Singapore and Australia to share financial account information to fight tax evasion

IRAS at Revenue House, 55 Newton Road. The tax authorities of Singapore and Australia have agreed to share financial account information to fight tax evasion.
IRAS at Revenue House, 55 Newton Road. The tax authorities of Singapore and Australia have agreed to share financial account information to fight tax evasion. PHOTO: INLAND REVENUE AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - The tax authorities of Singapore and Australia have agreed to share financial account information to fight tax evasion.

In a joint statement on Tuesday (Sept 6), the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) announced that they have entered into a Competent Authority Agreement on the automatic exchange of financial account information (AEOI) based on the Common Reporting Standard (CRS).

Under the agreement, Iras will automatically exchange with ts Aussie counterpart, financial account information of accounts in Singapore held by Australian tax residents while the ATO will automatically exchange with Iras, the same of accounts in Australia held by Singapore tax residents.

Singapore and Australia's information sharing under the CRS will start by September 2018.

The CRS is an internationally agreed standard endorsed by the OECD and the Global Forum for Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. More than 100 jurisdictions have endorsed the CRS and will commence AEOI in either 2017 or 2018.

"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," Iras and ATO said.

With the agreement, Singapore and Australia have taken another step in enhancing cooperation to support greater tax transparency and fight against tax evasion, they said.

Both jurisdictions will work toward implementing AEOI with other major financial centres to ensure a level playing field, they added.