Crime

Magician makes S$870K worth of PIC claims disappear from IRAS’ coffers

He did a ‘houdini’ on IRAS.

THE NEW PAPER

A magician never reveals his tricks but the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) is having none of it.

On Friday (Nov 23), S. Chandran, 37, pleaded guilty to 18 charges under the Income Tax Act for doing a Houdini on fake claims worth more than S$1.1 million under the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme between 2013 and 2014.

The IRAS disbursed S$876,684 in total.

Chandran, who is is the sole proprietor of Paradize Consultancy, helped firms file for claims even if they do not meet the qualifying conditions. If the claims went through, Chandran would receive half of the amounts disbursed in kickbacks.

IRAS’ deep-dive into Chandran’s activities resulted in 200 people being called up to assist with the investigations.

The PIC scheme was introduced by IRAS to encourage businesses to invest in areas such as automation equipment and staff training. The aim was to increase productivity and innovation in companies.

If convicted, Chandran faces a mandatory penalty of four times the amount of cash payout or PIC bonus. He is also liable to a fine of up to $50,000 and/or a jail term of up to five years per charge.

He is now out on bail of $200,000 and will be back in court on Jan 11, 2019, provided he does not make himself…disappear.

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