Singapore: Woo Sin Chai (“Woo”), a 61-year-old director of a jewellery retailer, Arthesdam Jewellery Pte Ltd (“Arthesdam”), has been convicted today of offences under the GST (General) Regulations (“the Regulations”) and ordered by the Court to pay a total fine of $104,400 for abetting by conspiracy with other employees of Arthesdam to assist certain tourists to obtain Goods and Services Tax (GST) tourist refunds which they were not entitled to. Nine other employees from Arthesdam – Cheong Mei Ling (aged 50), Chew Seok Huang (aged 49), Jason Lim (aged 31), Kuan Min Hong (aged 48), Loke Mei Kwee (aged 38), Ng Yune Hock (aged 47), Tan Chee Seng (aged 44), Wong Moi Nguok (aged 47) and Wong Seow Yin (aged 55) – had earlier been convicted in Court and fined on 26 January 2022 for their involvement in the conspiracy. Woo and the nine employees faced a total of 423 charges for their involvement in the conspiracy, where large amounts of GST tourist refunds totalling $16,975 were incorrectly claimed from 2015 to 2016. Please refer to the Annex_Arthesdam Jewellery for a summary of the Court sentences.
Penalties for Non-Compliance
Abuse of GST Tourist Refund Scheme
IRAS takes a serious view of fraudulent GST tourist refund claims. IRAS will not hesitate to take stern enforcement actions against any individuals and parties involved.
Anyone who commits the offence of wilful intent to make a false GST tourist refund claim or, abet any other person to make a false tourist refund claim, if convicted of an offence under Section 62 of the GST Act, face a penalty of up to 3 times the amount of refund wrongfully claimed and a fine not exceeding $10,000, and/or imprisonment of up to 7 years.
Alternatively, if convicted of an offence under Regulation 108 of the GST (General) Regulation (GSTR) for abetting any person who is not entitled to claim tourist refunds in contravention of Regulation 50 of the GSTR, a person may face a fine of up to $5,000 (and in default of payment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months).