Unicla Trading Pte Ltd, a company dealing in the manufacturing, distributing, importing and exporting of automotive air-conditioners, air-conditioning equipment and other electrical appliances, has been convicted of tax evasion and fined S$18,000 and ordered to pay a penalty of S$1,211,276.07, according to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.
Ong Swee Lian, the director of UTS, was also found guilty of assisting UTS to evade tax. She was jailed for four weeks and ordered to pay a penalty of S$1,211,276.07.
Ong had assisted UTS to evade tax by authorising the creation of fictitious invoices and payment vouchers when in fact there were no such transactions and payments between UTS and its overseas suppliers. She deliberately inflated the amount of purchases so as to under-report UTS’ net profit in its income tax returns for the Years of Assessment 2000 to 2003. The total amount of income under-declared for the two charges proceeded on amounted to $1,801,250.00 or a sum of $403,758.69 in tax.
Voluntary Disclosure Pays, Tax Crime Does Not
In Singapore, tax evasion/fraud is a criminal offence punishable under the law and the court imposes severe penalties for such offences. Businesses or individuals should disclose any past tax evasion immediately. IRAS will treat such disclosure as a mitigating factor when considering the penal charges.
IRAS is also aware that some businesses and individuals could be negligent or unaware of their tax obligations, resulting in mistakes. IRAS views such mistakes differently from tax evasion. In the spirit of encouraging voluntary compliance, IRAS imposes lower penalties for such mistakes disclosed voluntarily by taxpayers.