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Undertaker Roland Tay charged with evading S$427,000 in income tax, failing to register for GST

Undertaker Roland Tay charged with evading S$427,000 in income tax, failing to register for GST

Undertaker Roland Tay walking to the State Courts on Sep 30, 2022. (Photo: CNA/Hanidah Amin)

SINGAPORE: Veteran undertaker Roland Tay Hai Choon was charged on Friday (Sep 30) with evading income tax of about S$427,000 and failing to register his businesses for Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Tay, the 75-year-old founder of Direct Funeral Services, was handed three charges under the Income Tax Act and one charge under the Goods and Services Tax Act.

He is accused of evading a total of S$427,427 in income taxes between April 2011 and April 2013 by falsely understating his total income for those years of assessment.

In April 2011, he allegedly made a false entry in his income tax return by stating that his total income was S$121,051, when it was in fact S$1,034,110.

In April 2012, he allegedly understated his total income to be S$138,976 when it was S$886,146.

Charge sheets state that he again repeated this by understating his total income as S$81,766 instead of S$682,513 in April 2013. 

Tay was also charged with failing to comply with the Goods and Services Tax Act in July 2010 by failing to notify the Comptroller of Goods and Services Tax within a set period of his liability to be registered under the Act. This resulted in him owing S$286,962.97 of GST, which amounts to three years' worth of GST for the period between Oct 2010 and Sep 2013.

In a statement after the hearing, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) said investigations revealed that Tay's alleged failure to register for GST occurred when the total value of his taxable supplies exceeded S$1 million for four consecutive quarters.

"IRAS runs regular audit programmes across various industries to ensure tax compliance by individuals and businesses," said the authority. "Using data analytics and advanced statistical tools, IRAS is able to verify tax reporting and detect anomalies. This case was uncovered through one such audit programme."

Tay's lawyer asked for a slightly longer adjournment to take instructions from his client, as investigations commenced "more than seven years ago and relate to matters from 2010 and 2012".

Tay was offered bail of S$80,000 and his case will be heard again in November.

If convicted of making a false statement in a tax return, Tay could be jailed for up to three years, fined up to S$10,000, or both. He will also be liable for a penalty three times the amount of tax that was undercharged.

For not registering his businesses for GST, he can be given a penalty equal to 10 per cent of the tax due. He can also be fined up to S$10,000 and be liable to a further penalty of S$50 for every day during which the offence continues after conviction.

Tay is a known figure in Singapore's funeral arrangements industry, known for providing funeral arrangements for victims in high-profile crime cases. These include murder victims Huang Na, a girl who was killed in 2004, and Madam Choong Pei Shan and her daughter in the 2017 Woodlands double murders.

Source: CNA/ll(rj)

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