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     Government: Tax

      Inland Revenue Authority Of Singapore

          Address: 55 Newton Road, Revenue House, Singapore 307987

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Businesswoman jailed for GST fraud

A businesswoman became the first person here to be convicted of GST fraud. Magdalene Chua, 33, pleaded guilty yesterday to 11 charges of GST fraud and was sentenced to 10 months jail and ordered to pay a penalty of S$207,460.89 - three times the tax evaded on the 11 charges. She was also the first to be convicted of a tax offence mainly through evidence obtained by computer forensics.

Source: Straits Times 11 Jun 2004 (1)


     - Taxing cigarettes by stick from 1 Jul 2003


  The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) has extended the deadline for filing of income tax returns by phone or Internet to Friday 18 Apr 2003. Those filing by paper will have to deposit their returns in a post box before midnight tomorrow. (Straits Times 14 Apr 2003)(H6)

  Two new features have been introduced to the Inland Revenue Authority's (IRA) Web site from today to allow for corrections and to inform the taxpayer what rebates and claims he is eligible for. The e-filing service at is available until the 15 Apr 2003 deadline for income tax returns. (Straits Times Saturday 22 Feb 2003)(H4)



     Extension of 2001 Off-Budget Measures - Property Tax Rebate and Petrol Excise Duty Reduction

  In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Finance said that all commercial and industrial properties will continue to receive a fixed rebate of S$4,000 for the first half of next year, after getting a S$8,000 fixed rebate last year. Tax still payable after the fixed rebate will also continue to get a 30-per-cent rebate. Businesses would save another S$280 million, on top of the S$880 million already saved since the rebate's introduction last July. (Straits Times 10 Dec 2002) (1) 

  Prime Minister GOH Chok Tong yesterday said that while the Government could not afford to defer the GST hike completely, it could "probably do with less revenue for half a year". The second option is to raise the GST to 5 per cent at one go but soften the impact with more relief measures for the poor. A decision will be made in two weeks, he said. "The third-quarter results are no good, so there's an air of uncertainty, but I myself think that a double-dip recession is not quite likely," PM GOH said. (Straits Times 25 Nov 2002) (1)

  The Government will still go ahead with the new 5-per-cent GST rate from 1 Jan 2003 as scheduled, notwithstanding the weak economy, DPM LEE Hsien Loong said in Washington on Wednesday 13 Nov 2002 at a breakfast meeting with Singapore journalists. (Straits Times 15 Nov 2002) (1)

  The old Goods & Services Tax (GST) of 3 per cent will be charged until 7am on 1 Jan 2003 when the new 5-per-cent rate comes into effect. The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) said yesterday it was making this concession to businesses that operate after midnight. (Straits Times 8 Nov 2002) (H14)

  The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) yesterday offered company directors who have to pay tax for interest-free loans a 12-month interest-free instalment plan. Longer payment plans can be worked out for those facing financial difficulties. Iras also extended the deadline for voluntary disclosure from Oct 30 to Nov 30 so that businessmen will have more time to get the documents they need. It said that of the 250 directors who have declared such loans to Iras, 55 per cent had borrowed less than S$100,000. They have to pay a maximum of S$9,000 in tax and penalties. Another 30 per cent borrowed between S$100,000 and S$500,000, and will have to pay S$45,000 at most. (Straits Times 4 Oct 2002) (3)

  Deputy Prime Minister LEE Hsien Loong yesterday promised a comprehensive package of measures to cushion the impact of an increase in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as proposed by the Economic Review Committee. The package will be enough to cover the extra tax that lower-income households have to pay for at least five years. He noted that GST was introduced successfully in 1994, with relatively little pain for ordinary people. Then, every lower-income Singaporean got back in rebates what he or she would have paid in GST for at least five years. (Straits Times 2 May 2002) (1)

  The recent Economic Review Committee's (ERC) proposal to exempt foreign source income from tax will encourage more expatriates to settle down in Singapore and invest their off-shore funds here, said Mr POK Soy Yoong, Ernst & Young's director of tax. If the tax exemption is approved, expatriates will be able to use past savings to fund home purchases. Countries, such as China, Hongkong and Malaysia, already exempt such foreign remittances from tax. (Straits Times 22 Apr 2002) (A14)

  Half of Singapore's 1.8 million taxpayers e-filed their tax returns this year. And seven out of eight of those who e-filed did it online; the rest did it over the phone, said an Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) spokesman yesterday. So far, about 1.68 million taxpayers have submitted their tax returns, with about 120,000 still outstanding, said Iras. (Straits Times 20 Apr 2002) (H5)

  A coffeeshop owner became the second person this month to be jailed for tax evasion. LIM Jow Min, 47, was sentenced to two weeks' jail for evading about S$37,000 in taxes in 1999. He was ordered to pay a penalty of S$114,855, treble the amount of tax he should have paid. (Straits Times 16 Apr 2002) (H2)

  The Economic Review Committee (ERC) has proposed raising the Goods and Services Tax to 5 per cent from 3 per cent next year. It also proposes to slash both the maximum personal income-tax rate and corporate income-tax rate to just 20 per cent within three years. Currently, the top personal-tax rate is 26 per cent and company profits are taxed at 24.5 per cent. In its 90-page report, the ERC also suggested exempting from tax all interest earned on bank deposits as well as income from foreign sources. The Government will study the committee's proposals and respond in its Budget statement on May 3. (Straits Times 12 Apr 2002) (1)

  Up to Tuesday, 1.06 million taxpayers had submitted their tax returns, with about six in 10 doing it through the Internet. Those planning to file their taxes online or by telephone this year will get three extra days to do so, as the deadline has been extended to next Thursday. The April 15 deadline stays for those who choose to file their tax returns on paper. (Straits Times 11 Apr 2002) (H2)

  Taxation will be revamped, with direct taxes - corporate and personal income tax - cut further to make Singapore more competitive, create better-paying jobs, encourage high-income foreign talent to work here and spur entrepreneurship. On the flip side, indirect taxes will go up to balance the budget, with a GST hike at the top of the list. The tax proposals will be revealed next week, said Deputy Prime Minister LEE Hsien Loong in Parliament yesterday. (Straits Times 5 Apr 2002) (1)

  A doctor was jailed yesterday for tax evasion, and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) warned that more such cases will be brought before the courts in the coming months. CHUA Pong Kuan, 53, a general practitioner, was sentenced to two weeks' jail for not paying S$196,000 in taxes. He is only the fourth person ever jailed for tax evasion. CHUA also has to pay IRAS almost S$600,000 - three times the amount he owed in taxes. CHUA's clinic, Medico Clinic and Surgery, is in Jurong East Street 24. (Straits Times 4 Apr 2002) (1)


  Last year, the Inland Revenue Authority, (Iras), which licenses real-estate agencies, received 237 complaints against housing agents. Between January and October this year, it received 194 complaints. (Straits Times 19 Nov 2001)(H5)

  Jackpot machines gobbled up more than S$600 million in small change in the last financial year. This is about S$100 million more than they managed four years ago, according to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) which keeps tabs on the take. There are now about 1,900 jackpot or fruit machines in about 110 private clubs, associations and societies here. A hefty 41.25 per cent of the machines' total takings, excluding GST, goes into government coffers. To operate a fruit machine, organisations need to apply for a permit from Iras's private-lottery unit.(Straits Times 29 Jul 2001)(7)

  According to the latest figures from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), tax collection for the first five months of the year rose 7 per cent to S$7.85 billion compared to a year ago. Compared to the previous year's increase of 35 per cent to S$7.3 billion over the same period, the latest jump in tax dollars represents a sharp slowdown. GST collections declined 14 per cent, while stamp duty collections plunged 42 per cent, reflecting the sluggish stock market and lifeless property sector. Tax income from betting rose 24 per cent to S$740 million. Income tax revenue rose a modest 9 per cent to nearly S$4.8 billion. Property tax collections surged 66 per cent to cross the S$1 billion mark for the first five months of the year.(Straits Times 25 Jul 2001) (S12)

  The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) has apologised for sending income-tax forms to a woman who had been dead for eight years. The late madam LOH Chuan's family received forms intended for her at their Jurong address although she had never lived there. Her son, Mr ZHAO, said that the Iras has apologised to the family verbally and has also sent him a letter asking him to ignore the forms. (Straits Times 14 Apr 2001)

  Sunday, 15 Apr 2001, is the deadline to file your income-tax return and any submission not in the post by 11.59pm that day will be deemed late. The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) said taxpayers who did not file on time could be fined up to S$1,000. The deadline for both Internet and telephone returns is now 11.59pm on Wednesday 18 Apr 2001. (Straits Times 12 Apr 2001)

  Under a new scheme that comes into effect this year, income tax paid through Giro instalments will be revised only once - by August, when the final income assessment would be ready for most taxpayers. The earlier adjustment, in May - which is calculated using the previous year's tax assessment - will be done away with. In a letter sent to all taxpayers, the Iras said the change had been made following taxpayers' feedback complaining that the old system was "confusing". (Straits Times 10 Apr 2001)

  The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) collected S$41 million in undeclared income tax and penalties in the last financial year. It collected the money after auditing 1,139 taxpayers between April last year and last month. In the last financial year, S$1.59 million was collected from those who did not declare the interest they earned from money in fixed deposit and savings accounts. According to IRAS rules, tax is payable on all interest earned, except for interest earned on POSBank savings accounts. (Straits Times 8 Apr 2001)

  Income-tax revenue - from both individuals and companies - recorded the biggest gain among the various taxes collected by IRAS. It shot up by more than 27% to a record S$11.4 billion for the first 11 months of last year, and now accounts for two-thirds of all the taxes collected by the IRAS. In 1999, the last year for which full Iras data is available, income-tax revenue yielded less than S$10 billion to the state. (Straits Times 5 Feb 2001)


  Companies in Singapore will be able to file their tax returns on their estimated incomes online by early 2001, as part of a push by the Inland Revenue Authority (IRA) to bring all taxpayers online. This was announced by IRAS Commissioner KOH Cher Siang on Friday 10 Nov 2000.

  The government collected a whopping S$15.5 billion in tax revenue in the first half of the year, or S$3 billion more than in the same period last year. The full-year's collection is set to hit an all-time high. Income tax rose 20% while motor vehicle taxes soared 66%.

  The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) will introduce new software to provide automatic tax deduction for donations from 1 Jan 2000. With automatic deductions, all a taxpayer has to do is to provide his identity-card number when making a donation, and the deduction will be made automatically in the following assessment year. The service will come into effect in the 2002 assessment year.