Case and Legislation Notes: Tax Avoidance by Professionals: Where are We with Wee Teng Yau?— Wee Teng Yau V Comptroller of Income Tax
11 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2021
Date Written: March 2021
Wee Teng Yau represents the first case on tax avoidance by professionals to come before the Supreme Court. This note attempts to reconcile the judgments of the High Court and the Income Tax Board of Review, which both made findings that the taxpayer had engaged in tax avoidance, but which approached the case rather differently on some points. Apart from a clear rejection of the “personal exertion” principle as having no legal basis under Singapore law, it appears that the common conclusion is that professionals incorporating a company would not constitute tax avoidance in itself, but if this was coupled with the paying of an artificially low level of remuneration to the same practicing professional, this might well constitute tax avoidance.
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