S'pore signs two agreements to share tax info

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Singapore has signed two international agreements that will make it easier for the Republic to exchange tax information with other jurisdictions. The agreements are part of ongoing global efforts to combat tax evasion and money laundering.

Called multilateral competent authority agreements, they lay out an international framework to facilitate the automatic exchange of tax information hence avoiding the need for countries to conclude multiple bilateral agreements.

The first agreement covers the automatic exchange of financial account information under the Common Reporting Standard. This is an international standard endorsed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which sets out the financial information to be exchanged between jurisdictions, the types of accounts and taxpayers covered, and due diligence procedures that financial institutions need to follow.

The second agreement covers the exchange of country-by-country reports, a form of tax reporting that requires big multinationals to set out in a report key data, such as revenue and taxes paid, for all the countries in which they operate.

The move is an effort to end "base erosion and profit shifting", whereby companies avoid taxes by engineering lower profits in countries where taxes are high and report higher profits in low-tax jurisdictions.

Both agreements were signed yesterday in Holland by Mrs Chia-Tern Huey Min, the deputy commissioner for international, investigation and indirect taxes at the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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