Singapore Customs flags issue of online retailers evading or under-declaring GST

Singapore customs has noticed the presence of some online retailers who are trying to evade or under-declare the Goods and Services Tax (GST), it has been revealed. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Singapore customs has noticed the presence of some online retailers who are trying to evade or under-declare the Goods and Services Tax (GST), it has been revealed. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - There appears to be a new presence of online retailers attempting to evade or under-declare the Goods and Services Tax (GST), noted Singapore Customs on Wednesday.

A total of nine such offenders were prosecuted last year, and slapped with fines ranging from $4,500 to $133,000. They had attempted to evade GST by submitting fake invoices or under-declaring the value of the goods in their import permit declaration.

Most were individual sellers with their own websites, with seven out of nine touting luxury branded bags and accessories.

Customs had previously not prosecuted any online retailers. Senior assistant director-general of intelligence and investigations, Mr Lee Boon Chong, said he expected the numbers of such offenders to rise over the years as online purchases increase in volume.