The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (“Singapore Authority”) and the Australian Taxation Office have entered into a Competent Authority Agreement (“Agreement”) on the automatic exchange of financial account information based on the Common Reporting Standard.

The CRS is an internationally agreed standard for automatic exchange of information, endorsed by OECD and Global Forum for Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (“GF”). More than 100 jurisdictions have endorsed the Common Reporting Standard and will commence automatic exchange of information in either 2017 or 2018.

Singapore and Australia will commence automatic exchange of information under the Common Reporting Standard by September 2018. Under the Agreement, Singapore Authority will automatically exchange, with the ATO, financial account information of accounts in Singapore, held by Australian tax residents, while the ATO will automatically exchange with Singapore Authority, financial account information of accounts in Australia held by Singapore tax residents. 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.

Both jurisdictions will work toward implementing automatic exchange of information with other major financial centres to ensure a level playing field.

[ATO website – Singapore CRS] – [LTN 172, 6/9/16]