Category Archives: GST

Singapore GST – Former Manager of Export Business Jailed for GST Fraud


It was reported in the IRAS’ website on 21 July 2017 that Suneel Ramchandani (“Suneel”), the former manager of Indibiz, an export business for luxury watches and electronic products, has been charged and convicted for making fictitious declarations to enable Indibiz to claim GST refunds totaling $178,314.82.

Suneel’s eight GST evasion charges to defraud the Comptroller of GST occurred over eight accounting periods starting in July 2009. Indibiz initially started as a sole-proprietorship business of Suneel and was converted to a partnership business with one Sreyashi Sengupta (“Sreyashi”) on 16 February 2009. Suneel subsequently withdrew from the partnership on 30 March 2009 and Sreyashi became the sole-proprietor of Indibiz. However, Suneel remained as a manager and person-in-charge of the GST account of Indibiz. With the assistance of Suneel, Sreyashi registered Indibiz for GST purposes with effect from April 2009.

From Jul 2009 to Oct 2010, Suneel had made false entries in the GST returns of Indibiz, to fabricate false input tax claims and zero-rated supplies in order to enable Sreyashi to claim fraudulent GST refunds totaling $178,314.82. Investigations further revealed that a significant portion of the GST refund monies received by Sreyashi arising from the false declarations that had been e-filed by Suneel, was handed over to Suneel.

IRAS’ investigation revealed that Suneel had represented Indibiz and provided IRAS with falsified purchase invoices showing “Indibiz” as the purchaser of the goods when in fact, the purchases never took place.  Other falsified documents included purchase orders purportedly issued by Indibiz, as well as subsidiary export certificates purportedly issued to Indibiz to support the exports for zero-rated supplies, whereby no output tax will be due to IRAS.

Suneel faced a total of eight GST evasion charges for fabricating false claims to willfully assist Indibiz to obtain GST refunds that Indibiz was not entitled to. He pleaded guilty to four out of the eight GST evasion charges, involving a total GST amount of $178,314.82, with the other four remaining GST evasion charges being taken into consideration for the purposes of sentencing. The Court sentenced Suneel to 8 months’ jail and ordered him to pay a penalty of $534,944.46, three times the amount of tax undercharged.

 

What does this mean to you?

It is a serious offence to claim GST input tax on fictitious purchases or understate output tax on sales. Offenders face a penalty of up to three times the amount of tax undercharged, a fine not exceeding $10,000, and/or imprisonment of up to seven years.

If you have any questions, contact support@whm-consulting.com.

Singapore GST – Robotic Ice-Cream Machine Company Director Sentenced to Jail for GST Evasion


It was reported in the IRAS’ website on 6 July 2017 that Robofusion Asia Pte Ltd (“Robofusion”), which is a company in the business of supplying robotic ice-cream kiosks, has been convicted of evading GST  by overstating GST input tax on its GST return. Robert Taramelli (“Taramelli”), the company director, was also convicted for his role in assisting the company to evade GST.

IRAS’ investigations revealed that Taramelli assisted Robofusion to evade tax by maintaining a false record, i.e. by including a false invoice dated 10 Sep 2013 that he had created, purportedly from a supplier, showing GST amounting to $35,667.85, into Robofusion’s taxable purchases listing.  He included the GST amount of $35,667.85 in the amount of input tax claimed in Robofusion’s GST return for the accounting period 1 Sep 2013 to 30 Sep 2013. The false invoice was for the supposed purchase of 10 units of a machine by Robofusion from the supplier for the total amount of $509,540.72.  Investigations revealed that the actual tax invoice, which had the same invoice number, had already been claimed in Robofusion’s GST return for an earlier accounting period ended Jun 2013.

For his offense of willful intent to assist Robofusion to evade tax, Taramelli was sentenced to 6 weeks’ in jail and ordered to pay a penalty of $107,003.55, which is 3X of the GST input tax of $35,667.85.

Robofusion was sentenced to pay a penalty of $107,003.55, which is 3X the amount of GST undercharged, and a fine of $8,000.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact support@whm-consulting.com.

Singapore GST – GST Tax Changes on Budget 2017


It was announced in the Budget 2017 that with effect from 1 July 2017, the GST Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) will be withdrawn for tourists who are departing by the international cruise from the cruise terminals.

Tourists who are departing by the international cruise from the cruise terminals and have made purchases before 1 July 2017 have until 31 August 2017 claim the refunds on such purchases.

The eTRS facilities at the cruise terminals will be removed after 31 Aug 2017.

What does this mean to the retailers?

Retailers who continue to issue the tickets on or after 1 July 2017 will be committing an offense under the GST (General) Regulations and can be penalized.

IRAS has updated the following e-Tax Guides on 22 Feb 2017 accordingly.

–   GST: Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS)
–  GST: Guide for Visitors on Tourist Refund Scheme
  GST: Guide for Retailers participating in Tourist Refund Scheme

If you have any questions, contact us at support@whm-consulting.com.

Singapore GST – Update on GST Input Tax Claims By Qualifying Funds, S-REITs and S-RBTs


For Singapore GST purposes, only GST-registered businesses are allowed to claim GST as an input tax credit.  However, non-GST registered businesses in specific industries are given administrative concessions to claim GST as an input tax credit subject to the satisfaction of certain prescribed conditions.

Until 31 March 2019, qualifying funds managed by a prescribed fund manager in Singapore are allowed to claim GST incurred on prescribed expenses at an annual fixed recovery rate via remission.

Until 31 Mar 2020,  Real Estate Investment Trusts and qualifying Registered Business Trusts listed on the Singapore Exchange (i.e. S-REITs and qualifying S-RBTs) are allowed to claim GST on expenses incurred for their business and their Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), regardless of whether the S-REIT or S-RBT is eligible for GST registration.

In order to claim the GST incurred, qualifying funds, S-REITs and S-RBTs are required to submit a quarterly Statement of Claims to IRAS within a month after the end of the respective quarters.   However, as an administrative concession, funds and trusts can submit their  Statement of Claims on a half-yearly or yearly basis as long as the claims are made within 5 years from the end of the respective quarters.

This means that for the period of claims from Q2 2012 (from 1 APril 2013 to 30 June 2013),  the qualifying funds, S-REITs and S-RBTs can opt to submit the Statement of Claims latest by 30 Jun 2018.

If you have any questions, contact us at support@whm-consulting.com.

Singapore GST – 5 Tourists were arrested for Fraudulent GST Refund Claims


It was reported in the IRAS’ website on 2 February 2017 that 5 foreign individuals were arrested on 1 February 2017 by IRAS’ investigators for engaging in a conspiracy to claim fraudulent GST refunds under the electronic tourist refund scheme (“eTRS“). The eTRS claims were made for jewelry that the accused persons did not personally purchase.

This was the result of a joint operation by IRAS and Singapore Customs on 27 May 2016 where the accused persons were caught red-handed making fraudulent GST refund claims at Changi Airport. They will be charged in court and each of these accused persons will face over 200 charges of engaging in a conspiracy to claim fraudulent GST refunds amounting to approximately $167,253.

Modus Operandi of GST Refund Claim Fraud

In a GST refund claim fraud scenario, the accused person, masquerading as a “tourist” would pay local customers (who are not entitled to the eTRS refund) for their jewelry invoices. With these invoices and using his passport, the “tourist” would then obtain eTRS tickets from the respective shops and, subsequently claim eTRS GST cash refunds at a port of departure.

What does this mean to you?

IRAS takes a serious view on such fraudulent GST refund claims and will not hesitate to take stern enforcement action against these individuals and any persons assisting them.

Anyone who commits the offense of willful intent to make a false GST refund claim or, assist any other person to make such false claim faces a penalty of up to 3 times the amount of refund wrongfully claimed and a fine not exceeding $10,000, and/or imprisonment of up to 7 years.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact support@whm-consulting.com