Ex-manager jailed 8 months for GST fraud

Suneel Ramchandani, 39, was also ordered to pay a penalty of $534,945 - or three times the amount of tax undercharged.
Suneel Ramchandani, 39, was also ordered to pay a penalty of $534,945 - or three times the amount of tax undercharged.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

A former manager of an export business who made false declarations to claim $178,315 in goods and services tax (GST) refunds was jailed for eight months yesterday.

Suneel Ramchandani, 39, was also ordered to pay a penalty of $534,945 - or three times the amount of tax undercharged.

The former manager of Indibiz, an export business for luxury watches and electronic products, pleaded guilty to four out of eight charges of evading GST.

GST-registered businesses are allowed to offset the GST they pay for their purchases, or input tax, against the GST they collect from sales, known as output tax. They pay the net difference to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras).

Those that incur more GST on purchases than what they collect from their sales can claim the difference from Iras in the form of GST refunds.

Under the GST Act, exports of goods and international services are zero-rated. This means GST-registered businesses need not collect GST on these exports. But a business that exports its goods overseas may still claim the full amount of GST incurred on its purchases.

Investigations showed that Suneel provided Iras with falsified purchase invoices showing "Indibiz" as the purchaser of the goods when no purchase was made. Other falsified documents included purchase orders said to be issued by Indibiz, and subsidiary export certificates said to be issued to Indibiz to support the exports for zero-rated supplies.

From July 2009 to October 2010, Suneel made entries in Indibiz's GST returns to fabricate input tax claims and zero-rated supplies.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2017, with the headline 'Ex-manager jailed 8 months for GST fraud'. Print Edition | Subscribe