Printing boss gets 14 weeks' jail, ordered to pay over $323,000 penalty for tax evasion

Pua Om Tee was convicted of wilfully evading tax by making false entries in GST returns for her two businesses. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - The owner of two printing businesses who evaded goods and services (GST) tax has been jailed for 14 weeks and ordered to pay $323,733 - three times the amount of tax dodged.

Pua Om Tee, 58, was convicted of wilfully evading tax by making false entries in GST returns for her two businesses between 2013 and 2016.

The firms - Wah Ye Advertising and Little Box Event and Exhibition Printing - deal with exhibitions.

Pua, who is the sole proprietor, pleaded guilty to three charges under the Goods and Services Tax Act, totalling $107,911 of undercharged GST.

Eight other counts were taken into consideration during sentencing on Friday (Jan 15).

Pua faced 11 charges for omitting certain sales transactions from her GST returns between 2013 and 2016 that resulted in undercharged GST totalling $226,903.

Court documents state that Pua had hired a Mr Ong Kok Beng as a part-time bookkeeper to handle the business accounts and tax matters for her two companies.

Investigations found that Pua had instructed Mr Ong to exclude certain transactions from the GST returns.

Mr Ong acted on the instructions and Pua approved the final figures before he filed the returns electronically.

This case was uncovered by an Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) audit.

There are severe penalties for wilfully evading tax, including a levy of up to three times the amount of tax evaded as well as jail.

People can inform Iras confidentially about errant businesses and individuals. They will be rewarded with up to 15 per cent of the tax recovered, capped at $100,000.

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