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Parliamentary Replies

GST Cheats

15 Sep 2010

Date: 15 September 2010

Parliamentary Question by Mdm Ho Geok Choo:

To ask the Minister for Finance (a) whether the number of GST cheats has been increasing over the years; and (b) how much has the Government lost and how much has been recovered from these cheats over the past five years.

Reply by Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam:

1. There is no clear trend that the number of GST evasion cases is increasing. The number of GST cases prosecuted by the Government from 2004 to 2009 ranged from 2 to 17 cases per year. The amount of GST involved has also ranged widely.

2. Between 2004 and 2009, the 49 GST cases prosecuted by the Government involved GST of about $4.4 million. Of this, about 60% was recovered.

3. IRAS will continue to educate businesses on their GST compliance obligations. It will also continue to monitor compliance, including conducting targeted reviews of industries with higher risks on non-compliance.

4. The Government will take strong punitive action including prosecuting wilful tax evaders.