Wholesale store manager gets six weeks' jail for fraudulent GST claims

SINGAPORE - A manager of a general wholesale store was sentenced to six weeks' jail on Friday for making fraudulent goods and services tax (GST) refund claims of more than $35,000.

Wong Weng Hong was also ordered to pay a penalty of more than $105,000 - three times the amount of fraudulent claims he made.

The court heard that Wong had made up figures for his tax claims in order to obtain GST refunds.

He had set up LJK Famco under the name of Chan Shen Cheong in 2008.

Chan, who was Wong's friend, allowed Wong to use his SingPass to file Chan's GST returns online.

On three occasions in 2009, Wong completed the GST returns by making false entries on the GST the company paid for goods and the GST collected.

He was found out after the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore came across suspicious quarterly GST returns submitted under Chan's name. Checks with LJK's suppliers revealed that Wong's input tax claims did not match what he had submitted.

Offenders who claim input tax on fictitious purchases or understate output tax on sale can face a penalty of three times the amount of tax undercharged, a fine of up to $10,000, and/or be jailed for up to seven years.