A 28-year old owner of an online mobile phones and accessories business, Avan Yong Yan Hwa, was sentenced to eight weeks’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to three charges for offences of tax evasion involving the under-reporting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) collected in his GST returns by $36,368 between December 2011 and September 2012.
Yong was also ordered to pay a penalty of more than $109,000 representing three times the amount of GST that he had evaded. The total amount of tax evaded as a result of the under-declaration was $53,534
An additional six charges were taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing.
Yong had deliberately omitted to account for the GST collected from his customers in nine GST monthly returns by issuing handwritten invoices to some customers instead of the usual computerised ones and subsequently excluding these sales amounts and corresponding GST collected.
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) takes a serious view on to understate output tax on sales or claim input tax on fictitious purchases and it offers a discretionary reward to informants – whose identities are kept secret and confidential –whom are able to provide information or documents which result in the recovery of tax that would have otherwise been unpaid to the authorities. The reward comprises 15% of the recovered tax and is capped at $100,000.
More information on the case may be found here.