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MOF Accepts 72% Of Suggestions To Amend Draft Income Tax Bill

08 Oct 2007

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has accepted most of the suggestions on the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2007 that were received during the public consultation exercise held from 15 June to 14 July 2007. The 29 suggestions received were constructive and were each considered carefully by MOF. 21 suggestions were accepted and have been incorporated into the final draft Bill.

2. This is the fifth time that draft income tax legislation has been published for consultation. The draft Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2007 put out for public consultation contained proposed legislation to effect changes announced in Budget 2007 and other changes to be introduced arising from ongoing reviews of the income tax system. The consultation exercise for the draft Bill sought feedback on how the draft legislation could be improved in terms of clarity or aiding compliance by taxpayers. For non-Budget 2007 tax changes, MOF also sought comments on the policy aspects of the proposed legislative amendments, besides the drafting aspects.

3. Most of the comments received related to:

(a) Tax deduction of borrowing costs;
(b) Tax treatment of qualifying debt securities (QDS);
(c) Tax treatment of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS).

4. The 8 comments which have not been accepted by MOF include suggestions that were inconsistent with convention in drafting legislation or were beyond the scope of the underlying objectives of the tax policy in question.

5. The Ministry of Finance thanks all respondents who participated in this consultation exercise. The Ministry of Finance's responses to the key comments received are also summarised on the MOF website.