Two partners in steel manufacturing firm jailed and fined for under-declaring income of more than $3 million

SINGAPORE - Two partners of a steel manufacturer were fined and jailed for under-declaring income of more than $3 million in total and evading personal income tax, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) said in a statement on Wednesday (Dec 11).

It said Ting Joo, 57, and Tay Swee Choong, 46, had evaded taxes of $630,817.

Ting and Tay were fined $515,430 and $659,004 respectively - three times the amount of tax evaded by each of them in two proceeded charges.

They were each sentenced to eight weeks in jail.

The men, who are Singaporeans, are partners in Steelweld Construction, a business that carries out piping works and makes and installs structural steel.

They were charged with claiming fictitious business expenses in order to reduce their personal taxable income for the years of assessment 2010 and 2012 to 2014.

The false expenses consisted of inflated bonuses and additional wages, false salaries purportedly made to phantom employees, and Central Provident Fund contributions to these phantom employees.

Ting and Tay faced four charges each for making false entries in their own personal income tax returns with the wilful intent to evade tax amounting to $274,217 and $356,600 respectively.

Iras warned that people who wilfully evade tax can be jailed and fined up to four times the amount of tax evaded.

For income tax purposes, claims for business expenses should not include expenses that are fictitious or private in nature such as those on personal entertainment and luxury goods, the taxman added.

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

Those who wish to disclose past mistakes or report malpractices related to tax evasion can send an e-mail to ifd@iras.gov.sg or write to Iras.

For informants, a reward of 15 per cent of the tax recovered, capped at $100,000, will be given if the information and documents lead to a recovery of tax that would otherwise have been lost.

All payments are at the discretion of the Comptroller, and Iras will ensure that the identities of informants are kept confidential.

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