Category Archives: GST

Singapore GST – Accomplice of GST fraud mastermind put in jail


It was reported in IRAS’ website on 2 August 2018 that
Sng Kay Heng who is a sole proprietor of Strikey Trading was found guilty and convicted of making false entries in the GST returns of his business entity, resulting in GST refunds totaling $30,806.61.

Sng was the accomplice of Eric Chan, who was convicted in July 2014 for masterminding a complex GST scam by using multiple shell entities and colluding with Sng to defraud the Comptroller of GST of GST refunds.  Sng had voluntarily registered himself for GST in October 2005.

IRAS’ investigations revealed that Sng, who elected to file his GST returns on a monthly basis, made false entries in his GST returns for the accounting periods ended November 2005, December 2005 and January 2006.

Investigations further revealed that the suppliers whom Strikey Trading had purportedly made purchases from confirmed that they did not make any sales to Strikey Trading.

Sng had claimed trial to 3 GST charges of making false entries with wilful intent to evade tax in his GST returns.  The Court sentenced Sng to 6 weeks’ imprisonment and ordered him to pay a penalty of $92,000, which is 3X of the amount of tax undercharged.

What does this mean to you?

Under Singapore GST law, it is a serious offense to claim GST input tax on fictitious purchases or understate output tax on sales. Offenders face a penalty of up to 3 times the amount of tax undercharged, a fine not exceeding $10,000, and/or imprisonment of up to 7 years.

Have a Question

Are you interested in joining our mailing list to receive our regular update on Singapore tax and international tax matters that may impact on your business?

Join Our Mailing List

Interested in Scheduling a Tax Consultation with us? Click here to Schedule a 30-Min Reduce Your Tax Bill Consultation with us:

Schedule Appointment

Advertisements

Singapore GST – Request For Extension of Filing GST Form F5


For Singapore GST purposes, all GST-registered businesses are required to file their GST returns on time.  The IRAS considers one month after the end of the prescribed accounting period a reasonable deadline and no extensions will be granted.

Nevertheless, IRAS has announced that it is prepared to grant an extension of time for newly registered businesses and for businesses which fall within the following list of acceptable reasons:

  • Newly GST-registered businesses (1st GST return) – 1 month
  • Fire disaster – 2 months (submission of the police report and the insurance claim is required)
  • Breakdown of computer systems – 2 months (submission of the IT servicing report is required)
  • Purchase of new accounting software and/or IT systems – 2 months (submission of the tax invoice is required)
  • Key accounting personnel on medical leave of more than 1 week  – 2 months (submission of medical/ hospitalization certificates is required).

Affected businesses should email IRAS at least 3 working days before the filing due date with the supporting documents (where applicable) to enable IRAS to have sufficient time to process the request for an extension of time to file their GST F5.

Have a Question

Are you interested in joining our mailing list to receive our regular update on Singapore tax and international tax matters that may impact on your business?

Join Our Mailing List

Interested in Scheduling a Tax Consultation with us? Click here to Schedule a 30-Min Reduce Your Tax Bill Consultation with us:

Schedule Appointment

Singapore GST – Former professional engineer penalised for evading taxes and failing to register for GST


It was reported on IRAS’ website on 4 June 2018 that a former professional electrical engineer, Ng Hai Hock, who owned a sole proprietorship, NHH Consultants, was sentenced to 6 weeks’ imprisonment and ordered to pay fines and penalties totaling $180,105.37 after being found guilty of evading income taxes as well as failing to register for GST. In addition, Ng is required to pay a total of $533,504.25 in back-dated taxes to IRAS.

IRAS’ Investigations revealed that in 2007, Ng was liable to notify the Comptroller of GST of his liability to register for GST by 30 Jan 2008.  However, he failed to do so by the due date, thus failing to account for GST on taxable supplies provided by NHH Consultants.

Further investigations revealed that Ng had wilfully evaded taxes by omitting to declare the income earned by him from NHH Consultants in his income tax returns for YAs 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012.

Ng had also failed to file his income tax returns for YA 2011 despite the fact that he was issued a No-Filing Service (NFS) letter by IRAS. This is because he had earned income in YA 2011 beyond what was auto-included and thus did not meet the conditions in the NFS letter.

Ng faced four charges of evading income taxes for Years of Assessment (“YAs”) 2008 to 2010 and 2012, as well as one charge for failing to file his income tax returns for YA 2011. These five offences had resulted in Ng failing to account for $80,399.01 in income taxes to IRAS.  In addition, he faced one charge for failing to register for GST between 1 March 2008 and 31 December 2011, which had resulted in Ng failing to account for GST totalling $453,105.24.

For the two proceeded charges on income tax evasion, Ng was sentenced to 6 weeks’ imprisonment. In addition, the Court ordered Ng to pay a penalty of $129,794.85, which is three times the amount of income taxes evaded.

For failure to register for GST, the Court fined Ng $5,000 and ordered him to pay a penalty of $45,310.52, a sum that is 10% of GST due.

What does this mean to you?

GST Registration
All businesses, including individuals deriving income from their trade, profession or vocation, should closely monitor their income and regularly assess if they need to register for GST.  Any business that fails to register for GST is still required to pay GST on all their past transactions from the date the business became liable for GST registration. GST is payable even if the amount was not collected from customers. In addition, failure to register for GST is an offence and businesses may be required to pay 10% of GST due as a penalty, and fined up to $10,000.

Income Tax
IRAS takes a serious view of non-compliance and tax evasion.  Any person who fails or neglects without reasonable excuse to furnish a return of income shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000, and, in default of payment, imprisonment for a term of up to six months.

Have a Question

Are you interested in joining our mailing list to receive our regular update on Singapore tax and international tax matters that may impact on your business?

Join Our Mailing List

Interested in Scheduling a Tax Consultation with us? Click here to Schedule a 30-Min Reduce Your Tax Bill Consultation with us:

Schedule Appointment

Singapore GST – Company director jailed 4 weeks for omitting to account for GST on property sale


It was reported in IRAS’ website on 1 June 2018 that Kho Foong Kuin, a director of Speed Safety International Pte Ltd (“Speed Safety”), has been convicted for not reporting the amount of GST collected from the sale of a non-residential property at Tuas View Place (the “Property”) in the company’s GST return with wilful intent to evade GST.

IRAS’ investigations revealed that Speed Safety had disposed of the Property on 30 June 2014. The purchaser paid Speed Safety $828,000 for the Property and $57,960 for the 7% GST on the selling price.

Kho, who was responsible for filing GST returns for Speed Safety, had previously made a full claim from IRAS on the input tax amounting to $45,454.49 paid for the purchase of the Property.  She knew that she was required to declare and pay IRAS the output tax of $57,960.00 collected for the sale of the Property.  However, she intentionally did not do so as she wanted to use the sales proceeds, including the GST collected, to alleviate Speed Safety’s financial difficulties.

The Court sentenced Kho to 4 weeks’ jail and ordered her to pay a penalty of $173,880, which is 3X of the amount of GST evaded.

What does this mean to you?

For Singapore GST purposes, GST-registered businesses have to account for GST collected on the sale of non-residential properties as an output tax in their GST returns. At the same time, they can claim the GST paid on the purchase of non-residential properties as an input tax in their GST returns provided that the conditions for input tax claim are satisfied.

It is a serious offence to omit or understate output tax on sales. Offenders face a penalty that is up to 3 times the amount of tax undercharged, and a fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment of up to 7 years or to both.

Have a Question

Are you interested in joining our mailing list to receive our regular update on Singapore tax and international tax matters that may impact on your business?

Join Our Mailing List

Interested in Scheduling a Tax Consultation with us? Click here to Schedule a 30-Min Reduce Your Tax Bill Consultation with us:

Schedule Appointment

Singapore GST – Former Singapore Customs Officer Jailed for Fraudulently Obtaining GST Tourist Refunds


It was reported in IRAS’ website on 20 April 2018 that Ms. Pang Yeow Biah, who was a former Singapore Customs Officer, was charged for fraudulently obtaining GST tourist refunds under the electronic tourist refund scheme (“eTRS”).

Between 2012 and 2014, Pang was a Singapore Customs officer who was deployed at the GST Refund Inspection Counter at Changi Airport.  Her main duty was to process GST refund claims made by tourists leaving Singapore.  When the opportunity arose during her course of work, she would take the details of these “rejected” GST refund claims and use the eTRS system to electronically process the GST refunds into her own credit cards or credit cards that were under her control.  In addition, Pang had used the eTRS self-help kiosks to obtain the GST refunds which she was not entitled to.

The GST refunds were obtained through Pang’s misuse of two credit cards that were registered in her son’s ex-girlfriend’s name but under Pang’s control.  Pang then used the GST refunds to repay her own credit card debts.

Pang pleaded guilty to 10 charges of fraudulently obtaining GST tourist refunds amounting to $8,302.05 under section 62(1)(e) of the GST Act and three charges under section 47(1)(c) of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act (“CDSA”).

The court sentenced Pang to 15 months’ imprisonment and a penalty of $24,906.15, which is 3X  the amount of tax defrauded. Pang was sentenced to 4 weeks’ imprisonment for her CDSA offences, resulting in a total sentence of 15 months and 4 weeks’ imprisonment.

Message from Singapore Customs and IRAS

  1.   Measures such as built-in system checks are in place to identify cases to be selected for further inspection. Through data analytics, IRAS and Singapore Customs are able to detect suspicious GST refund claims and fraudulent activities.
  2. Singapore has always adopted a zero-tolerance approach towards tax fraud, money laundering, and other criminal activities. The authorities take a serious view of such criminal practices and will take swift action against any individuals and parties involved.

Have a Question

Are you interested in joining our mailing list to receive our regular update on Singapore tax and international tax matters that may impact on your business?

Join Our Mailing List

Interested in Scheduling a Tax Consultation with us? Click here to Schedule a 30-Min Reduce Your Tax Bill Consultation with us:

Schedule Appointment