sg