ROBUST, TRUSTED, DYNAMIC AND

PURPOSEFUL FINANCIAL CENTRE

A TRUSTED FINANCIAL CENTRE
ENHANCING EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION ON TAX

Singapore continued to strengthen its Exchange of Information (EOI) framework by lifting the dual criminality requirement such that Singapore can render mutual legal assistance for foreign requests involving serious tax evasion offences, regardless of the type of tax evaded. This helps strengthen Singapore's ability to assist in bona fide cases of wilful or fraudulent tax evasion.

On Automatic EOI (AEOI), Singapore and the US signed a Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Model 1 Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) in December 2014. FATCA is Singapore's first AEOI agreement and the IGA facilitates Singapore-based financial institutions' compliance with FATCA. Without the IGA, financial institutions would have had to enter into individual agreements with the US to avoid FATCA-related withholding tax.

With the Model 1 IGA, financial institutions will transmit information pertaining to financial accounts held by US persons to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), which will in turn transmit the information to the US Internal Revenue Service. The FATCA reporting obligations of financial institutions would be deemed met once they have transmitted the information to IRAS.

In line with the global move towards AEOI, Singapore has also committed to the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes that it will implement AEOI according to the internationally-agreed standard by 2018. Over 90 other jurisdictions, including major financial centres such as Hong Kong, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai, have made similar commitments.