OECD Information Exchange Agreement – Australia & Singapore
In line with the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard (CRS) approved on 15 July 2014, Australia has signed its first Competent Authority Agreement with Singapore on 6 September 2016 in order to enact the OECD automatic exchange of information to respective tax authorities.
Endorsed by more than 100 jurisdictions, the CRS requires reporting financial institutions (as defined) in each country to automatically exchange specific information about account holders on an annual basis to their respective Tax Authorities. This then enables the Tax Authorities to detect and deter tax evasion by taxpayers through the use of offshore bank accounts.
Prior to implementing the CRS, the Australian Taxation Office had the ability to request certain information about Australian residents with bank accounts in Singapore from Singapore financial institutions on an as-need basis.
Under this Agreement, Australian reporting financial institutions will be required to disclose certain details about Singapore resident account holders and Singapore reporting financial institutions will be required to disclose the same details for Australian resident account holders on an annual basis. From September 2018, the Australian Taxation Office and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore will then exchange this information collected from the financial institutions.
If you believe that this agreement may affect you or your circumstances, please contact your tax professional.