Contractor told to pay $504k in backdated taxes and penalty

A RENOVATION contractor who failed to register for goods and services tax (GST) has to pay a total of $504,501 in backdated taxes and penalty.

District Judge Christopher Goh fined Chong Wee Keng $4,500 yesterday after the owner of D'Esprit Design and Renovations at Tradehub in Boon Lay Way admitted to the offence under the Goods and Services Tax Act.

This is the third case to be dealt with this year, the last two involving companies.

Registration is compulsory for any firm with a turnover of more than $1 million.

Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) investigations showed that the 53-year-old failed to register for GST by Oct 30, 2006 when he was liable to do so. He thus failed to account for GST on the sales transactions carried out by his business.

He must now pay $458,637 of GST that he did not account for between December 2006 and December 2010.

On top of this sum, he has to pay a penalty of 10 per cent of the tax due - $45,864.

A statement from Iras said businesses should regularly assess if they need to register for GST.

A business must notify the Comptroller of GST of its liability to be registered for GST within 30 days of the end of the fourth quarter if its turnover for the past four quarters or expected turnover for the next 12 months exceeds $1 million.

The maximum punishment for failing to register for GST is a $10,000 fine plus a penalty equal to 10 per cent of the tax due from the date on which the business is required to register for GST.

This article was first published on October 25, 2014.
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