Answers to your tax questions

Q1: Have you accidentally done any of the said actions in the tax crime case freshly published in the IRAS Newsroom?https://www.iras.gov.sg/news-events/newsroom/six-insurance-agents-convicted-of-falsifying-expense-claims-in-income-tax-returns

A1: The answer should be none. But for those who keep silent, please be aware that IRAS has now conducted compliance focus on taxpayers who are self-employed.

Q2: How important of proper record keeping to a taxpayer who is carrying on a trade, business, profession, and vocation?

A2: Record keeping is to prove a taxpayer has not committed such a criminal transaction; rather then what a taxpayer has done.

Q3: Are you aware of or have the capability to differentiate which expense is claimable/not claimable against your income?

A3: For example, remuneration paid to parents, spouses, children, siblings and other relatives who are not working in the business, is not claimable as expenses. Payment made to them should be commensurate with the actual services performed by them, and the rate should be reasonable as compared to an independent party with the same qualification and experience performing the same service.

Q4: Can you “generate” the documentary records to support the expense claim?

A4: No, you can't. It is a crime.

Q5: When is a good time to relook back on how proper your record keeping is and sit readily for IRAS to look up for you? Will you be the next one being invited for an interview?

A5: There is no better time than NOW. For those who do not regularly do proper record keeping, do it from now, relook back up to 5 years, and any tax underpaid to be computed and repay back to IRAS.

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