Dear Clients and Business Associates,
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (“IRAS“) reported in their website today that a certified public accountant (“CPA“) was charged on two counts of helping one of his clients to falsify expenses in its income tax returns for the Years of Assessment 2005 and 2006, purportedly as payments made to a shell company in the British Virgin Islands.
The CPA was fined for a total of S$270,983 for seven offences of assisting his client to evade tax. The composition includes the sum of approximately S$37,000, which is three times the amount of tax evaded by his client.
What does this mean to you?
- Taxpayers must be aware that heavy penalties would be imposed on non-compliance with our tax legislation, and any act of tax evasion is viewed as a very serious offense in Singapore. It is always a good time to review your past business transactions to determine whether the tax treatment accorded to these transactions can be supported by our tax legislation. If in doubt, you are strongly encouraged to bring this up with your tax consultant.
- If you are tax agents and are professionals under the Singapore Institute of Accredited Tax Professionals (“SIATP“), you should fully understand the five key principles in the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics (“Code“), which has been effective since 1 January 2011 and is applicable to all professionals under SIATP. In the instant case, the act committed by the CPA will constitute a breach of the Code as well as an offense punishable under the Income Tax Act.
Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics
If you are a tax professional under SIATP, do you know the following:
- the five key principles in the Code and their application to our tax practice;
- the circumstances under which you are allowed to depart from complying with any of these principles;
- who is actually your client if you are engaged by a corporate taxpayer, a body corporate or a couple;
- the guidance on dealing with the SIATP and IRAS etc.
If you are not clear with all of the above, here is the good news. I will be running a brand name workshop for ICPAS titled Ethics for Tax Professionals: A Practical Application of the SIATP Code of Professional Conduct. The first run will be held on 26 March 2012. In this workshop, I will discuss with my participants in a greater detail of the above issues and my further insights on the compliance with the Code. If you are interested, click the link below for the registration details.
I look forward to seeing you on 26 March 2012.
Jack HM Wong, FCPA Singapore
Accredited Tax Advisors (Income Tax and GST)
Founder and Lead Business & Tax Advisor
WHM Consulting Pte Ltd
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