It was reported in IRAS’ website on 26 Jan 2017 that a sole proprietor of a consultancy firm was alleged acted as the “promoter” of the PIC Scheme and would face 58 charges of assisting 49 claimants to obtain PIC cash pay-outs and bonuses involving a total amount of approximately $1.1M fraudulently.
Over the past year, IRAS had conducted extensive investigations into a number of suspicious PIC claims. Its investigations revealed that many of such claims were linked to this PIC promoter. About 200 persons were called up to assist in these investigations. IRAS will take enforcement actions against the claimants, where appropriate, once the investigations are completed.
IRAS said that from the investigations it was found out that many promoters have sought out individuals not carrying on business to register companies and businesses purely to make false claims. In a typical fraudulent PIC scam, the PIC promoter may assist claimants by providing false documentation to help support the expenditures declared in their PIC cash payout applications. Such documentation may include false employment contracts, working timesheets, payment vouchers, product flyers or brochures, quotations, and invoices.
In addition, where the claimants do not fulfill the PIC application condition of three local employees, the PIC promoter would provide the names and particulars of up to three unrelated persons just for the purpose of falsely representing to IRAS that the claimants have met the prerequisite of three local employees. These false employees could include friends, relatives, retirees and unemployed persons. Some of these false employees might not have known that their names had been used for PIC claims.
In return for facilitating the false PIC claims, the PIC promoter will take a cut from the PIC cash payouts given to the claimants.
What does it mean to you?
IRAS takes a serious view of any attempt by claimants, vendors or consultants to defraud the Government. In particular, IRAS will take stern action against promoters who facilitate illegal activities.
Anyone who commits PIC offences with wilful intent might be subject to penalties of up to 4X the amount of PIC cash payout and bonus fraudulently obtained (or which would have been obtained if the offence had not been detected), and a fine of up to $50,000 or imprisonment of up to five years.
If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.