$85 Million in Jobs Support Scheme and Jobs Growth Incentive Payouts for March 2021 Withheld from 2,600 Employers
31 May 2021
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) takes a serious view of employers who attempt to abuse the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) and Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI). For the March 2021 JSS and JGI payouts, IRAS has withheld $85 million from 2,600 employers for further checks.
$85 Million in JSS and JGI Payouts Withheld from Employers for Review
As part of IRAS’ anti-gaming efforts to ensure that JSS and JGI payouts are fairly and correctly disbursed, about $52 million in JSS payouts and $33 million in JGI payouts for March 2021 were withheld from 2,600 employers, pending their submission of supporting documents to IRAS to substantiate their eligibility. These 2,600 employers make up about 2% of all qualifying employers for the JSS and JGI payouts. Employers will receive their JSS and JGI payouts once IRAS has verified the authenticity and accuracy of the information submitted. Their payouts would be adjusted or denied if issues are found during the review.
$32 Million Denied to 1,300 Employers from March 2021 Payout After Review
As of late May 2021, IRAS has concluded the review of over 800 JSS and close to 1,100 JGI payouts from the March 2021 tranche, with about $16 million in payouts denied for each scheme. This corresponds to over 500 and 800 employers who have had their March 2021 payouts denied for JSS and JGI respectively.
In total, the amount of JSS payouts denied since inception is about $44 million.
10 JSS Cases Under Investigation by the Police
In the course of IRAS’ review, IRAS has come across varied cases of suspected abuse. Examples include employers making CPF contributions for non-genuine employees, inflating CPF contributions for employees without actual wage increases, and maintaining CPF contributions for employees on wage cuts. IRAS has adjusted the payments for employers who readily corrected their erroneous employees’ CPF contributions. Some employers had chosen not to respond to IRAS’ requests for clarifications, thus forgoing their payouts. A small group of employers had provided what appeared to be fabricated documents in an attempt to substantiate their eligibility for the scheme. Egregious cases of suspected abuse would be referred to the Police for further investigations.
IRAS has since referred 10 cases to the Police for JSS, and the Police are looking into the matter. None have been identified and referred to the Police for JGI thus far.
Measures to Curb JSS and JGI Abuse
IRAS has a robust anti-gaming framework that harnesses data analytics and risk profiling to identify risks and prevent abuse. A dedicated team has also been established to review the accuracy of CPF amounts for genuine employees based on actual wages paid. IRAS will continue to review employers’ eligibility for subsequent JSS and JGI payouts.
There are severe penalties for any attempt to abuse the schemes. Other than having their 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 a fine.
Reporting of Malpractices
IRAS has received around 500 reports from whistle blowers on employers who were suspected to have abused the JSS and JGI schemes. Each report is assessed thoroughly. Several have provided useful leads for us to follow up on. IRAS thanks those who have come forward to provide information as this complements IRAS’ efforts to ensure that public monies are fairly and properly used to support only those who are eligible. Businesses or individuals who wish to report any malpractices or potential abuses may do so via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or online at go.gov.sg/jssreport or go.gov.sg/jgireport for both the JSS and JGI respectively.
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore