Owner of three businesses ordered to pay more than $400,000 for tax offences

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore said in a statement on April 26, 2019, that Teo Beng San has been ordered to pay more than $400,000 in fines and penalties.
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore said in a statement on April 26, 2019, that Teo Beng San has been ordered to pay more than $400,000 in fines and penalties.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The owner of three businesses has been ordered to pay more than $400,000 in fines and penalties after being convicted of tax offences, said the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) in a statement on Friday (April 26).

Teo Beng San, the sole proprietor of Total Metal and Hardware Trading, Passions Beauty and Skincare Centre, and Total Maid Agency, had faced three charges of failing to file his income tax returns for more than two years for the 2011 to 2013 years of assessment.

He also faced 10 charges for making incorrect returns without reasonable excuse in his businesses' Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns between 2010 and 2013 by understating output tax.

Teo pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to file his income tax returns for more than two years and was ordered to pay fines totalling $1,200 and a penalty of $67,085, which is two times the amount of income tax evaded.

He also pleaded guilty to three charges of making incorrect returns without reasonable excuse in his GST returns and was sentenced to fines totalling $7,000 and a penalty of $340,662, which is twice the amount of tax undercharged.

The remaining charges were taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing, said IRAS.

Anyone who continually fails without reasonable excuse to file their outstanding tax returns despite reminders from IRAS may be prosecuted under the Income Tax Act.

The penalty for failure to file income tax returns for any year of assessment for more than two years is double the tax amount assessed to be liable and a fine of up to $1,000.

Offenders who claim GST input tax on fictitious purchases or understate output tax on sales will be given a penalty of up to three times the amount of tax undercharged, a fine of up to $10,000, jail for up to seven years, or all of the above.

IRAS said that businesses or individuals are encouraged to immediately disclose any past tax mistakes.

The authority would treat such disclosures as mitigating factors when considering actions to be taken.

The statement also said that informants who provide information or documents that lead to a recovery of tax that would have otherwise been lost would be given cash rewards.

The reward would be based on 15 per cent of the tax recovered, up to a maximum of $100,000.

All payments are at the discretion of the Comptroller, said IRAS.

It added that the identities of informants are kept strictly confidential.