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Changes to the corporate income tax objection and appeal process


The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) will with effect from 1 January 2014, implement certain administrative changes made to the corporate income tax objection and appeal process, so as to, amongst other objectives, expedite the closure of tax issues and achieve tax certainty. Taxand Singapore discusses the latest updates. 

Currently Singapore may provide assistance to foreign jurisdictions under its Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) which incorporate the internationally agreed Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Standard for the effective Exchange of Information (EOI) through DTAs (EOI Standard).

To-date, Singapore has incorporated the EOI Standard in 40 of its DTAs and signed 1 Tax Information Exchange Agreement with Bermuda.

Since the adoption of the EOI Standard in March 2009, Singapore continues to take steps to enhance its EOI framework. Besides introducing measures to ensure that Singapore’s financial system is not used to harbour illegitimate funds or as a conduit for the flow of undeclared assets, Singapore will with effect from 1 July 2013, criminalise the laundering of proceeds from serious tax offences. 

4 key steps were announced in May 2013 to further strengthen its current EOI framework:

  • Extend EOI assistance to all of Singapore’s existing DTA partners
  • Sign the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters
  • Allow the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) to obtain bank and trust information from financial institutions without the need for a Court Order
  • Conclude a Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with the US 

Your Taxand contact for further queries is:
Kwong Wing Leon
T. +65 6238 3018

Also published in Thomson Reuters' Taxnet Pro, 31 October 2013

Taxand's Take

The changes have been made by the IRAS after consultation with various stakeholders, and are set out in its e-Tax guide published on 28 February 2013. Multinationals with operations in Singapore should investigate these updates further to keep abreast of any relevant developments. 

Taxand's Take Author