SINGAPORE: Singapore has announced that it has activated automatic exchange of information relationships with a total of 61 territories, as part of global efforts to tackle tax evasion and fiscal crime. The exchanges will take place under the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard (CRS), the new international standard. It provides for the automatic exchange of information between those territories that have agreed to exchange information automatically. Singapore’s CRS Regulations, which came into force at the beginning of the year, require and empower all financial institutions to put in place necessary processes and systems to collect financial account information, generally from January 1, 2017.
Singapore has adopted the “wider approach” under the CRS, which means that financial institutions will need to collect and retain the CRS information for all account holders, instead of only for account holders and controlling persons who are tax residents of the territories with which Singapore has currently committed to exchange such information. For CRS reporting purposes, covered financial institutions will need to transmit to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore the financial account information relating to tax residents of Singapore’s competent authority agreement partners from 2018. IRAS will subsequently exchange the reported information with Singapore’s automatic information exchange partners. The development means Singapore will share financial account data generally dating back as far as January 1, 2017, with these countries on an annual basis, with covered financial institutions required to provide on CRS information for these jurisdictions by May 31, 2018. Under the CRS, the financial information to be reported with respect to reportable accounts includes interest, dividends, account balance, income from certain insurance products, sales proceeds from financial assets, and other income generated with respect to assets held in the account or payments made with respect to the account.