Tue, Apr 07, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Singapore vows to change tax laws to remove havens

AFP , SINGAPORE

Singapore has vowed to amend its tax laws within the year after being named in a list of countries that have not fully implemented global standards aimed at eliminating tax havens.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) last week said Singapore was one of the countries that had yet to carry out commitments to global standards on exchanging tax information.

Singapore “intends to implement the standard by effecting legislative amendments later this year,” a finance ministry spokesperson said in reply to a query during the weekend.

The OECD, which groups the world’s leading developed countries, listed 38 countries and territories that “have committed to the internationally agreed tax standard, but have not yet substantially implemented” the measures.

The list also includes Belgium, Brunei, Chile, the Dutch Antilles, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Switzerland and Caribbean island nations including the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

The OECD released the list after the G20 summit in London agreed to crack down on tax havens.

“Singapore has not been classified by the OECD as a tax haven but as a financial center that has committed to the internationally recognized tax standard,” the finance ministry said.

“This recognizes that Singapore has endorsed the OECD standard for the exchange of information through Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements [DTAs] and intends to implement the standard by effecting legislative amendments later this year and negotiating and concluding relevant DTAs,” it said.

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