Construction firm and director fined for not reporting GST from property sale

SINGAPORE - A construction company and its director were on Wednesday each ordered to pay penalties and a fine amounting to almost $200,000, over Goods and Services Tax (GST) from the sale of a property that it had failed to account for.

Junling Construction & Engineering and 52-year-old Cheah Wai Fun did not report $96,600 in the firm's returns for the accounting period that ended on March 31, 2011. This was the GST for a non-residential property at Woodlands Industrial Park, which the firm had sold on Feb 9 that year for $1.38 million.

A court heard that Cheah was responsible for filing GST returns and issuing tax invoices for the firm. As director, he had failed to ensure the returns were accurate.

The firm and director were each ordered to pay a $191,268 penalty - twice the amount of GST evaded - and a $4,000 fine.

Those who omit or understate output tax on sales face a penalty that is double the amount of tax undercharged. At the same time, they can also be jailed for up to three years and fined up to $5,000.