SINGAPORE: A Singapore Airlines pilot was sentenced to six months in prison on Friday (April 21) after pleading guilty to tax violations, including failure to declare rental income from two properties.
Andrew Soo Cheng Ai, 51, will also have to pay a fine of S$181,996 or serve a prison sentence of three months and four weeks.
Soo pleaded guilty to four counts under the Income Tax Act. Another nine counts of tax evasion, including underreporting his personal income tax, were up for sentencing.
At the time of the violations, Soo owned and leased two properties at 400 Balestier Road and 21 Kim Yam Road, listed as Balestier Plaza and Waterford Residence Condominium, respectively.
According to a tax prosecutor from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), Soo made false entries regarding his income from the rental properties for the assessment year 2014 with the deliberate intent to evade tax.
He failed to declare S$89,715 in rental income, resulting in S$15,354 in undertaxes.
He also provided false information about the total gross rent, expenses and net rent of his rental properties in an email response to the Income Tax Comptroller for the 2013 tax year through the 2018 tax year.
The false information, if accepted by IRAS, would have resulted in S$35,310 in undertaxes.
Soo also filed multiple fictitious invoices and documents with IRAS in support of his inflated expense claims related to his rental properties for the 2013 and 2014 tax years.
The invoices and documents were found to be false in IRAS’ investigation.
Had the false documents been accepted, approximately S$7,500 in taxes would have been undercharged.
In a statement to the media, IRAS said it takes non-compliance and tax evasion seriously.
“All companies and individuals are reminded to cooperate fully during the audits and investigations of IRAS. IRAS will not hesitate to take strict action against those who deliberately give false information to IRAS agents,” it said.
Violators could be fined up to four times the amount of the evaded tax, along with prison terms.
Those found guilty of giving false answers to IRAS agents for the purpose of tax evasion will face a fine of up to S$10,000 and/or imprisonment for up to seven years. .
Singapore Airlines declined to comment when asked about Soo’s employment status.