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Companies in Breach of IRAS GST Disclosure Requirements

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Companies in Breach of IRAS GST Disclosure Requirements

Postby carteki » Tue, 21 Jun 2011 2:16 pm

The [very simple] requirements for GST disclosures can be found here, yet it is just about every day that I come across a company (from one of Singapore's Universities to a Bank to just about every car rental company in Singapore (including yours MS) where they are breaching the requirements listed above.
Is it my opinion, or is compliance with these regulations optional?

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Re: Companies in Breach of IRAS GST Disclosure Requirements

Postby x9200 » Tue, 21 Jun 2011 3:37 pm

carteki wrote:The [very simple] requirements for GST disclosures can be found here, yet it is just about every day that I come across a company (from one of Singapore's Universities to a Bank to just about every car rental company in Singapore (including yours MS) where they are breaching the requirements listed above.
Is it my opinion, or is compliance with these regulations optional?

Probably as with many things around nobody enforces it. This typically means you can get them fined but it will cost you time and require a lot of persistence.
Try for that instance to report to LTA a car completely blocking a pedestrian's pathway or parked in a handicapped lot. LTA in this case will not accept anything (photos, data etc.) via e-mail and will respond to you after ~3 weeks just to inform you what is the procedure.

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Re: Companies in Breach of IRAS GST Disclosure Requirements

Postby carteki » Tue, 21 Jun 2011 3:51 pm

x9200 wrote:Probably as with many things around nobody enforces it. This typically means you can get them fined but it will cost you time and require a lot of persistence.
Try for that instance to report to LTA a car completely blocking a pedestrian's pathway or parked in a handicapped lot. LTA in this case will not accept anything (photos, data etc.) via e-mail and will respond to you after ~3 weeks just to inform you what is the procedure.


I'm with you - LTA is a complete joke (unless you drive a car). I complained to them about the lack of taxi's at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. Their response was we're monitoring the situation (I'm not sure how bad it needs to get before they do something about it). At the same time I complained to the Singapore Tourism Authority (mentioning a pregnant British Tourist who had to wait 1 hour for a taxi) - they were far more interested in the problem, but only once I provided evidence of this occuring in 2009 - but I'm sure nothing has been done about it.

Funnily enough - I first notified the IRAS of a GST breach in January and they responded asking for more information (oh, sorry that was a well known beauty services provider), but after the latest notifications I haven't heard a word.

PS - for bad parking etc I'd post a picture of the errant car (including number plate) up on the stomp website and I've heard there is one dedicated to bad parking too.

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 21 Jun 2011 5:11 pm

Interesting, so prices have to be shown as incl. of GST unless they are hotels or F&B outlets where they can be shown as $x++

Thanks, I'll keep this in mind in future!

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Postby Mad Scientist » Tue, 21 Jun 2011 5:17 pm

Carteki

if my memory serves me right , the car rental that I said did include the daily rental inclusive of gst for me. I did not even bother to check my bills as I really got a bargain with them. So yes, you are right , that GST should be included.
In OZ and NZ you have the choice to do either way if you are in retail but for supermarket , shopping mall , car rental, big ticket items generally GST is inclusive unless stated otherwise
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 22 Jun 2011 9:36 am

@Carteki, LTA is not that bad but their performance varies. It always takes a lot of time for them to respond but they always respond. There are some cases, like for example more serious conflict situations between the cab drivers and the passengers where they are very helpful. My wife was involved in such situation and they verified it, requested the driver to report in person in LTA and later wanted to assist/help my wife to the level of suing the driver (what we didn't want). All this was paperless. Now in a case of a completely different magnitude they want people to submit all the documents including your IC, the forms, digital photos via snail-mail as the hard-copies :) Judging from the traffic habits in Singapore if they not discourage people from complaining they would be drawn up to their ears in such cases.

For the Tanah Merah, I am not sure if LTA could do anything. I don't think it is of any law/regulation offence for the cab companies not to maintain their taxis presence in a specific location. They would probably need to hire people just for such purpose having them idle 90% of time. Calling a cab didn't work?

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Postby carteki » Wed, 22 Jun 2011 10:25 am

x9200 wrote:Calling a cab didn't work?


Do you think I'm a COMPLETE IDIOT, that I would complain to the authorities about waiting over an hour for a cab without actually trying to "book one?" For your information I was on the phone to the cab companies (on the numbers that actually WORKED) for I would say 90% of that time as were most of the other people in the queue. The most frustrating part was that I KNEW that 2km down the road there is a queue of taxis waiting (an hour / more) to get the extra $5 airport surcharge.

x9200 wrote:For the Tanah Merah, I am not sure if LTA could do anything. I don't think it is of any law/regulation offence for the cab companies not to maintain their taxis presence in a specific location. They would probably need to hire people just for such purpose having them idle 90% of time.

Just because there is no law / regulation doesn't mean that the process isn't broken. Taxis form part of the public transport network as vital connectors to fill the gap between busses and trains. Have you read the thread on taxi's in this forum? I have had enough rides "turned down" that I am convinced that taxi drivers earn way too much and have no incentive to do any work (despite the fact that they all complain about the high daily rental).

As a result of the "broken link" I am purchasing a car and adding to Singapore's transport woes and I think that a number of car owners feel the same way (I am amazed as to how many SG's - including PA's etc own cars) - it is not a luxury, in my mind it is a necessity.

To solve the TMFT problem they could extend the Changi Airport surcharge to the Ferry Terminal - I would've gladly paid the $5 extra and not the $20 extra that I had to in-order to share a limo cab (I was desperate), but that is putting a band-aid on a festering sore in my mind.

The reason the booking system doesn't work is that there is NO guarantee you'll actually get a cab. It is up to the discretion of the drivers as to whether or not they actually want to work - how many cabs have changed their lights to "busy" while you're trying to flag them down? In Melbourne for example when you book a taxi - drivers get the choice to bid, but if no-one bids then the task is assigned to an on-duty driver.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 22 Jun 2011 12:41 pm

carteki wrote:
x9200 wrote:Calling a cab didn't work?


Do you think I'm a COMPLETE IDIOT, that I would complain to the authorities about waiting over an hour for a cab without actually trying to "book one?" For your information I was on the phone to the cab companies (on the numbers that actually WORKED) for I would say 90% of that time as were most of the other people in the queue. The most frustrating part was that I KNEW that 2km down the road there is a queue of taxis waiting (an hour / more) to get the extra $5 airport surcharge.

No, I don't think you are and idiot but you phrased it this way that for the sake of having all clear I had to ask. Sorry I pissed you off, was not intended.


x9200 wrote:For the Tanah Merah, I am not sure if LTA could do anything. I don't think it is of any law/regulation offence for the cab companies not to maintain their taxis presence in a specific location. They would probably need to hire people just for such purpose having them idle 90% of time.

Just because there is no law / regulation doesn't mean that the process isn't broken. Taxis form part of the public transport network as vital connectors to fill the gap between busses and trains. Have you read the thread on taxi's in this forum? I have had enough rides "turned down" that I am convinced that taxi drivers earn way too much and have no incentive to do any work (despite the fact that they all complain about the high daily rental).

Well, I am one of the few on this board (to my surprise) who thinks that taxi services in Singapore are a complete crap especially when it comes to the turning down and the drivers attitude so no need here to convince me.

[..]
To solve the TMFT problem they could extend the Changi Airport surcharge to the Ferry Terminal - I would've gladly paid the $5 extra and not the $20 extra that I had to in-order to share a limo cab (I was desperate), but that is putting a band-aid on a festering sore in my mind.

Ok, I see your point. The question is, is it that common in TMFT to have no cabs? You may have exactly the same problem practically everywhere so maybe it was just a bad timing? Do you know how much of this surcharge goes to the driver's pocket?

The reason the booking system doesn't work is that there is NO guarantee you'll actually get a cab. It is up to the discretion of the drivers as to whether or not they actually want to work - how many cabs have changed their lights to "busy" while you're trying to flag them down? In Melbourne for example when you book a taxi - drivers get the choice to bid, but if no-one bids then the task is assigned to an on-duty driver.

Again I agree with the above. Funny thing already 6 or 7 years ago I was told by one cabby that the taxi corporations were about to introduce a similar system so it would automatically assign a cab closest to the pick up point. The driver could reject the request but only once or twice in a given time (day? month?). In other words the problem is very old and nobody is going to do anything about this.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 22 Jun 2011 12:44 pm

JR8 wrote:Interesting, so prices have to be shown as incl. of GST unless they are hotels or F&B outlets where they can be shown as $x++

Thanks, I'll keep this in mind in future!


This is a good thing to remember at SLS and Lucky... they will quote you a price and then add GST. If you are shopping weekday, whip out your handphone, tell them you are calling IRAS to report them.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 22 Jun 2011 3:21 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:
JR8 wrote:Interesting, so prices have to be shown as incl. of GST unless they are hotels or F&B outlets where they can be shown as $x++

Thanks, I'll keep this in mind in future!


This is a good thing to remember at SLS and Lucky... they will quote you a price and then add GST. If you are shopping weekday, whip out your handphone, tell them you are calling IRAS to report them.


Might be a good idea to make sure you are in a group of large guys when you try it though as you might end up with more than just GST otherwise. I'm sure most of those shops couldn't stand the scrutiny.

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Postby ksl » Fri, 24 Jun 2011 12:35 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:
JR8 wrote:Interesting, so prices have to be shown as incl. of GST unless they are hotels or F&B outlets where they can be shown as $x++

Thanks, I'll keep this in mind in future!


This is a good thing to remember at SLS and Lucky... they will quote you a price and then add GST. If you are shopping weekday, whip out your handphone, tell them you are calling IRAS to report them.


Might be a good idea to make sure you are in a group of large guys when you try it though as you might end up with more than just GST otherwise. I'm sure most of those shops couldn't stand the scrutiny.
And all the government offices are aware of it too for the last 30 years! :lol:

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 24 Jun 2011 8:39 am

Surely they are aware. Actually SLS, at least when it comes to the computer part, is here not THAT bad. I reckon less than 20% try to play some tricks with GST. Maybe it is really not a bad idea to print out the IRAS page (5k fine in bold) and show it to them if they try to charge the extra 7% to what is in their price list.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 24 Jun 2011 8:58 am

I reckon the percentage is a lot higher than that. Most of the hole in the wall shops will quote you a nett price after bargaining and then if you "want" a receipt they will then inform you that they will have to charge you 7% GST if you need the receipt. Otherwise, they operate like the vendors in the Theives Market next door.

In fact, lots of small businesses in the heartlands, who are registered for GST, operate in a similar fashion.

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 24 Jun 2011 9:57 am

This could be. I shop mostly in the bigger outlets and only like 10% of them do not include GST. I gave the 10% to the "holes" but admit have no experience with them.

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Fri, 24 Jun 2011 10:18 am

x9200 wrote:
carteki wrote:To solve the TMFT problem they could extend the Changi Airport surcharge to the Ferry Terminal - I would've gladly paid the $5 extra and not the $20 extra that I had to in-order to share a limo cab (I was desperate).


Ok, I see your point. The question is, is it that common in TMFT to have no cabs? You may have exactly the same problem practically everywhere so maybe it was just a bad timing?

It is almost always impossible to get a taxi at TMFT, and unlike elsewhere in the island even calling a cab doesn't help. The long road in means that no taxi wants to go so much out of its way and would rather take a call from nearby estates like Tampines. Extending the $5 surcharge is a good idea and I would be interested to see if this works.


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