S’pore Undertaker Roland Tay Owes Over S$700K In Taxes, Faces Up To 3 Years’ Jail

Undertaker Roland Tay Charged For Underdeclaring Income & Evading Taxes

On Friday (30 Sep), 75-year-old Roland Tay Hai Choon was charged in court for evading income taxes worth over S$427,000. He also received charges for failing to register his businesses for Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The court charged him with three counts of tax evasion and one count under the GST Act.

Tay falsely understated his total income to evade taxes from 2011 to 2013 and failed to comply with the GST Act in 2010.

If convicted, he faces up to three years’ jail, fines and other monetary penalties.

Undertaker Roland Tay owes over S$700K in income taxes & GST

Tay is the founder of the well-known undertaking company Direct Funeral Services.

According to The Straits Times (ST), he understated his income by over S$2.2 million for three years between 2011 and 2013. As a result, he managed to evade S$427,427 in taxes.

In Apr 2011, he made a false entry in his income tax return by stating that his total income was S$121,051. The actual amount was allegedly S$1,034,110.

Charge sheets state that he continued to understate his income for the next two years.

If he proves guilty of making a false statement in a tax return, Tay faces a maximum 3-year jail term, a fine of up to S$10,000, or both.

The court may also charge him a penalty of up to thrice the amount of tax undercharged.

Tay also failed to notify the Comptroller of GST within his liability period in July 2010 to register his businesses.

The undertaker thus owes three years’ worth of taxes amounting to S$286,962.97, reports Channel NewsAsia (CNA).

For this charge, Tay may have to pay a penalty equating to 10% of the taxes due. He could also face a maximum S$10,000 fine and a subsequent S$50 penalty for each day the offence continues after his conviction.

Offences revealed in IRAS audit report

Following the hearing, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) issued a statement declaring that they discovered Tay’s offences during one of their regular audit programmes.

Citing the statement, CNA explained that IRAS used “data analytics and advanced statistical tools” to verify tax reporting and detect anomalies. This led them to uncover Tay’s doings.

His failure to register for GST apparently occurred when the value of his taxable supplies exceeded S$1 million for four consecutive quarters.

Tay has been offered S$80,000 bail and will return to court for his next hearing on 18 Oct.

Well-known for arranging free funerals for murder victims

A prominent figure in the funeral industry, Tay famously provided his services for free for murder victims and the poor.

In 2004, he made arrangements for the funeral of Huang Na, an eight-year-old girl who went missing that year.

When Singapore’s famous orangutan Ah Meng died in 2008, he donated a white human-sized coffin for her funeral.

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Featured image adapted from Direct Funeral Services and Direct Funeral Services on Facebook

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