SINGAPORE: There has been an emerging trend of online retailers attempting to evade or under-declare the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the importation of goods into the country, the Singapore Customs said on Wednesday (Feb 4).
Nine such offenders, seven of whom dealt with luxury bags and accessories, were fined between S$4,500 and S$133,000 last year for evading GST by submitting fake invoices or under-declaring the value of goods on their import permits declaration.
In one case, managers of an online store selling robotic vacuum cleaners, Tan Jun Rong Jerry and Ho Chee Soon, both 31, were fined S$115,000 each for evading GST of more than S$163,000 on the importation of 5,773 units of vacuum cleaners.
In another case, an online retailer of luxury handbags and accessories, Lee Bee Yee, 43, was fined S$23,000 for failing to declare and pay GST on 195 handbags and wallets she had purchased overseas. The total GST evaded exceeded S$12,000.
Singapore Customs warned that dealing with duty-unpaid goods is a serious offence under the Customs Act. Offenders can be fined up to 20 times the amount of duty evaded, and face jail.