Pua Om Tee ("Pua"), a 58-year-old sole proprietor of two exhibition printing firms Wah Ye Advertising ("Wah Ye") and Little Box Event and Exhibition Printing ("Little Box"), has been convicted for wilful intent to evade the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by making false entries in the GST returns in respect of her two business entities between 2013 and 2016.
Pua faced a total of 11 GST charges under section 62(1)(b) of the GST Act for omitting the GST output tax of certain sales transactions from her GST returns for the quarters ending June 2013 to September 2016, which resulted in GST undercharged totalling $226,903. Of the charges, the prosecution proceeded with 3 charges against Pua. She pleaded guilty to the 3 proceeded charges involving a total of $107,911 in GST undercharged.
The Court sentenced Pua to 14 weeks of imprisonment and ordered her to pay a penalty of $323,733, which is three times the amount of tax undercharged. The remaining 8 charges were taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing.
IRAS' audit programme uncovered the offence
IRAS conducts regular audits of GST-registered businesses, and such GST omissions can be detected through the use of data analysis and risk profiling. Using data analytics and advanced statistical tools, IRAS is able to cross-check data and detect anomalies. This case was uncovered through one such audit programme.
Severe Penalties for GST Evasion
It is a serious offence to wilfully submit false GST returns by overstating any input tax, understating any output tax or including fictitious transactions. Upon conviction, offenders may face a penalty of three times the amount of tax undercharged, a fine not exceeding $10,000, and/or imprisonment of up to seven years.
Reporting of Malpractices
Businesses or individuals are encouraged to immediately disclose any past tax mistakes. IRAS will treat such disclosures as mitigating factors when considering action to be taken. Those who wish to disclose past mistakes or report malpractices can write to:
Revenue Authority of Singapore
Investigation & Forensics Division
55 Newton Road, Revenue House
Email: [email protected]
Cash Rewards for Informant
A reward based on 15% of the tax recovered, capped at $100,000, will be given to informants if the information and/or documents provided lead to a recovery of tax that would have otherwise been lost. All payments are at the discretion of the Comptroller. IRAS will ensure that the identities of informants are kept strictly confidential.
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore