Jail, fine for owners of Ah Seng Durian who under-declared income to avoid paying tax

Pile of durian fruits on a Malaysian market, one is cut open to see the fruity inside
Photo from Getty Images

SINGAPORE — The elder of two brothers who under-declared income earned from their well-known durian business was jailed for three weeks on Tuesday (7 May), and also fined $5,000 and ordered to pay a penalty of $77,077.91.

Singaporean Shui Poh Sing, 60, and his younger brother Poh Chung, 57, ran Ah Seng Durian, a well-known stall in Ghim Moh.

Each brother pleaded guilty to two income-tax charges, involving a combined $45,933 in taxes undercharged. Another four charges of evading income taxes were taken into consideration for sentencing.

The younger Shui was already fined a total of $10,000 as well as a penalty of $46,303 on Friday (3 May).

The duo were partners in Seng Chung Trading (SCT) and Shanghai Moh Lee Seng (SMLS), a mini-mart business. SMLS ceased business on 20 February 2012 and was taken over by SCT on the same day. The elder Shui was a managing partner of both companies and had oversight of both accounts.

He failed to declare the income he earned from SMLS and SCT while e-filing his personal income tax returns for 2008 and 2014 respectively. The income he omitted to declare amounted to $196,686.47.

On Tuesday, Shui Poh Sing also admitted to one charge of failing to register for the Goods and Services Tax (GST), with $87,314 in taxes undercharged.

SMLS’s turnover had crossed the $1 million threshold for GST registration on 31 December 2006. Under the GST Act, Shui Poh Sing was required to notify the Comptroller of GST of SMLS’s liability, in order to register for the tax by 31 January next year.

However, he failed to do so. As a result, $87,314.27 of GST was undercharged.

Both brothers had used the undeclared income to finance mortgage payments for properties in Malaysia.

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