SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Finance is seeking public feedback on changes to be made to the Income Tax Act that will allow Singapore to cooperate more easily with other countries to catch tax cheats. The ministry unveiled the four proposed changes last month.
First, Singapore will sign up to the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. This is the OECD's multilateral treaty on sharing tax details.
Second, Singapore will extend help to existing partners under a global standard without having to renegotiate tax agreements.
The current approach of updating individual agreements is no longer necessary, the MOF said, as most countries have adopted the global standard and have similar requirements. These two changes bring the number of countries with which Singapore can exchange information from 41 to 83.
The third change proposed will allow the local tax authorities to forgo a court order when obtaining bank and trust information to help other countries.
Finally, the Government will sign a deal with the United States to make it simpler for financial institutions here to comply with a new US tax law - the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act - that comes into effect next year.
The MOF is asking the public to provide feedback on these proposals.
The public can access the consultation documents for the draft Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2013 on the Ministry of Finance's website, www.mof.gov.sg, and the Reach consultation portal, www.reach.gov.sg
The consultation period ends on July 31.
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