SINGAPORE: Chew Yen, Ian (“Chew”), a 52-year-old insurance introducer, has been sentenced by the Court to fines totalling $4,000 and $186,816 in penalties after being convicted of four charges of providing incorrect information in the Income Tax returns of three insurance agents.
As an insurance introducer, Chew was responsible for introducing potential customers to insurance agents for insurance investment policies. Investigations revealed that Chew had assisted three insurance agents – Yvonne Quah, Lim Zhan Yi, and Sherlin Chia Hee Ping – to prepare and file their Personal Income Tax returns. Chew was assisted by another individual, You Yiying (“Kyra”).
Chew, without reasonable excuse, gave incorrect information in the personal tax returns of these three insurance agents to claim false expenses under the guise of “general expenses” and “commission paid to introducers”. The total amount of false expenses amounted to $542,091, which resulted in $93,408 in taxes undercharged.
Investigations revealed that Chew prepared and filed the three agents’ Income Tax returns using the false expense figures which the agents had provided to him, through Kyra, with the intention of reducing their chargeable income and evading tax. To substantiate the agents’ false expense claims, Chew created sham “introducer acknowledgement forms”, which claimed that various individuals had received substantial amounts of “introducer fees” from the agents. Chew proactively recruited individuals who were willing to sign the sham “introducer acknowledgement forms” and provide their NRICs in exchange for token sums of between $50 and $200.
Kyra was sentenced in June 2022 for her role in the scheme, and the three insurance agents involved were convicted of falsifying expense claims in their Income Tax returns in September 2022.
IRAS Warns Against Tax Evasion
IRAS takes a serious view of non-compliance and tax evasion. There will be severe penalties for those who wilfully evade tax. The authority will not hesitate to bring offenders to court. Offenders may face a penalty of up to four times the amount of tax evaded. Jail terms may also be imposed.