Singapore Poised to Join OECD White List

October 20, 2009 International Tax CooperationTaxation in Singapore  No comments

With an amendment to its taxation laws, the jurisdiction of Singapore is verged on the edge of becoming an OECD White listed country.

The 19th of October saw the Singaporean government pass a new bill with the aim of combating cross-border tax evasion and ensuring that the nation’s laws are in compliance with international taxation standards. Following guidelines mooted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the country’s Income Tax Act has been altered to allow other complying nations to request information from Singapore concerning possible cases of tax evasion.

Currently being placed on the OECD’s “Grey list” of nations, Singapore is deemed to be a country which has agreed to improve its taxation transparency but is yet to substantially apply appropriate actions, such as signing the necessary agreements with partner jurisdictions. The alteration to its current set of taxation laws will allow Singapore to appropriately implement the OECD ventured internationally-agreed standards of information exchange.

Upon request from partner nations, Singapore will now be able to provide a wider range of taxation relevant information, including data collected from a bank or a trust. The law amendments do state that any information provided must be done so by specific request only, with no leeway for what could be considered “fishing expeditions”.

To officially be accepted into the OECD’s “White list”, Singapore is required to sign one more information exchange treaty, bringing its total to twelve. The jurisdiction currently holds agreements with Qatar, Bahrain, Mexico, Austria, UK, China, Australia, Norway, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Belgium.

Tags:  ,

Leave a reply