1. On 21 June 2017, Singapore will sign the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreements (“MCAAs”) on:
- the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information under the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”); and
- the Exchange of Country-by-Country (“CbC”) Reports.
Both agreements will be signed in the Netherlands by Mrs Chia-Tern Huey Min, Singapore’s Deputy Commissioner for International, Investigation and Indirect Taxes Group of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.
2. The signing of both MCAAs reaffirms Singapore’s commitment to the international standards on tax cooperation. The MCAAs have gained recognition as multilateral framework agreements for bilateral cooperation on Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”). Under the MCAAs, AEOI relationships remain bilateral – signatories to the MCAA enter into AEOI on a bilateral basis with another signatory on a mutual consent basis.
3. With the signing of the MCAAs, Singapore will continue to abide by the principles for establishing bilateral AEOI relationships for both CRS and CbCR. For both MCAAs, the principles are as follows:
a) The AEOI partner has the safeguards needed to ensure the confidentiality of information exchanged and prevent its unauthorised use; and
b) There is full reciprocity with the AEOI partner in terms of information exchanged.
4. In the case of CRS, Singapore will also want to ensure that there is a level playing field among all major financial centres. Singapore will consider engaging in automatic exchange of financial account information with regional jurisdictions which have the safeguards to ensure the confidentiality of information exchanged, and have similar agreements in place with relevant financial centres, including Hong Kong and Switzerland.
5. In the case of CbCR, signing the MCAA will enable Singapore to efficiently establish a wide network of exchange relationships for the automatic exchange of CbC Reports.
6. Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat, said: “As a business and financial hub, Singapore has earned a high level of trust and confidence. We take our commitment to international standards on tax cooperation seriously. Signing both MCAAs will allow Singapore to implement the international standards with our bilateral AEOI partners in an effective and efficient way.”
> Explanatory Notes
Issued by Ministry of Finance
21 June 2017