Robotic ice-cream machine dealer convicted of false PIC claim

Yong Tai Kok, director of Robofusion, was fined for giving Comptroller of Income Tax false information on Productivity and lnnovation Credit cash payout application form.
Yong Tai Kok, director of Robofusion, was fined for giving Comptroller of Income Tax false information on Productivity and lnnovation Credit cash payout application form.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A robotic ice-cream machine dealer was ordered to pay a penalty of $60,000 on Thursday (April 27) for giving false information in the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) cash payout application form.

Robofusion Asia pleaded guilty through its director, Yong Tai Kok, who was also convicted of his role in helping the company to make the false PIC claim.

The company gave false information by stating in the PIC cash payout application form on May 23, 2013, that Mr Mark Lim Xian Yu and Mr Tay Hui Jie were their local employees when in fact they were not.

Yong, 44, was fined $4,000 and ordered to pay a penalty of $120,000 - twice the amount of PIC cash payout wrongfully claimed - for intentionally aiding Robofusion, without reasonable excuse, to make the false PIC claim.

Businesses must have employed at least three local employees before they are eligible to apply for the PIC cash payout.

Investigations showed that Yong obtained the consent of Mr Lim and Mr Tay, who were not employees of Robofusion, to use their names in the company's PIC cash payout application form.

Robofusion made contributions to their Central Provident Fund accounts to represent them as its local employees when in fact they were not.

Investigations showed that Robofusion did not meet the requirement of having three local employees and thus was not entitled to the PIC cash payout.

The PIC cash payout application was for the purchase of a $93,000 "Robofusion Generation 4 Ice Cream Kiosk'' on Feb 28, 2013, and "Software License and Implementation for Cashless Payment System and Kiosk Payment Integration'' costing $14,980 on April 29 that same year.

A statement from Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) said it takes a serious view of any attempt by claimants, vendors or consultants to defraud the Government.

Offenders convicted of PIC fraud will have to pay a penalty of up to four times the amount of cash payout fraudulently obtained, and a fine of up to $50,000 and/or a jail term of up to five years.

Businesses or individuals are encouraged to immediately disclose any past tax mistakes. Iras will treat such disclosures as mitigating factors when considering action to be taken.