Tag Archives: Income Tax

Income Tax – Former Director of Engineering Company Sentenced to Jail and a Penalty for Assisting in Income Tax Evasion


It was reported in IRAS’ website on 8 September 2017 that Kuah Pong Guan (“Kuah”), a former director of Wesco Engineering Pte Ltd (“WEPL”), a company involved in fabrication of metal works, has been convicted of assisting WEPL to evade tax by not reporting a total of 81 cash sales made to its customers in WEPL’s income tax returns for Years of Assessment (“YAs“) 2009 and 2010.

Investigations revealed that for these two YAs, Kuah sold metal parts to customers on a cash basis without issuing any invoices, and did not report the earnings from such sales in WEPL’s income tax returns.  Kuah did so to pocket these earnings for gambling and to pay off his own creditors.  By doing so, Kuah had also assisted WEPL to evade income tax by under-declaring WEPL’s income earned.

For YA 2009, Kuah declared WEPL’s sales income to be $62,253, understating actual income by $730,697, which resulted in income tax being undercharged by $114,109.02. For YA2010, he declared a loss of $205,475 for WEPL’s sales income, when it had, in fact, earned a profit of $77,246. This resulted in income tax being undercharged by $3,906.09.

Kuah was charged and convicted for assisting WEPL to evade income tax by providing false information in WEPL’s income tax returns for YAs 2009 and 2010. The Court ordered Kuah to pay a penalty of $354,045.33, three times the amount of tax undercharged for both YAs, and sentenced him to two weeks imprisonment.

What does this mean to you?

IRAS takes a serious view of non-compliance and tax evasion. There will be severe penalties for those who wilfully evade tax. Taxpayers are ultimately responsible for the information declared in their income tax returns. The authority will not hesitate to bring offenders to court. Penalties for tax evasion can be up to four times the amount of tax evaded. In certain situations, jail terms may also be imposed.

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

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Income Tax – Wholesale Trader and Company to Pay Penalties of $169,194.60 and Fine of $5,000 for False PIC Claim


It was reported in IRAS’ website on 21 July 2017 that Chin Jin Han (“Chin“), who was running a wholesale trading company, Mah Sing Pte. Ltd (“Mah Sing”), has been convicted of providing false information in the company’s Productivity and Innovation Credit (“PIC”) cash payout application form.

Chin submitted a PIC cash payout application form to IRAS, under Mah Sing’s name, in Apr 2013. He obtained the signature of Mah Sing’s sole director, his mother-in-law who left the running of the business to him, and completed all the required fields in the PIC cash payout application form.

IRAS’ Investigations revealed that Mah Sing did not purchase the two servers and three workstations (“the equipment”) at the purported cost of $93,997, as declared in the PIC cash payout application form. The invoices that showed the purchase of the equipment were false.

Both Mah Sing and Chin were convicted of giving false information to the Comptroller of Income Tax, in order to obtain a PIC cash payout and Bonus which the company was not entitled to.

The court ordered the company to pay a penalty of $56,398.20 which is a one-time penalty of the amount of the PIC cash payout that was wrongfully claimed.

Chin was convicted of giving false information to the Comptroller of Income Tax to assist Mah Sing to obtain a PIC cash payout, which Mah Sing was not entitled to when no such purchase had in fact taken place. The court ordered Chin Jin Han to pay a penalty of $112,796.40, which is two times the amount of PIC cash payout that was wrongfully claimed, and a fine of $5,000.

What does this mean to you?

IRAS takes a serious view of any attempt by claimants, vendors or consultants to defraud the Government. Under the Income Tax Act, anyone convicted of an offence of abusing the PIC scheme will have to pay a penalty of up to four times the amount of PIC cash payout fraudulently obtained or which would have been obtained if the offence had not been detected, and a fine of up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years.

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

Income Tax – Director Behind PIC Sham Convicted


It was reported in IRAS’ website on 20 July 2017 that Selladorai Dharmalingam (“Selladorai”), the sole director of Al Bright Construction Pte. Ltd. (“Al Bright”), has been convicted and sentenced for abusing the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme by giving false information to illegally obtain a PIC cash payout and bonus for Al Bright.

IRAS’ investigation revealed that Selladorai authorized the submission of the PIC Cash Payout Application Form by Al Bright to claim $50,461.20 in PIC cash payout and $15,000 in PIC bonus, for the purported expenditure of $84,102 to purchase an electric overhead crane.  However, there was no such expenditure incurred by Al Bright nor any such equipment was purchased.

Selladorai was convicted of giving false information to the Comptroller of Income Tax in order to obtain a PIC cash payout and PIC bonus which the company Al Bright was not entitled to. The court ordered Selladorai to pay a fine of $3,500 and a penalty of $100,922.40, twice the amount of PIC cash payout that Al Bright had wrongfully obtained, and sentenced him to 12 weeks’ imprisonment in default of payment.

What does this mean to you?

IRAS takes a serious view of any attempt by claimants, vendors or consultants to defraud the Government. Offenders convicted of PIC fraud will have to pay a penalty of up to four times the amount of cash payout fraudulently obtained, or which would have been obtained if the offence had not been detected, and a fine of up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years.

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

Income Tax – Public Consultation on Draft Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2017


The Ministry of Finance has published for public consultation the Draft Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2017 to incorporate 34 proposed legislative amendments, including:

1.   Eight Budget 2017 changes, including

  •  Enhancement and extension of the Corporate Income Tax (CIT) rebate for Year of Assessment (YA) 2017 and YA 2018.
  • Introduction of the Personal Income Tax rebate of 20% (capped at S$500) for YA 2017.
  • Liberalisation of the tax deduction for payments under Cost Sharing Agreements (CSAs) for Research and Development (R&D) projects.

2.  Amendment to introduce mandatory Transfer Pricing Documentation Requirement 

To limit compliance burden for smaller businesses, the mandatory TPD requirement will only apply to businesses with a turnover exceeding $10m and significantly related party transactions. The majority of companies will not be affected, as this change will only be relevant to fewer than 5% of all companies, many of which have already been maintaining TPD.

3. 25 Other non-budget changes including

  • Amendments relating to third-party voluntary contributions to the Medisave accounts of private sector employees and self-employed persons (SEPs).
  • Changes to enable the Minister for Finance to implement Singapore’s obligations under the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS).

The consultation exercise will end on 10 July 2017.

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

Singapore To Sign The Multilateral Convention To Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures To Prevent BEPS


On 7 June 2017, Singapore has signed the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“MLI”), with over 60 other jurisdictions.

The signing of this MLI represents Singapore’s commitment to upholding the principles behind BEPS, i.e.  profits should be attributable to the jurisdictions where the substantial economic activities giving rise to such profits are conducted.

The Finance Minister, Mr. Heng Swee Keat said

“Singapore strongly supports the principle that profits should be attributable to the jurisdiction where substantive economic activities generating the profits are based.  Signing the Multilateral Instrument allows Singapore to swiftly update its wide network of Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements to internationally agreed standards. Singapore’s signing of the Multilateral Instrument reaffirms Singapore’s commitment and support to the BEPS Project.”

What is the impact on Singapore’s DTA network when Singapore signs the MLI?

The MLI provides flexibility for a jurisdiction to

  • determine which of its DTAs it would like to amend using the MLI; and
  • indicate which provisions in the MLI it would like to adopt and how such provisions should be adopted.

For example, if both Singapore and Jurisdiction A have signed the MLI, the bilateral DTA between Singapore and Jurisdiction A will be amended only if both Singapore and Jurisdiction A indicate that they would like to amend their bilateral DTA using the MLI.

In the MLI context, such a bilateral DTA is referred to as a “Covered Tax Agreement (CTA)”.  A provision in the DTA between Singapore and Jurisdiction A (i.e. the CTA) will be amended by an MLI provision only if both Singapore and Jurisdiction A have taken the same position regarding that provision in the MLI.

At the point of signing the MLI in June 2017, Singapore has provided a provisional list of the DTAs that it would like to amend using the MLI, as well as its provisional positions on the MLI provisions. This provisional list may be amended and will only be confirmed upon ratification of the MLI.  Singapore has included 68 of its 82 comprehensive DTAs after considering various factors, such as our DTA partners’ commitment to the BEPS Project. These DTAs will be amended by the MLI only if the respective DTA partners also sign the MLI and have included the respective DTAs under the scope of the MLI.

How did Singapore determine its positions on the MLI?

The MLI allows jurisdictions to swiftly implement the tax treaty related BEPS recommendations, which include both mandatory provisions (i.e. the minimum standards under the BEPS Project) as well as non-mandatory provisions.

Singapore will be adopting these mandatory provisions in the MLI,

(i) Article 6 (Purpose of a covered tax agreement) – To include a statement of intent in the preamble of the covered tax agreement that the DTA is to eliminate double taxation without creating opportunities for non-taxation or reduced taxation through tax evasion or avoidance

(ii) Article 7 (Preventing treaty abuse) – To include a general anti-abuse rule in the covered tax agreement, commonly known as the Principal Purpose Test (PPT).

(iii) Article 16 (Mutual Agreement Procedure) – To include a mechanism to allow a Singapore resident taxpayer to seek assistance from IRAS when the taxpayer encounters taxation in a DTA jurisdiction that is not in accordance with the intended application of the DTA.

Singapore will also be adopting a number of non-mandatory provisions in the MLI, which it believes will be beneficial for its taxpayers.  One such example is the adoption of the mandatory binding arbitration provision in our DTAs. This provision will provide an alternative dispute resolution mechanism if the competent authorities are unable to reach agreement or are unable to do so in a timely manner.  The mandatory binding arbitration provision will be included in our DTAs if the respective DTA partners also choose to adopt the provision.

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