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Parliament clears the way for Singapore to join global effort to combat tax evasion

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PARLIAMENT has given the green light to make changes in the tax laws to pave the way for Singapore to join the international effort to fight tax evasion - changes that also empower financial institutions here to report on all foreign money parked in Singapore.

PARLIAMENT has given the green light to make changes in the tax laws to pave the way for Singapore to join the international effort to fight tax evasion - changes that also empower financial institutions here to report on all foreign money parked in Singapore.

In tabling the Income Tax (Amendment No 2) Bill that was subsequently passed on Monday, Senior Minister of State for Finance Indranee Rajah told Parliament that the amendments would allow Singapore to put in place the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), an internationally agreed standard for automatic exchange of financial account information.

The amendments will also allow financial institutions in Singapore to collect and retain the CRS information for all non-Singapore tax residents, instead of just tax residents of jurisdictions with which Singapore has an automatic exchange of information (AEOI) agreement.

The AEOI was endorsed under the CRS as a global standard in 2014 by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax, of which Singapore is a member, and the Group of Twenty major economies. The AEOI under the CRS is to kick off in 2018.