More than 1,000 employers caught fleecing taxman

The employers tried to fleece a government assistance programme out of more than S$5million.

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore has said that more than 1,000 employers have been abusing the Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) for four years.

According to a report by Singaporean broadsheet, The Straits Times, these employers made false claims of S$5.57 million into the WCS – claims which were then found to be dodgy by a random audit.

To support the fraudulent claims, the employers used schemes such as hiring “phantom workers” or inflating wages.

Upon discovery of the deception, some the claims were denied pay outs, while others saw pay outs clawed back after disbursement.

The Straits Times reports that some 105 cases were deemed more serious, 21 of which are now being further investigated by local police. These offenders can be charged under the Penal Code of Singapore and can face up to 10 years' imprisonment and a fine.

The WCS is intended to assist businesses in dealing with rising salary costs, and sees the Singapore government co-paying 40% of wage increases to employees. More than S$2 billion has been disbursed to employers under the scheme since it was introduced in 2013, with around 85,000 employers currently qualifying.

 

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