Employers Taken to Task for Abusing Jobs Support Scheme

October 6, 2020

  • Close to 2,200 Employers Reviewed for their Eligibility for JSS Payouts
  • Four Cases Referred to the Police for Investigations

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has taken actions against employers who have attempted to abuse the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS). It has denied JSS payouts either partially or fully to 444 employers. IRAS has also referred egregious cases to the Police for investigations.

Close to $10 million of JSS Payouts Denied to Employers

Close to 2,200 employers have been selected for review for the July 2020 JSS payouts. Employers under review would have their JSS payouts withheld until they are able to submit supporting documents to IRAS to verify the authenticity and accuracy of mandatory CPF contributions made. Their payouts would be adjusted or denied if issues are found during the review, and egregious cases would be referred to the Police. This is part of IRAS’ anti-gaming efforts to ensure that JSS payouts are fairly and correctly disbursed.

As of end September, IRAS has received documents from and concluded the review of over 1,400 employers. Close to $10 million of JSS payouts to 444 employers have been denied either partially or fully. Some of the unacceptable practices observed are in Annex A (PDF, 102KB).

Four Cases Under Investigation by the Police

In the course of its review, IRAS would also refer egregious cases of suspected abuse to the Police. These include employers submitting false documents to IRAS to substantiate their eligibility for the JSS. IRAS has referred four such cases to the Police, and the Police is looking into the matter.

About the JSS

The JSS provides support to employers to offset part of the wages of local employees

during this period of economic uncertainty. On 17 August 2020, the Government announced that the JSS has been extended by up to 7 months, covering 10% to 50% of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages paid to each local employee up to March 2021. Employers need not apply for the scheme, as the cash grant will be automatically computed based on mandatory CPF contribution data.

Measures to Curb JSS Abuse

IRAS has a robust anti-gaming framework to identify risks and prevent abuse. IRAS also has a dedicated team to review the authenticity and accuracy of CPF amounts for bona fide employees based on actual wages paid. IRAS uses data analytics and risk profiling to identify cases for review. IRAS will continue to review employers’ eligibility for the October 2020 JSS payouts.

Voluntary Disclosure of Errors

To-date, close to 50 employers have voluntarily declared the incorrect mandatory CPF contributions that they have made for their employees. Their JSS payouts have been adjusted before disbursement. Ahead of the October 2020 JSS payouts, employers are encouraged to review the mandatory CPF contributions for employees to ensure that they have contributed the appropriate amount, based on actual wages paid to bona fide employees.

Reporting of Malpractices

IRAS has also received over 300 reports from whistle blowers on employers suspected to have abused the JSS. Each report will be assessed thoroughly. Businesses or individuals who wish to report any malpractices or potential abuses of the JSS may do so via email to jssreport@iras.gov.sg or online at go.gov.sg/jssreport.

Severe Penalties for JSS Abuse

There are severe penalties for any attempt to abuse the JSS. Other than having their JSS payouts denied, the employers may be liable for the offence of cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code, which carries an imprisonment term of up to 10 years and also a fine.

Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore 

Click here for further detail on the above.
Click here for IRAS Website


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