SINGAPORE: Thirty-six people were charged in court for offences related to a Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme fraud involving S$11.8 million, police said in a news release on Monday (Aug 30).
They were linked to companies that were allegedly used to submit false claims made to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) between 2014 and 2016 under the scheme.
The PIC scheme, introduced in Budget 2010, grants tax deductions and/or allowances to businesses that invest in specified productivity and innovation activities.
Businesses were able to claim as much as 400 per cent in tax deductions or allowances on qualifying expenses of up to S$400,000.
They were also given the option to convert up to S$100,000 of total spending for each assessment year into a non-taxable cash payout, instead of claiming tax deduction.
The scheme expired after the 2018 assessment year.
"These 36 persons are alleged to have either failed to exercise any supervision over the affairs of the companies in which they were directors, or to have abetted others to register as company directors who would have no involvement in supervising the affairs of the companies, or to have done both the aforementioned”, police said.
Among them are three people who had earlier been charged with multiple offences related to the claims, including cheating and money laundering.
Six people were also charged with intentionally perverting the course of justice by lying or instigating others to lie to the police during investigations.
For failing to discharge their duties as directors, an offender can be jailed for up to 12 months or fined up to S$5,000 under the Companies Act. If convicted, the offender may also be disqualified from being a director.
Those found to have intentionally perverted the course of justice may be jailed for up to seven years, fined, or both.