Recently, there have been professionals incorporating one or more companies in an attempt to gain tax advantages. The issue was the difference between the highest personal income tax rate of 22 per cent and the corporate tax rate of 17 per cent, which provided an opportunity for tax arbitrage. The Start-Up Tax Exemption Scheme and Partial Tax Exemption and the availability of corporate tax rebates (typically announced during the Budget) also contributed to making incorporating one or more companies more attractive.
The line between permissible tax planning and tax avoidance was arguably unclear; and in many cases, it was no easy task to determine whether there had in fact been tax avoidance.
In the recent case of GCL v Comptroller of Income Tax  SGITBR 1, the Income Tax Board of Review (ITBR) laid down several principles that may help clarify the legal position here. The case is a very significant one as it addresses head-on several important questions about professionals incorporating companies and tax avoidance.
In this webinar, expert speaker Liu Hern Kuan, who represents several professionals who have set up companies for their practice, will discuss the background of IRAS’ initiatives and the holding of the GCL case.
The ITBR decision of GCL v Comptroller of Income Tax  SGITBR 1
Recent Clarifications & Guidance from Income Tax Board of Review
Liu Hern Kuan
Head of Tax, Tan Peng Chin LLC
Hern Kuan has wide experience in Revenue Law, having lectured in it at the Law Faculty in NUS, practiced as a tax manager in Big-4 accounting firms and as head of tax in a major law firm. He was also the Chief Legal Officer of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) for 10 years. While at IRAS he represented the Comptroller of Income Tax in the leading case on tax avoidance, AQQ v CIT.
Hern Kuan’s tax practice is largely focused on civil and criminal disputes with IRAS and tax planning and structuring, both domestic and international tax.
He has presented many seminars on tax law and was an associate staff lecturer on tax planning and international tax at SIM university.