How to record the GST paid on your behalf by the forwarder in QuickBooks?

The non-GST registered overseas supplier will not be billing you GST for the goods imported, but you have to pay the GST directly to the Custom or the forwarder if they paid on your behalf.

Assuming the bill received is S$100,000.00. You enter the Bill into QuickBooks Online (QBO) as debiting the cost of goods sold and crediting the accounts payable with NR (non-registered trader) or OP (out-of-scope purchase) GST code. Note: It debits the inventory assets instead of the cost of goods sold if you are using the inventory feature in QuickBooks.

Enter Bill in QuickBooks

Let’s say the forwarder billed you:

  • Transport/Trucking/Storage charges: $5,800.00
  • Custom clearance charges: $150.00
  • Custom documentation fee: $30.00
  • 7% GST (paid on behalf): $7,000.00

Subtotal: $12,980.00
GST 7% (on $5,800): $406.00
Amount due: $13,386.00

The $7000 is the GST paid on your behalf, whereas the $406 is the GST for the forwarding services.

So, you record the forwarder bill into QBO as:

  • Row 1: Freight Charges: 5,800.00 (7% GST)
  • Row 2: Freight Charges: 150.00 (OP GST Code)
  • Row 3: Freight Charges: 30.00 (OP GST Code)
  • Row 4: Cost of Goods Sold: 100,000.00 (with 7% GST)
  • Row 5: Cost of Goods Sold: -100,000.00 (OP GST Code)
Enter Bill in QuickBooks

Note: 

  1. Row 4 indicates the taxable amount of $100,000 for the $7000 GST paid, which will show in the GST Form 5 report.
  2. Row 5 is a reverse of the taxable amount of $100,000 from the cost of goods sold since the actual purchase has already been recorded (Supplier Bill).

GST Form 5 box number 7, input tax and refund claims:

QuickBooks GST Report

Exchange rate

The taxable amount in the Singapore dollar is converted based on the Custom exchange rate, which may be different from your system exchange rate. Therefore, the taxable amount (Singapore dollar equivalent) in the forwarder bill may not be the same as the supplier bill you entered earlier. You claim according to what you have paid.

QuickBooks Online (QBO) is a cloud-based accounting system. It uses a web browser to access your company file without the software installed on your computer. You may contact us if you wish to switch to QBO from QuickBooks Desktop or Reckon Accounts.

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