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Singapore and the United Kingdom Sign Agreement to Enhance Cooperation in Exchange of Information for Tax Matters

24 Aug 2009

The Government of the Republic of Singapore and the Government of the United Kingdom ("UK") of Great Britain and Northern Ireland signed a protocol amending the Agreement for the avoidance of double taxation ("DTA") on 24 Aug 2009.

2 The protocol marks the third agreement Singapore has signed that incorporates the new internationally agreed Standard for the exchange of information upon request for tax purposes, as part of the comprehensive renegotiation of the Singapore-UK DTA.

3 The signing took place in Singapore between Minister for Finance, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and the UK's Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP.

4 Minister Tharman said that "Singapore has a long-standing and close relationship with the UK. We are pleased to further strengthen our relationship with the signing of this protocol to incorporate the new international Standard into our DTA with each other, and that the UK is amongst the first of several jurisdictions with which Singapore will be doing so."

5 Affirming the significance of this agreement, Financial Secretary Rt Hon. Stephen Timms MP said: "Britain is the largest foreign investor in Singapore and 80% of Singapore's investments in the European Union go into the UK. So I warmly welcome Singapore's decision to adopt the OECD Standard for the Exchange of Information for tax purposes. Singapore's firm commitment to transparency and exchange of information is very encouraging, and I call on others to follow their example."

6 In March 2009, Singapore endorsed the new internationally agreed Standard for the exchange of information for tax purposes. Since then, we have been renegotiating existing DTAs and negotiating new DTAs with numerous jurisdictions (including OECD countries) on the basis of ensuring a mutual balance of benefits. Several of these have progressed sufficiently with the agreements already initialled and expected to be formally signed within the next few months.

7 The full text of the protocol will be made available on the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore's (IRAS) website at The protocol will enter into force after Singapore's legislative amendments to give effect to the internationally agreed Standard have been approved by Parliament and gazetted into law, and the ratification procedures have been completed by both countries.