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September 7, 2016

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Sharing data to prevent tax evasion

SINGAPORE and Australia have agreed to automatically exchange financial data of tax residents of the two countries by September 2018 in an effort to prevent tax evasion.

Offshore wealth centers Singapore, Switzerland and Hong Kong are among 101 jurisdictions committed to start exchanging information to combat tax evasion by 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,” Australian Taxation Office and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore said in a joint statement.

Last year Singapore, a trading hub of the world’s largest commodity firms, came under scrutiny from governments of some resource-producing countries such as Australia who said they suspect the firms are using units in the Southeast Asian financial hub to avoid tax.

The companies deny any improper transfer pricing and say they are in Singapore to be closer to Asian clients, to local expertise and trade routes.


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