Category: Singapore

HONG KONG, SINGAPORE AND CHINA GET TOUGH ON TAX HAVENS

In an effort to create a ‘level playing field’, Asian economies are committing to new standards of transparency At the risk of losing some foreign investors, Asian jurisdictions are stepping up efforts to combat corporate tax avoidance to meet new global transparency standards. More than a dozen Asia-Pacific jurisdictions have...

Ireland, UK and others are offshore ‘conduits’

Computer scientists have worked to uncover the way the Netherlands, the UK, Ireland, Singapore and Switzerland, in particular, are used by multinationals to channel investments onto well-known offshore centres (OFCs). According to the research which was first reported by online journal Quartz, the five countries are used by multinationals to...

Singapore signs two international agreements to facilitate sharing tax info across borders

SINGAPORE – Singapore has signed two international agreements which will make it easier for the country to automatically exchange tax information with other jurisdictions. The agreements are part of ongoing global efforts to combat tax evasion and money laundering as well as improve tax transparency. Called multilateral competent authority agreements...

BHP Billiton defends its Singapore marketing hub, says tax dispute is not about ‘tax avoidance’

BHP has defended its Singapore marketing hub, where it is accused of routing profits, and says it is confident of its position in a $1 billion dispute with the Australian Taxation Office over the amount of taxes payable on the sale of Australian commodities to its Singapore marketing business. BHP’s...

FPI holdings from Singapore, Mauritius surge 25% before DTAA implementation

Grandfathering is term for alteration of rules that apply to a certain investment technique Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) based in Mauritius and Singapore had, it now appears, rushed to take advantage of the ‘grandfathering’ clause in the new Double Tax Avoidance Agreement signed between both the governments of the two...

Tax residency certificate is vital for claiming relief under DTAA

Tax residency certificate is required from the resident country tax authorities to claim applicable relief under the DTAA What is the purpose of a tax residency certificate? —Srivats Typically, source of income lies where the services are performed, or where the asset, from which the income arises, is located. Residential...

Offshore tax evasion: compliance and penalties – part 1

Sometimes it can be hard to keep up with the avalanche of government announcements on tax avoidance and evasion. In the first of a two part series, Jason Collins, a member of the CIOT’s management of taxes sub-committee and partner at Pinsent Mason, provides an overview of the rapidly changing...

HK’s proposed dedicated tax regime for offshore aircraft leasing

The Hong Kong Government has put forward a proposal to amend its tax laws to establish a dedicated tax regime for aircraft owners/lessors based in Hong Kong and leasing to offshore (including PRC) lessees/airlines (see Timeline / References below) (“Proposed Regime”). Assuming there are no surprises or drafting issues in...

Indonesia – Key Indonesian Law Considerations For International DCM Issues

Following Moody’s Investors Service affirmation of Indonesia’s sovereign credit rating at Baa3 with a stable outlook in January 2016, there has been renewed interest in the international bond market for Indonesian credits. This bulletin seeks to summarise the regulatory changes in Indonesia over the last 24 months as well as...

Multilateral Instrument: The new dilemma of foreign investors

MUMBAI: The Multilateral Instrument (MLI), a new global tax avoidance agreement, that is in the process of being signed by 100 countries, is now causing a lot of anxiety among foreign portfolio investors (FPIs). MLI is an agreement put out by OECD, the intergovernmental economic organisation, to stop Base Erosion...

International tax-avoidance rules may override GAAR, other tax treaties

There is a possibility that the General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR, on taxes) and the tax treaties signed by the government with those of Mauritius, Singapore and Cyprus, and even other nations such as Netherlands, could be overtaken by another event. These could, say experts, be partially or fully overridden by...

U.S. tax reform plan “not likely” to badly impact Canada: Expert

WASHINGTON — An American tax authority who helped champion a reform now being considered by the U.S. Congress says Canada would not be among the countries hardest hit by the introduction of so-called border adjustments. Alan Auerbach is among the leading proponents of the push to restructure corporate taxes so...

ATO warns energy giants over offshore profit hubs

The Australian Taxation Office has its sights on a $30 billion-a-year natural gas export bonanza expected over the next few years, warning oil and gas giants not to follow the lead of the big miners and “inappropriately shift profits” by selling through tax haven Singapore. At the same time, it...

Budget 2017: Tax Reform For Financial Services

Given the recent developments in the Indian economy, the upcoming Union Budget will certainly be critical and important in determining the future outlook of the economy. The financial services industry has been one of the key drivers of growth due to its strong cause and effect relationship with the economy....

India may leave tax treaty with Netherlands unchanged

India is unlikely to amend its tax treaty with the Netherlands as it did with Mauritius, Singapore and Cyprus and this could shape the investment strategy of foreign portfolio investors (FPI) and private equity (PE) funds investing in India, said three people in the know. “There were talks to amend...

Singapore-based FIs must establish tax residency status of account holders: IRAS

SINGAPORE: Under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) which has been in effect since Jan 1, Singapore-based Financial Institutions (FIs) are now required to establish the tax residency status of all their account holders, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) said on Friday (Jan 6). The CRS is an internationally...

Singapore Goes The Mauritius Route, Loses Right To Tax Equity Capital Gains Arising In India

Starting April 1, 2017, India will have the right to tax capital gains arising on Indian equity shares sold by a Singapore resident. The governments of India and Singapore have amended the double taxation avoidance treaty between the two countries, in line with the changes India recently made to a...

Corporate tax-dodging in Australia costs billions

Two reports on company taxation show that more than a third of the largest companies operating in Australia paid no tax in 2014–15 and that multinational tax evasion cost an estimated $4.8 billion that year. These reports show the fraud of the claims being made by the Australian government and...

MOF rejects claim of Singapore as tax haven

A recent report has revived claims Singapore is a tax haven but the Singapore Government and experts here reject the label emphatically. They say the report contains inaccurate assertions and fails to recognise recent steps here to crack down on tax evasion. The Republic ranked fifth on a list of...

Rate Competition Is New International Tax Planning Reality

Lower corporate tax rates around the world are expected to play an important part in multinational companies’ tax planning in 2017, with a rate as low as 15 percent on the table in the U.S. and countries such as the U.K. planning to maintain or lower their current rates. A...

Oxfam: Luxembourg, Ireland, Netherlands among worst tax havens

The NGO’s report exposes the worst offenders in the ‘race to the bottom on corporate tax.’ Luxembourg, Ireland, Cyprus, and the Netherlands are among the world’s 10 worst tax havens, despite an ongoing EU crackdown on tax avoidance and profit shifting across the bloc. The findings come in a report...

Showdown between ATO and big business looms as list of company tax paid is revealed

A showdown between the Australian Taxation Office and the nation’s largest companies including Chevron, Crown and BHP Billiton is looming as the tax man hits seven large companies with tax bills amounting to $2 billion. On Friday, the ATO released its corporate tax transparency report for 2014-15, which includes limited...

France’s honest tax system crusader convicted for hiding millions of euros

Jérôme Cahuzac, appointed by Hollande to lead clampdown on wealthy avoiders, hid cash in a secret Swiss account for 20 years Jérôme Cahuzac, the minister who led François Hollande’s drive for a more honest tax system, has been sentenced to three years in prison for tax fraud and secretly stashing...

Can current offshore wealth management centres survive?

After recent scandals, many financial and wealth management centres are losing their allure and ‘mid-shore’ options are taking their place, argues Philip Marcovici. Will all existing financial and wealth management centres survive? Are tax-free secrecy havens (the “offshore world”) a feature of the past? Is there room for entry of...

Common reporting standard: Implementation in Asia

Common reporting standard: Implementation in Asia The Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) is an internationally agreed standard for automatic exchange of financial account information (“AEOI”) on financial account information, endorsed by the OECD and the Global Forum for Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. The CRS framework requires financial...

Australia’s Google Tax may be the second in the world but it’s too early to tell if it’s the ‘toughest’

When introducing the draft legislation for the Diverted Profits or so-called “Google Tax”, Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison claimed it would: …reinforce Australia’s position as having amongst the toughest laws in the world to combat corporate tax avoidance. Australia is the second country to introduce this type of tax, after the...

Microsoft agrees to more transparency on taxes in Australia

The Australian government is one of the most aggressive in highlighting the issue of multinational corporations avoiding taxes through extensive use of tax havens. Microsoft’s Australian subsidiary will start disclosing the amount of tax it pays in Australia, opting in to a government-transparency program aimed at shedding light on the...

Federal government moves to stop double taxation, evasion

The Federal Executive Council, FEC, on Wednesday approved a bilateral agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of physical evasion of taxes on income and capital benefits between Nigeria and Singapore. The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun disclosed to State House Correspondents, after the FEC meeting...

To Boost Trade, A Bilateral Tax Treaty Between India And The UK May Be In The Offing

Following British Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to India last week, Patricia Hewitt, chair of the UK-India Business Council, said that Britain is looking to re-balance its commercial links with countries like India post-Brexit. She suggested that the two governments should look at a bilateral tax treaty to boost trade....

Nearly 100 Countries Poised to Adopt Multilateral Treaty

Ninety-eight countries are poised to formally adopt the OECD’s innovative multilateral tax treaty, which will place recommendations from the BEPS project into more than 3,000 bilateral accords, when the ad-hoc group meets later this month. The “Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty-Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting”...

PH eyes tax treaties with Asean peers

The Philippines is eyeing to seal tax treaties with all nine other Asean member-states, according to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). The country already has effective double taxation agreements (DTAs) with Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, BIR Assistant Commissioner Marissa O. Cabreros noted in a presentation at last...

Official hails program to track secret Swiss bank funds

A Justice Department official on Friday hailed a U.S. government program that’s helping tax authorities finally track criminal activity around the world. At issue is the Swiss Bank program, which has helped authorities follow funds moved from Swiss accounts to around the world. “A lot of the U.S. account holders...

Cambodia on alert for US taxpayers

With the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the tax-collection arm of the United States government, stepping up its global sweep to catch American individuals and corporations hiding their overseas earnings, the American Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia yesterday held a presentation for investors and financial institutions to make sure they are...

With 42% increase in trade, India-NZ agree to amend Double Taxation Agreement

India and New Zealand also vowed to press for successful negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). India and New Zealand decided to amend the bilateral tax treaty and expressed commitment to work towards a comprehensive free trade agreement with a view to boost economic ties on Wednesday. The...

UN expert urges next UN chief to crack down on Malta and other ‘tax havens’

A United Nations human rights expert has urged the next UN secretary-general to make the elimination of tax havens a priority to ensure that corporations, billionaires and ‘kleptocrats’ pay their fair share of taxes. Speaking on Friday, American law professor Alfred de Zayas also urged Antonio Guterres, who will succeed...