Upcoming changes to the Exchange of Information framework hints at future adoption of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Common Reporting Standards.
The crux of Singapore’s Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2016, which some think may signal a new chapter in this sphere, may be summarised as follows:
Particularly of note in relation to EOI and Singapore’s obligations under FATCA is the express ability to facilitate EOI “automatically” and “simultaneously” to other foreign tax authorities. The amendments seem to pave the way for the creation and implementation of information technology systems that allow automatic and spontaneous information sharing to one or more foreign tax authorities. The amendments would also cement the obligation to share information pursuant to international tax compliance agreements above any privacy or confidentiality laws relating to banking secrecy or personal data protection.
These amendments are the first step in Singapore’s commitment to the international community to adhere to international standards, which are key to international tax compliance and cooperation and, in particular, the elimination of tax evasion. Morgan Lewis previously examined the impact of Singapore amendments to make tax offences a predicate crime for money laundering offences in our two previous articles of the Morgan Lewis Asian Chronicle.
If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this LawFlash, please contact Daniel Chia, a solicitor of Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC, a Singapore law corporation affiliated with Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.