Grig says…

Dear Edgar,

Thanks for your kind support during last year. I feel my MBA at least 30% yours because according to my classmates accounting was the most difficult module.

25 Dec 2006


Isetan Singapore and S44 tax credits

“Minority investors want Isetan to pay out tax credits” as per today’s ST on page 29.

With $61mio tax credits, the investors are asking for only $2 dividend from a maximum $7.50 for a full advantage on the credits.

Does Isetan has the monies?
As per Jun 2006 accounts, it is reported that it has a $100mio cash in its balance sheet. Then why not pay since cashflow is not an issue?

Has the cash been earmarked for investment?
No such info presented. It is reported that the answer lies with the higher tax rate on income received in Japan as compared to Singapore.

Isetan Tokyo, which owns 61% of Isetan Singapore, would have to pay a higher tax in Japan on dividends received from Singapore.

Moral of the story

  • Minority investors should not expect to receive much dividends from a company with this kind of tax complication.
  • If you are investing for dividend yield, then please do your homework.

Serene, I thank you too :)

Hi Edgar,

I was your student in your main & revision classes this year (ie. 2006) from Jan to May, I took my CBE exam for paper 1.1 last week and am pleased to tell you I’ve passed!!!

To me, this exam was a difficult one, though I only managed to score 76 marks but I believe I had done my best and am glad I’ve cleared the paper!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for being an inspiring lecturer, though I was confused sometimes but over all I thoroughly enjoyed and am enriched from your lectures. Keep up the good work and may you enjoy more success in the coming Jul term!

Best wishes and God Bless You!!


28 June 2006

Auditors to pay $775,000 damages

Who sue who and for what?
Gaelic Inns (of Muddy Murphy’s Irish Pub and Penny Black of Boat Quay) sued Patrick Lee Public Accounting Corporation for $1 million losses suffered by Gaelic Inns.

How was the monies stolen?
The then Group Finance Manager, Ms Denise Ang did not banked in the daily bar takings between March 2003 and May 2004.

What is the Hon Judge Belinda Ang’s decision and basis?
The Judge ruled in favour of Gaelic Inns and awarded $775,000 plus interest.

Judge said “while an auditor is not expected to be a detective, the duty to audit carries with it an incidental duty to warn… managementt or the directors of fraud or irregularities uncovered”.

Was it uncovered by the auditor?
The audit was in progress in March 2004 while the crime was still in progress.

Mr Lawrence Phong, the audit manager in charge then, was reviewing the bank reconciliation statements. There was a discrepancy of about $680,000 noted between cash balance as per accounts and actual cash in bank!

Mr Phong was faulted for not doing an indepth investigation immediately upon its discovery, tardy in follow-ups and lastly for not highlighting the matter to the management.

Does this decision further increase audit risk to the auditors? Lawyer Philip Fong, representing Gaelic Inns, seems to think so. The decision highlighted the need to review process and audit procedures of cash, particularly in F&B or retail businesses.

However, such annual audits are still not expected to discover frauds unless specially commissioned to do so. In this case, the auditor had laid his hands on the most glaring documents highlighting the crime ie. bank recon statements. And thus the decision.

Good night.

P/S – Pic of December’s rain clouds

Section 44A balances

P/s – Pic of a very majestic bldg to be converted into serviced apartments.

The one-tier corporate tax system will be fully implemented on Jan 1, 2008.

Under the “old two-tier” system, individual shareholders receiving section 44 dividends can claim a refund in part or all of the corporate tax paid.

Under the “old” system, company pays $80 dividend nett of corporate tax rate of 20%. The gross dividend would be $100. $20 has been paid by the company to IRAS. The $20 is placed in the Section 44 account.

Let us assume the individual shareholder’s personal income tax rate is 10%. $10 (ie. $100 x 10%) would be taken out of IRAS’s Section 44 account as credit against the tax payable by that individual.

What is the difference?
Under the one-tier system, the $80 received by the individual would be treated as exempt income. No adjustment of $10 would be given. Effectively, the individual pays a tax rate of 20% for that income.

What to do?
Companies, with accumulated profits which qualify for Section 44 credits and have the liquidity to pay dividends, may consider paying dividends before end of 2007.

So think about it.