Salesman fined for evading more than $50,000 in GST
A BRANDED handbag and wallet seller who evaded more than $50,000 worth of Goods and Services Tax (GST) was fined $190,000 on Wednesday.
Yu Chung Tan, 47, a partner of LovethatBag, did so by instructing his suppliers to indicate the value of each package of goods imported as below $400 in import documents submitted to Singapore Customs, a spokesman for the agency said.
Goods imported by parcel post, except dutiable goods, are not subject to GST when the value of the goods is below $400.
Between October 2011 and October 2013, Yu imported 2,338 branded handbags by parcel post on 41 occasions, Singapore Customs said.
The spokesman added that investigations also revealed that, between April 2012 and February 2014, Yu had travelled overseas on 14 occasions and bought 519 items for sale in Singapore. They included branded bags, wallets, shirts, umbrellas and shoes.
Despite knowing that goods imported for sale here are subject to GST, he did not declare the goods for GST payment when he arrived at Changi Airport, the spokesman said.
"Yu's intention was to save on the cost of goods so as to price his goods more competitively to generate more sales," she added.
The shop's website says branded goods can be bought at a discount of up to 75 per cent at one-day public sales. "We have paved a gateway of affordability," it says.
Yu pleaded guilty to 18 charges. Another 37 charges were taken into consideration in the sentencing.
If he fails to pay the fine, he faces one year and seven months in jail.
A check on Facebook showed that the company, which sells goods from brands like Prada, Celine and Louis Vuitton, has a following of almost 90,000 people.
Under the Customs Act, any person found guilty of fraudulent evasion of GST is liable to a fine of up to 20 times the amount of tax evaded and/or be jailed for up to two years.