Public can report malpractice by business

Kenneth Yap, chief executive of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (Acra) giving the keynote address at the CPA Australia Financial Reporting Standards Forum held on 3 May 2013.

It is a legal requirement under Section 144 of the Companies Act for a company to state its name and registration number in business correspondence, including invoices ("Other worrying practices" by Mr Lim Ee Hui; last Saturday).

This ensures that the public knows it is dealing with a company that is incorporated under the Act.

Members of the public can also conduct a free search on any business entity registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority via the website, and obtain its business address and registration number.

Those who may have information on possible breaches of Section 144 can alert Acra, which will conduct an investigation and take the necessary enforcement action.

Only GST-registered businesses can charge and collect goods and services tax on their sales. It is a serious offence for businesses that are not GST-registered to charge GST on their sales.

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) detects such cases through audit programmes and tip-offs from the public.

Offenders face a maximum penalty of three times the amount of tax collected without authorisation, and a fine of up to $10,000 for each offence.

The public can check if a business is registered for GST on Iras' website ( Anyone who wishes to report cases of unlawful collection of GST by businesses can write to Iras.

Ang Siok Hui (Ms)Head, Corporate Communications DepartmentAccounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority

Kelly Wee (Ms)Director (Corporate Communications)Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore

This article was first published on Nov 20, 2014. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.