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Wednesday, Oct 1, 2014

Crime

Online sellers fined for evading GST

The Straits Times | Wednesday, Oct 1, 2014

Three online retailers of branded handbags and accessories have been fined for evading the goods and services tax (GST).

Long Siew Fong, 42, Jessie Sng Lee Ling, 41, and Yak Sow Pin, 39, were fined $31,000, $10,000 and $4,500 respectively on Thursday, the Singapore Customs said in a press release yesterday.

Investigations showed that between October 2010 and June 2011, Long imported 2,172 handbags and accessories via 15 import permits.

The under-declaration of values of these goods resulted in a shortfall of $9,399.58 in GST payments.

She pleaded guilty to five charges, and 10 other charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

Between January 2011 and August 2012, Sng imported 269 handbags and accessories via five import permits. The under-declaration of values of these goods resulted in a shortfall of $1,216.47 in GST payments.

She pleaded guilty to two charges, and three other charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

In January 2011, Yak imported 90 branded handbags via two import permits. The under-declaration of values of these goods resulted in a shortfall of $502.93 in GST payments.

He pleaded guilty to one charge, with another charge taken into consideration during sentencing.

"Fraudulent evasion of GST on the importation of goods is a serious offence under the Customs Act," said Wan Boon Oon, head of the Trade Investigation Branch of Singapore Customs.

"Anyone found guilty will be liable to a fine up to 20 times the amount of tax evaded and/or to be jailed for up to two years."

He added that Singapore Customs will continue to seek out online retailers who attempt to evade GST by under-declaring the values of their imported goods and bring them to justice.

This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.

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