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Global Forum Gives Singapore A Pass Mark

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Ministry of Finance has disclosed that the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (Global Forum) has affirmed that Singapore's exchange of information (EOI) regime is in line with the internationally-agreed standard.

It was noted that the Phase 1 and Phase 2 peer review reports of Singapore, which comprehensively examined Singapore's legal and regulatory framework for transparency and exchange of information, as well as the practical implementation of that framework, were adopted by the Global Forum on June 1, 2011 and April 2, 2013 respectively.

The Phase 2 peer review report noted that Singapore has extensive laws for registration and licensing requirements which, coupled with broad tax filing and reporting obligations, should guarantee that ownership and identity information is available for all types of companies, partnerships and trusts.

Furthermore, in practice, compliance with those filing and reporting obligations is ensured by supervisory and enforcement measures by the Singaporean authorities. It was said that overall compliance with the obligations is very high in practice.

In addition, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), Singapore's competent authority, was found to have broad powers to access and obtain information from any person who holds it, including the powers to search premises and seize information and to obtain written statements from relevant persons.

Singapore was also seen to exchange information with its EOI partners in an effective and timely manner. It was considered to have in place appropriate organizational processes and resources, and IRAS is sufficiently resourced and staffed to ensure that information is exchanged in a timely manner. It was confirmed that Singapore has provided the requested information in more than 300 requests over the last three years.

Singapore is considered by its peers as an important and reliable EOI partner. Since its endorsement of the internationally-agreed EOI Standard in March 2009, Singapore has actively sought to incorporate the Standard into its double taxation agreements (DTAs). It has signed 41 DTAs which incorporate the Standard, and stands ready to update the 34 remaining agreements with the Standard, as and when its partners are ready.

This was confirmed to be in line with the Global Forum's previous suggestion for Singapore to continue to update and expand its network of EOI partners.

Singapore's representative to the Global Forum, Chia-Tern Huey Min, said: "The peer review assessment by the Global Forum has affirmed that Singapore’s EOI regime is in line with the international standard for transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. This signifies the international community's recognition of Singapore's role as a responsible financial center and its commitment to combat cross-border tax evasion through effective exchange of information."

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The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

The History of Offshore Trusts
Development of Professional Competence in the Jurisdictions
What Future for the Trust?
The New Age of Transparency
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas

Bahamas: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bahamas: 2006 Private Trust Companies Legislation

Barbados

Barbados: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Barbados: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Bermuda

Bermuda: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bermuda: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
British Virgin Islands: Special Trusts Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: The Trustee Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: :Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees
British Virgin Islands: New Laws on Private Trust Companies
British Virgin Islands: New Private Trust Company Regulations

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cayman Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cook Islands

Cook Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cook Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cyprus

Cyprus: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cyprus: Supervision, Licensing and Tax

Gibraltar

Gibraltar: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Gibraltar: Legislation, Regulation and Supervision

Guernsey

Guernsey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Guernsey: Trusts Law 2007

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Isle of Man: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Isle of Man: Uses Clients and Tax Treatment

Jersey

Jersey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Jersey: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Jersey: Trusts Amendment Act 2006
Jersey: Foundations

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Liechtenstein: Regulation Supervision and Transparency
Liechtenstein: Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts
Liechtenstein: Foundations

Madeira

Madeira: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Malta

Malta: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Malta: The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

Mauritius

Mauritius: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius: Characteristics of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Additional Provisions of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Tax Treatment

Monaco

Monaco: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Nevis

Nevis: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Panama

Panama: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Panama: Requirements for Acting as Trust Company in Panama

Seychelles

Seychelles: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Turks & Caicos: The Voidable Dispositions Ordinance

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees




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