On 4 Feb 2014, IRAS indicated on its website that it is currently conducting a public survey to gather the public view on the usefulness of publishing advanced rulings.
Currently, under the provisions of Income Tax Act and Goods & Services Tax Act, IRAS provides legally binding advanced rulings to taxpayers upon the latter’s application and IRAS’ agreement to provide such rulings. However, these rulings are not published. Instead, IRAS’ current practice is to publish e-tax guides to set out its interpretation of the proper tax treatment on certain items. Yet, it should be noted that e-tax guides published by IRAS do not represent the current statement of tax law.
It is our view that rulings should be published to the extent of providing brief facts of the case, issues to be resolved, and IRAS’ interpretation on an anonymous basis. We propose that IRAS consider modelling the current practice of the Inland Revenue Department of Hong Kong in this regard. This should in our view provide clarity on certain tax issues and at the same time protect taxpayer’s confidentiality.
The survey is to be conducted between 4 Feb and 31 March 2014. You are encouraged to express your views on the above by clicking this link and downloading the survey form. It will take only a couple of minutes to complete.
If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
for WHM Consulting Pte Ltd