Insurance agent fined for not reporting S$2 million in income

Insurance agent fined for not reporting S$2 million in income

IRAS building
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore building. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: An insurance agent has been found guilty of evading more than S$631,000 in taxes by under-reporting her income and failing to register for Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Chew Wai Ling was ordered to pay S$663,008 in fines and penalties in total, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) said on Tuesday (Nov 27).

The 56-year-old had failed to report personal income of nearly S$2 million for the years 2009 and 2010.

Due to omitting S$1,955,232 of the commissions she had received as an insurance agent, she was undercharged S$310,983.54 in taxes, court documents showed.

For two charges of making incorrect returns, Chew was fined S$6,000 and ordered to pay a penalty of S$621,967 - twice the amount of the income tax undercharged.

Chew also faced one charge for failing to register for GST. 

Investigations found Chew had exceeded S$1 million in annual taxable turnover in 2007. However, she did not register for GST until May 21, 2015. 

As a result, Chew had skipped out on paying S$320,411.62 in GST for the years 2008 to 2010.

For her failure to register for GST, she was fined S$3,000 and ordered to pay a penalty of S$32,041 - 10 per cent of the GST owed.

The offences were uncovered by IRAS when it ran its regular audit, using data analytics and statistical tools to cross-check data and detect anomalies.

Those found guilty of making incorrect income tax returns are required to pay two times the amount of tax undercharged and may face a jail sentence.

All businesses, including self-employed individuals, have to register for GST within 30 days if their past year's taxable turnover exceeds S$1 million.

Those who fail to do so may be required to pay 10 per cent of the GST due as a penalty and fined up to S$10,000.

Over the past three years, IRAS has audited 400 businesses that have failed to register for GST and recovered S$53 million in GST and penalties, the authority said.

Source: CNA/ec(hm)