Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


1. What person or entity is liable to pay cess?

The cess levied must be accounted for and paid by the proprietor of the tourist hotel. The proprietor of a tourist hotel includes the person or entity responsible for the management of the hotel, and includes any person who holds a licence granted under the Hotels Act (Cap. 127). A tourist hotel means any premises registered as a hotel under the Hotels Act which is declared by the Minister, by notification in the Gazette to be a tourist hotel.

2. Do I need to register my hotel for the purposes of cess? 

If your hotel has been declared by the Minister in the Gazette under the Singapore Tourism (Cess Collection) Act to be a tourist hotel, your hotel is required to pay the cess. There is no need to register your hotel for the purposes of cess.

3. Are there any forms that I need to submit? 

You are required to submit the Cess Returns Form to the Singapore Tourism Board (“STB”). If your hotel offers room packages, submission of Annex A of the Cess Returns Form is mandatory. You may download a soft copy of the form from the STB Corporate Website by clicking here.

4. When is the submission deadline for the Cess Returns Form and cess payment? 

The Cess Returns Form​ and cess payment for the 2017 FORMULA 1™ Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix must reach STB no later than 17 November 2017.

5. How do I pay the cess? How do I submit my Cess Return Form?

Please issue a crossed cheque payable to “Singapore Tourism Board” and write the name of your hotel and the hotel Cess Reference Number on the reverse side of the cheque. If you have received a letter from STB entitled “CESS LEVIED ON TOURIST HOTEL FOR 2017 FORMULA 1™ SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX”, the Cess Reference Number is printed on the top-left of the letter.

The Cess Returns Form and cess payment via cheque should be submitted to:

Singapore Tourism Board
Tourism Court

1 Orchard Spring Lane
Singapore 247729

Attn: Financial Operations Department (Cess)

Please note that STB does not accept post-dated cheques. No receipt will be issued for cheque payment. Do ensure that your cheque reaches us by 17 November 2017 to avoid penalty for late payment.

6. What is the penalty for late payment of the cess or not paying the cess? 

In the event that the Cess Payment is not made by 17 November 2017, a one-time penalty equivalent to 5% of the outstanding cess will be imposed. 

If the cess is still unpaid by 16 January 2018, an additional penalty of 2% of the unpaid cess shall be payable for each complete month that the cess remains unpaid commencing from 18 November 2017. The total additional penalty shall not exceed 50% of the amount of cess outstanding.

Below is an illustration of the penalty computation assuming the cess payable is $1,000.


Period of payment received by STB (both dates inclusive)







One-time Penalty
















5% of Cess


 $     50 


 $      50 

On 17-Jan-18

5% of Cess

2% of Cess

$        50

 $     20




5% of Cess 

4% of Cess

$     50





 5% of Cess

6% of Cess

$     50 





5% of Cess 

8% of Cess

$     50 





 5% of Cess

10% of Cess

$     50 





5% of Cess 

12% of Cess

$     50 

 $       120 




5% of Cess 

14% of Cess

$     50 

 $       140 




5% of Cess 

16% of Cess

$     50 

 $       160 




5% of Cess 

18% of Cess

$     50 

 $       180 




5% of Cess 

20% of Cess

$     50 

 $       200 




5% of Cess 

22% of Cess

$     50 

 $       220 




 5% of Cess

24% of Cess

$     50 

 $       240 




5% of Cess 

26% of Cess

$     50 

 $       260 




5% of Cess 

28% of Cess

$     50 

 $       280 




5% of Cess 

30% of Cess

$     50 

 $       300 




 5% of Cess

32% of Cess

$     50 

 $       320 




 5% of Cess

34% of Cess

$     50 

 $       340 




5% of Cess 

36% of Cess

$     50 

 $       360 




5% of Cess 

38% of Cess

$     50 

 $       380 




 5% of Cess

40% of Cess

$     50 

 $       400 




5% of Cess 

42% of Cess

$     50 

 $       420 




 5% of Cess

44% of Cess

$     50 

 $       440 




5% of Cess 

46% of Cess

$     50 

 $       460 




5% of Cess 

48% of Cess

$     50 

 $       480 




5% of Cess

50% of Cess

$     50 

       500 (Capped)



Cess rates

7. How many room nights is the cess levied upon and for which period does it cover?

For the 2017 FORMULA 1™ Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix, the cess is levied upon gross room revenue attributed to the four day cess period – from Thursday, 14 September to Sunday, 17 September 2017, both dates inclusive. 

8. What are the cess rates? Why are there different levels of contribution for different hotels?

The cess rates are 30% of the total gross room revenue for trackside tourist hotels, and 20% of the total gross room revenue for all other tourist hotels. 

Hotels at different locations are likely to benefit to varying extents from the 2017 Formula 1™ Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix. For instance, trackside hotels that have a view of or are in close proximity to the race track should be able to command a much higher room rate than the other hotels. Hence, cess is levied at a higher rate for trackside hotels to make a higher contribution towards the staging of the race. 

9. Will the cess be imposed on rooms that have been sold during this period but have not yet been paid for? Will cess be imposed on pre-collected room revenues e.g. in the event of “no shows”?

Yes to both. Cess is payable for all gross rooms revenue during the cess period (i.e. 14 – 17 September 2017). These include, but are not limited to: 

1) Rooms that have not been paid for (e.g., on credit terms), 

2) Rooms where payment was pre-paid, and 

3) Rooms where an amount was charged for cancellation or “no-show”. 

Thus, all gross room revenue charged and attributed to rooms sold during the cess period must be reported. Gross room revenue includes all adjustments relating to rooms sold during the cess period regardless of when the adjustments are processed.  

10. Will the hotels be liable to pay cess on revenue earned for early check-in and late check-out?

Cess will be levied on gross room revenue of your hotel during the cess period (i.e. 14 – 17 September 2017). This includes any revenue earned for early check-in and late check-out during this period. However, cess will not be levied on early check-in and late check-out which falls outside the cess period.

11. Will the cess payment be refunded to the hotels if the hotels decide to refund the full or partial cancellation charge to the guests after the cess payment has been made? What is the validity period for refunds? 

Yes, your hotel may be refunded on the basis of over-payment of cess upon submission of proper documentary evidence to the satisfaction of STB. The window period for any refund is up to one year after cess payment has been made i.e. if a cheque for cess payment is cleared on 15 November 2017, refund claim has to be made by 14 November 2018 for the 2017 FORMULA 1™ Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix. For example, non-trackside tourist hotel charges $100 per room night excluding GST. If the room cancellation policy entitles the hotel to charge the guest 40% of the room rate, the amount that can be refunded to the hotel shall be $100 x 60% x 20% = $12.

12. Why is there a need to provide information for dates outside of the tourist event (e.g. 11 to 13 and 18 to 19 September 2017) since the cess is not levied on the gross room revenue earned on these days? 

Although the cess is levied only on gross room revenue from Thursday, 14 September 2017 to Sunday, 17 September 2017, the information collected for a broader timeframe will facilitate verification and audit of the cess paid by your hotel.

Mechanics of cess

13. How is the cess calculated?

Cess is calculated based on the total gross room revenue earned during the stipulated period. An example is shown below.

i) Room Only

If the room night charge (including any charges relating to late check-out and extra bed) is $120, the cess payable will be $36 for trackside tourist hotels and $24 for all other tourist hotels.

(A) Room Charge 

$ 100.00

(B) Late Check-Out Charge

$  10.00

(C) Extra Bed

$  10.00

(D) Breakfast (add-on)




Total (A+B+C+D+E)

$ 170.00

Service Charge 10% 


GST  7%


Total Reflected on Guest’s Bill

$ 200.09

Cess collected from trackside tourist hotels @ 30% --->   $ 36.00

        [30% of S$ 120 (A+B+C)]

Cess collected from all other tourist hotels @ 20% --->   $ 24.00

[20% of $ 120 (A+B+C)]

The breakdown between the gross room revenue and other revenue components in the Cess Returns Form must tally against the bills presented to the hotel guests.

ii) Room Package

In the event where only the package price is reflected on the guest bill without further breakdown into room and non-room components, the cess will be calculated based on the gross package price.

Package Price

$ 500.00

Service Charge 10% 


GST  7%


Total Reflected on Guest’s Bill

$ 588.50

Cess collected from trackside tourist hotel @ 30%    --->      $ 150.00

(30% of S$ 500)

Cess collected from all other tourist hotel @ 20%   --->       $ 100.00

(20% of $ 500)

The above illustration is based on the guest bill as the source document to compute the cess payable. 

You may use other sources of supporting documents, for example, system printed revenue distribution, hotel’s internal established agreements provided the cess figures can be properly derived and audited. The onus of declaring accurate and complete information remains the responsibility of your hotel.

 14. Are hotels required to reflect the cess as a separate item on the bill of hotel guests? 

No, the cess should not be reflected on guest bills as a separate item. Cess is a business tax (i.e. similar to corporate tax), as opposed to a consumer tax (e.g. 7% GST). Reflecting the cess as a separate line item on guest bills erroneously reflects that the guest is liable for the tax rather than the hotel.

15. Are hotels required to keep proper records for audit purposes?

Yes, hotels are required to retain relevant and sufficient records for a minimum period of 2 years for audit purposes.


Common Errors in the Cess Returns Form

16. The following errors have been observed in Cess Returns Forms. Hotels are advised to check through their Cess Returns Form to ensure that these errors are avoided:

(a) Cancellation charges, rebates, room rate adjustments and/or no-show charges relating to the gross room revenue over the cess period were not included in the Cess Returns Form, regardless when the charges/adjustments were processed. 


Hotel takes one to two weeks to process cancellation charges. Upon internal approval obtained to proceed with the cancellation charges, the hotel processed the charges but did not include them in the Cess Returns Form, resulting in under-reporting of cess.


(b)  Room revenues reported erroneously included GST.

(c) Non-room revenue such as breakfast and internet charges were erroneously included.

(d) Errors due to omission or oversight in preparing submission/manual reconciliation.