Man allegedly helped his firm evade about $1.8m in GST, gave false replies to Iras auditors

SINGAPORE - A 35-year-old man allegedly assisted his company in evading a total of about $1.8 million in goods and services tax (GST) over a period of four years.

Lau Zhen Zhou, who is the sole shareholder and director of Safety Marine Management, was charged on Friday (July 23) with 20 counts of offences related to tax evasion under the GST Act.

A search online shows that the company is in the business of "wholesale trade of goods without a dominant product".

Lau allegedly made false entries in the GST returns of Safety Marine Management for the period of 2015 to 2018.

He is also accused of giving false replies with fabricated documents to Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) auditors from October to December 2018.

Lau is out on bail of $150,000. His case will be next heard on Aug 20.

In a statement on Friday, Iras said: "It is a serious offence to wilfully submit false GST returns by overstating any input tax, understating any output tax or including fictitious claims."

The authority reminded all businesses and individuals that they are required to fully cooperate with it during the course of its audits and investigations.

"Iras will not hesitate to take stern actions against those who deliberately give false information to Iras officers," it said.

If he is found guilty, Lau can be jailed for up to seven years or fined up to $10,000, or both, for each charge. He will also have to pay a penalty of up to three times the amount of tax undercharged.