Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 07/02/2014 15:21 | By Channel NewsAsia

Company pleads guilty to false claims under PIC scheme

Company pleads guilty to false claims under PIC scheme


Company pleads guilty to false claims under PIC scheme

SINGAPORE: A digital printing company has pleaded guilty to claiming a higher payout than it was entitled to under the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) Scheme.

Director Ong Chee Hui, 42, pleaded guilty on behalf of Media Grafix in court on Wednesday (July 2). He admitted that in a form dated Aug 28, 2012, the company stated it had incurred qualifying PIC expenditure of S$24,150 for PIC automation equipment, including six computers. But investigations revealed that the company had incurred only S$19,551.73.

In the form, the company also stated that it spent S$2,908 on network equipment including a router, when it spent only S$1,598.20. As a result of the false claims, Media Grafix obtained a higher payout.

The company will be sentenced on July 16.

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Introduced in 2010, the PIC scheme gives tax deductions or cash payouts to firms if they take steps to boost productivity including for automation and training. Under the scheme, a company can claim cash rebates of up to 60 per cent for qualifying expenditure.

In August 2013, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) set up a task force to investigate PIC-related offences.

In September 2013, a director of IT firm Greenit was fined and sentenced to eight weeks in jail for making a false PIC claim. In February 2014, a director of Exel Mitsui Technologies was fined and sentenced to five weeks’ jail for the same offence.

The prosecutor in the Media Grafix case noted that the number of PIC-related offences is on the rise, and that state funds are being used to deal with the cases.

IRAS said on its website that it takes a serious view of abuse of the PIC scheme. Offenders convicted of PIC fraud will have to pay a penalty of up to four times the amount of cash payout fraudulently obtained, and a fine of up to S$50,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years, IRAS said. - CNA/cy

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