Dear Valued Clients and Friends
It is reported in the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore’s (“IRAS‘”) website today that a local company that is in the business of promoting and organizing shows and other entertainment acts failed to state the correct amount of Goods and Services Tax (“GST“) output tax in its GST returns during 2005 and 2006, resulting in an underpayment of GST amounting to some S$503,000.
The error was uncovered by IRAS investigators who found that sales figures submitted by the taxpayer for income tax purposes did not tally with the sales figures reported for GST output tax for the years concerned. It was also found that the taxpayer had not included the GST collected on the ticket sales for both years as output tax in its GST returns.
Although the taxpayer was aware that it was required to account for the GST on the ticket sales, it failed to check the GST returns prepared by its tax agent. The taxpayer pleaded guilty to charges of under-declaration of GST without reasonable excuse and was ordered to pay a penalty of S$602K and a fine of S$10K. During the investigations, it was found that the taxpayer also made similar under-declaration of output tax in other years and the amount of tax and penalty involved was approximately S$984K.
What does this mean to our clients?
We are aware that many clients outsource the preparation of tax returns to their tax agents. Having said that, the clients must understand that they have the final responsibility to make sure that these tax returns are accurately prepared and submitted within the prescribed time-frame. They cannot rely on the fact that the tax returns prepared by their tax agents must be correct and thus, they do not need to undertake any further review. As you have seen in this particular instance, it would not be accepted by IRAS as an excuse.
We trust that the above information is useful to you.
As always, we are pleased to assist you or your company in resolving any potential tax issues. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss any of your/ your company’s concern on tax issues.
Jack HM Wong
Founder and Lead Business & Tax Advisor
WHM Consulting Pte Ltd