36 charged over involvement in submission of $11.8 million worth of false claims to Iras

The claims were submitted by various companies between 2014 and 2016 under the Productivity and Innovation Credit Scheme.
The claims were submitted by various companies between 2014 and 2016 under the Productivity and Innovation Credit Scheme.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Thirty-six people have been charged in court over their involvement in the submission of $11.8 million worth of false claims to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras).

These were submitted by various companies between 2014 and 2016 under the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) Scheme, said the police on Monday (Aug 30).

They were charged across two days - last Thursday and Friday.

The group comprise  a woman and 35 men, aged between 31 and 71, according to court records.

"These 36 persons are alleged to have either failed to exercise any supervision over the affairs of the companies in which they were directors, or to have abetted others to register as company directors who would have no involvement in supervising the affairs of the companies, or both," added the police.

Six of them also face charges for intentionally perverting the course of justice by lying or instigating others to lie to the police during investigations.

The police said three individuals in the group had earlier been charged with multiple cheating, money laundering and other offences related to the false PIC claims.

The PIC scheme was introduced to encourage productivity enhancements in businesses. It ended in 2018.

The scheme offers tax deductions or cash payouts to companies that have made investments to boost productivity and innovation - in staff training, information technology or automation equipment.

Offenders failing to discharge their duties as directors can be jailed for up to a year or fined up to $5,000. They may also be disqualified from being a director.

For intentionally perverting the course of justice, an offender can be jailed for up to seven years, fined or both.