Mobile phone seller is first person to be charged with failing to register GST for online sales

SINGAPORE – A man who sold mobile phones has become the first person in Singapore to be charged with failing to register the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for online sales.

Edwin Pang Chung Jie used to own two firms – Edmobile and Moggi – through which he sold mobile phones and accessories on platforms such as Lazada, Shopee and Carousell.

The 40-year-old Singaporean was also charged on Friday (Oct 30) with two counts of submitting incorrect income tax returns without reasonable excuse.

He is also accused of two counts of failing to keep proper records of the invoices he received linked to his businesses.

In a statement, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) said that the total amount of tax undercharged and tax due is $129,411.

On Oct 30, 2013, Pang allegedly failed to notify the Comptroller of GST of his liability to be registered for the tax.

This is said to have resulted in $118,023.23 in tax due for the period between Dec 1, 2013 and Sept 30, 2015.

Pang is accused of making an incorrect return by understating income on April 16, 2014, resulting in income tax undercharged totalling $8,792.87.

On April 16, 2018, he is said to have understated his income tax return by $26,336.27.

This allegedly led to $2,595.74 in income tax undercharged.

Pang is also accused of failing to keep proper records of the invoices on multiple occasions between Jan 1, 2013 and July 17, 2018.

Iras said in its statement that between 2015 and last year, it recovered more than $3.8 million in taxes and penalties from 65 audit cases on taxpayers who operate online businesses.

It added: “Like regular brick-and-mortar businesses, all income from online and e-commerce businesses in Singapore must be reported for tax purposes.

“To ensure that they pay the right amount of taxes, businesses should practise good record keeping by maintaining a full and complete physical or digital record of income and expenses such as invoices, receipts, vouchers, bank and credit card statements, bills, cheques, proof of payments and other documentary evidence.”

The court heard that Pang intends to admit to his offences.

His bail was set at $40,000 and he will be back in court on Nov 27.

Failing to register for GST is an offence and errant businesses may have to pay 10 per cent of GST due as a penalty, and may incur a fine of up to $10,000.

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