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20 October 2009

Singapore: Tax changes to get city-state out of the ‘grey’ list

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Singapore is edging closer towards getting on a list of the world's leading tax jurisdictions as the city-state makes changes to the local tax regime, reported the Straits Times.

The Income Tax (Amendment) (Exchange of Information) Bill, passed by Parliament yesterday, will allow Singapore to implement an internationally agreed standard for the exchange of information on tax matters.

That is a key to getting out of a 'grey' list of nations committed to the standard but have yet to fully implement it, the paper said.

“This enhanced scope of cooperation will not only allow Singapore to provide greater assistance to its prescribed treaty partners, but also help Singapore obtain information for the enforcement of our domestic tax laws,” Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam was quoted as telling Parliament.

Singapore was in the spotlight earlier this year when the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) put it on a grey list of countries that the organisation considers lax when sharing tax information with foreign tax jurisdictions.

The OECD has three lists: black, grey and white, with countries ranked according to their willingness to stick to its standards.


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