Curry Puff Hawker Charged for Tax Evasion

5 Oct 2007

(Subordinate Courts, Court 23, 9.00 a.m.)

Mr Looi San Cheng, the sole proprietor of Tip Top Curry Puff, had wilfully with intent to evade tax, understated the profits of his business for the Years of Assessment 2001 to 2006. The total amount of profits understated was $1,054,633.

He has therefore committed offences under Section 96 (1)(b) of the Income Tax Act.


Modus Operandi

The principal activities of Tip Top Curry Puff comprise processing, cooking and selling of curry puffs. The stall is located in the coffee shop at 722 Ang Mo Kio Central, #01-2843.

The transactions of the stall were mainly made in cash. Evidence shows that Looi San Cheng deliberately chose to under-declare the profits. He was found to have wilfully with intent to evade tax made false entries in his income tax returns for the Years of Assessment 2001 to 2006.

The details of the amount of Net-Profit Understated are as follows:

  Y/A 2001 Y/A 2002 Y/A 2003 Y/A 2004 Y/A 2005 Y/A 2006 Total
  S$ S$ S$ S$ S$ S$ S$
Actual Net Profit 138,139 145,047 176,998 161,205 199,960 236,140 1,057,489
Net Profit / (loss) declared 10,790 -37,209 -222 5,213 6,080 18,204 2,856
Net Profit understated 127,349 182,256 177,220 155,992 193,880 217,936 1,054,633

Mr Looi San Cheng pleaded guilty to 2 charges of wilful intent to evade tax, making false entries in his income tax returns and the sentences are as follows:

  1. Sentenced to 2 weeks’ imprisonment for the 1st charge and 2 weeks’ imprisonment for the 2nd charge, sentences to run concurrently.
  2. Ordered to pay a penalty of 3 times the amount of tax undercharged of $65,398.36 ($30,786.40 + $34,611.96) in respect of the 2 charges, which amounted to $196,195.08 ($92,359.20 + $103,835.88).

The remaining 4 charges were withdrawn and compounded for $290,969.60.


First Case of Its Kind

This is the first case that a hawker in a coffee shop has been prosecuted for tax evasion.

IRAS takes a serious view of such offences. While IRAS believes that the vast majority of taxpayers are law-abiding and contribute their fair share of taxes, strong deterrent action will be taken against taxpayers who are errant.

Hawkers and stallholders are advised to make truthful and accurate declaration of income in their income tax returns.


Members of the Public May Report Malpractices

Taxpayers who wish to disclose errors in their previous income reporting, or anyone who wishes to report malpractices that might indicate tax evasion may write to IRAS using the following addresses:

Email: iid@iras.gov.sg

Address: Investigation & Intelligence Division,
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore
55 Newton Road
Singapore 307987

IRAS will ensure that the identities of informants are kept confidential. In the spirit of encouraging voluntary compliance, past errors or omissions voluntarily disclosed are subject to less severe penalties.