SINGAPORE: A kidney specialist has been ordered to pay nearly S$1.8 million in penalties and a S$21,000 fine after being found guilty of tax-related offences, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) said on Friday (Aug 30).
Investigations revealed that 60-year-old Lye Wai Choong, the director of Centre for Kidney Diseases, had abetted the kidney centre in making incorrect income tax returns without reasonable excuse, IRAS said in a news release.
As a result, the centre was undercharged for income tax in the Years of Assessment (YAs) 2012 to 2014.
PAYMENTS FROM PATIENTS WERE MADE TO LYE
Court documents stated that Norma Wati Binte Suari, an employee handling the centre’s financial and administrative matters, had told patients to make payments to Lye instead of the centre.
These deposits were therefore not included in the centre’s books, and subsequently not reported in its income tax return. Additionally, it was not declared in Lye’s personal income tax returns.
“Investigations revealed that (Lye) knew about the payments and deposits into his personal bank account ... However, he did not take steps to transfer the amounts deposited in his bank account to the centre’s accounts,” court documents said.
He also did not ensure that the correct amounts of business income were recorded in the centre’s books and signed the corporate tax returns without checking the accuracy of the figures, it added.
This led to nearly S$6 million in income omitted and about S$1.02 million in undercharged income tax.
Lye was found guilty of two charges under the Income Tax Act for intentionally aiding the centre to make incorrect returns from YAs 2012 to 2014. For these charges, he was ordered to pay a penalty of about S$1.39 million and a fine of S$7,000.
GST RETURNS UNDERSTATED
The court documents also stated that the centre failed to account for Goods and Services Tax (GST) of S$419,264.17 for 12 quarters between January 2012 and December 2013 after it gave "incorrect information as to its liability to GST".
“As director of the centre, (Lye) had not shown that he had exercised due diligence in ensuring that GST was properly reported in the GST returns of the Centre, as he left the financial matters entirely with Norma without any supervision and did not ensure that the amounts paid to his bank account (in relation to taxable supplies) were duly reported in the centre’s books – which resulted in GST on standard-rated supplies not being accounted for by the Centre.”
Lye was found guilty of four charges. He was ordered to pay a penalty of S$404,919 and a fine of S$14,000.