Six insurance agents jailed for tax evasion in Singapore

Six insurance agents jailed for tax evasion in Singapore | Insurance Business Asia

Six insurance agents jailed for tax evasion in Singapore

Six insurance agents in Singapore were found guilty of tax evasion, after the court found that they claimed false business expenses to collectively reduce their income taxes by almost SG$100,000.

The agents, who used to work for Great Eastern Financial Advisers, all pleaded guilty to making false entries to evade tax, Today reported.

Each of the six agents received different jail sentences and fines, depending on the taxes evaded.

  • Yvonne Quah, 34, received an eight-week sentence and was ordered to pay SG$113,839 for evading SG$37,946 in personal income taxes
  • Lim Zhan Yi, 32, was jailed for five weeks and ordered to pay SG$83,610 for evading SG$27,703 in taxes
  • Chan Jun Yi, 33, was jailed for two weeks and fined SG$27,531 for evading SG$9,010 in taxes
  • Sherlin Chia Hee Ping, 41, was jailed for 10 days, with a fine of SG$32,542 for evading SG$10,680 in taxes
  • Chanel Quah Hui Wen, 31, was jailed for one week and ordered to pay SG$14,433 for evading SG$4,644 in taxes
  • Jackie Tang Hong Kong, 42, was jailed for four days and ordered to pay SG$8,465 for evading SG$2,655 in taxes

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) brought the charges against the insurance agents. The tax authority said that for the 2018 and 2019 tax assessment years, the six had reported business expenses of around SG$600,000 in their income tax returns as “general expenses” and “commissions paid to introducers”.

However, upon investigation, IRAS found that the agents did not pay any “introducer fees” nor received any services from the purported introducers.

Tax prosecutor Goh Yong Ngee said the agents had two other accomplices: Ian Chew Yen and former insurance agent You Yiying.

You, who was referred to in court documents as Kyra, knew Chew, having previously introduced clients to her. You was also friends with Tang and Chan, and he came to know the others through them.

According to the prosecutor, Chew fabricated several documents to support the expense claims of the six agents and would file tax returns on their behalf using their online tax postal accounts.

The agents, except for Yvonne Quah, also failed to keep supporting records for their income and allowable deductions, which is considered a violation of the Income Tax Act.

In addition to facing legal penalties, the six will face professional sanctions from the Monetary Authority of Singapore after IRAS hands over the case to the financial regulator.