Tax Investigation in Singapore

Tax Investigation occurs when the tax authority has some preliminary information to believe that a taxpayer is evading tax. With this, it carries out an operation to probe extensively into the tax issue with the aim to proof that the taxpayer is indeed evading tax. Frequently the investigation ends up in court when sufficient evidence is obtained to prosecute the taxpayer for tax evasion. As such, tax investigation into a person's tax affair can be very stressful emotionally and psychologically.

Surprise Visit for Tax Investigation

Tax Investigation is different from Tax Audit or Tax Query where prior notice is given. When the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) conducts its Tax Investigation, it is a surprise visit to your office, your home and accountant's office. As the Tax Investigators are trained to prosecute a tax evasion case in court, they will seize whatever documents which can possibly obtain and use as evidence in court. They even have a Specialized Computer Forensic Team to clone or image your computer hard disk and storage device, analyze the information and reveal any information which can prove that you have an intention to evade tax.

You will be surprise to see that many of the electronic documents, which you had previously deleted, resurface in the hands of the computer forensic experts. Many tax investigation cases are prosecuted successfully because of such electronic documents which continues to reside in the computer harddisk even after you delete it on your computer.

Prior to the Surprise Visit

Before IRAS conducts the raid, it is necessary for them to familiarize with the surrounding of your office and residential premises. They conduct recce sessions and note the movements of staff at your office and family members at your house. They pay special attention to family members who help with the business and possible business partners who are deeply involved in the tax evasion scheme. After all the initial ground work to understand your personal and business surrounding and operations, it is time for IRAS to carry out its raid.

Tax Investigation Interview

An interview is usually conducted on the day when IRAS tax investigating offers visit you. The directors, business owners, accountants and people who deal with accounting and tax filing are usually interviewed. Third parties like suppliers and customers are also likely to be interviewed. A written statement will be recorded and signed. Thereafter, the IRAS will continue to perform follow up interviews till they conclude the tax investigation case.

IRAS interview on tax negligence and evasion can be very taxing physically and mentally. The same question can be asked over and over again in different ways to ensure consistency in your reply. The same question can be position in different angle to ensure that you are not lying. Various interviewing strategies are used to uncover possible tax evasion scheme. Preparing yourself for an IRAS tax investigation interview is necessary so that you are not caught by surprise and are not lost when trying to provide your explanation.

Remember, preparing well for your next investigation interview can be the best way to help yourself now.

How to Deal with IRAS Tax Investigation

As Tax Investigation cases are usually complex, it is advisable to appoint a professional to handle it carefully to minimize the risk of prosecution for tax evasion. We specialize in handling Tax Investigation and Tax Audit cases with the aim of out-of-court settlement. You can be assured that you will be appropriately represented by our Tax Advisors. Let us assist you in this difficult journey and mitigate any possible penalty arising from negligence or evasion.

Give us a call now especially when IRAS has raided your premises because of tax issue. We look forward to discussing and resolving the tax issue for you.

If IRAS has decided to prosecute you in court, it is important for you to also contact us because we can find you a good lawyer to assist you and at the same time support the lawyer with necessary numbers and facts to defend and/or mitigate your case.

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