$1 million penalty, 64 weeks' jail for ex-managing director who committed GST fraud

SINGAPORE - A former managing director was found guilty on Friday (March 18) of three counts of goods and services tax (GST) evasion and one count of wrongfully issuing of a tax invoice.

For his crimes, Wilson Ang, 34, who used to head Fabriglass Construction, was sentenced to 64 weeks' jail and ordered to pay a total of $1,005,073 in fines and penalties.

Fabriglass supplies glass and aluminium to the construction industry.

According to court documents released by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras), Fabriglass, as a GST-registered entity, was required to account for GST when making taxable supplies.

By excluding certain standard-rated supplies and evading GST by omitting the output tax on these supplies from three of its quarterly GST returns for 2016, Fabriglass did not account for the correct amount of output tax.

The three GST evasion offences took place on July 31, 2016, Oct 22, 2016, and March 6, 2017.

Ang had instructed company accountants to omit some 40 invoices from the GST listings, underdeclaring the amount his company had to pay Iras by $327,497.

The previous year, on Nov 28, 2015, Ang had wrongfully issued a tax invoice to its customer, Cooperative Muratori Cementisti Ravena.

GST payments totalling $7,027 were collected by Fabriglass just days before the firm was officially GST-registered on Dec 1 that year.

Mr Khoo Chien Ping, the principal tax investigator in Iras' investigation and forensics division, said Ang, as "the controlling mind of Fabriglass", had wilful intent to evade tax.

"He (Ang) knew the GST computations for Fabriglass were false, but proceeded to file the electronic GST returns of Fabriglass based on the false GST computations," said court documents.

Those found guilty of wilfully evading tax or wilfully assisting another person to evade tax are liable to pay a penalty of three times the amount of tax evaded, receive a fine of up to $10,000, receive a jail term of up to seven years, or all three.

Ang's crimes were uncovered during a routine Iras audit of GST-registered business. Iras said the omissions can be detected through the use of data analysis, risk profiling and advanced statistical tools to cross-check data and detect anomalies.

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