Singapore signs agreements on Multilateral Competent Authority Agreements to exchange financial information

10 July 2017

On 21 June 2017, Singapore signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreements (MCAAs) on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and the Exchange of Country-by-Country (CbC) Reports, both of which form multilateral framework agreements for bilateral cooperation on Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI).

With the signing, Singapore reaffirms its commitment to abide by the principles for establishing bilateral AEOI relationships for both CRS and CbCR, which are to ensure that AEOI partner has the safeguards needed for the confidentiality of information exchanged and prevent its unauthorised usages as well as full reciprocity with the AEOI partner in terms of information exchanged.

In its press release, the Ministry of Finance also said that Singapore will want to ensure that there is a level playing field among all major financial centres and consider engaging in automatic exchange of financial account information with regional jurisdictions which have the safeguards to ensure the confidentiality of information exchanged, and have similar agreements in place with relevant financial centres.

Signing the MCAAs has also enabled Singapore to efficiently establish a wide network of exchange relationships for the automatic exchange of CbC Reports.

Source: Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), Ministry of Finance (MOF)

Singapore strengthens tax cooperation framework

20 May 2013

In a joint statement issued by Ministry of Finance, Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, Singapore will take four key steps to further strengthen its current Exchange of Information (EOI) framework:

  • Extend EOI assistance to all existing tax agreement partners, without having to update existing bilateral tax agreements as the extension of EOI assistance will be subject to reciprocity.
  • Sign the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, expanding Singapore’s network of EOI partners by 11 jurisdictions, including Brazil and the United States.
  • Allow IRAS to obtain bank and trust information from financial institutions without having to seek a Court Order.
  • Conclude with the United States an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) that will facilitate financial institutions in Singapore to comply with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). This will require all financial institutions outside of the US to pass information about financial accounts held by US persons to the US Inland Revenue Service (US IRS) on a regular basis.

Under the internationally agreed Standard for EOI for tax purposes, the number of jurisdictions that Singapore will be able to exchange information will expand from 41 to 83.

The legislative amendments to effect the above changes are expected to be made before the end of this year.

Source: Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)