6 September 2016 marked another milestone in the history of Singapore income tax regime. as the Singapore tax authorities have entered into a Competent Authority Agreement with the Australian tax authorities on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (“AEOI“) based on the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS“)
The CRS is an internationally agreed standard for AEOI, endorsed by OECD and Global Forum for Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (“GF”). More than 100 jurisdictions have endorsed the CRS and will commence AEOI in either 2017 or 2018.
Singapore and Australia will commence AEOI under the CRS by September 2018. Under this Agreement, the Singapore tax authorities will automatically exchange with the Australian tax authorities, financial account information of accounts in Singapore held by Australian tax residents while the Australian tax authorities will automatically exchange with the Singapore tax authorities, financial account information of accounts in Australia held by Singapore tax residents. Both jurisdictions are satisfied with the confidentiality rules and data safeguards that are in place in the other jurisdiction to ensure the confidentiality of information exchanged and prevent its unauthorised use.
With the conclusion of this Agreement, Singapore and Australia have taken another step in enhancing cooperation to support greater tax transparency and fight against tax evasion. Both jurisdictions seek to work toward implementing AEOI with other major financial centres to ensure a level playing field.
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