Australia has taken a positive step towards greater transparency with one of the global financial hubs, Singapore.
In an effort to combat tax evasion, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) and the Australian Tax Office (ATO) have entered into a Competent Authority Agreement, which will automatically share financial account information of residents of each country. This will include the information of accounts held in Singapore by Australian tax residents, as well as accounts held in Australia by Singapore tax residents.
This agreement will come into effect in September, 2018, along with 101 other jurisdictions (so far) who are already committed to automatically share financial information from 2018. This positive step has been brought on by the Australian Government and other economies across the globe looking to increase transparency and combat tax evasion.
This is a positive step for both countries as Australia strengthens its ties with Asia, in particular the financial and trading hub of Singapore. With approximately 25,000 to 30,000 Australians living in Singapore, and over 50,000 Singaporeans living in Australia, this agreement will have a significant impact in strengthening the relationship of the two nations.
A particularly important step for Australia as the country’s service sector continues to account for a significant portion of national GDP. This includes professional, healthcare, education, and other key services, many of which are exported to the South-East Asian region.
For Australian expats looking to move back to Australia, or other nationalities looking to shift to the 'land down under', it is now more important than ever that you carefully plan for your repatriation strategy. Ensure that you seek professional advice from those who can guide you in each jurisdiction and ensure that your plans aren't setting you up for future financial pitfalls.
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Singapore Business Review. The author was not remunerated for this article.
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Jarrad Brown is an Australian-trained and qualified Independent Fee-Based Financial Adviser with Australian Expatriate Group of Global Financial Consultants Pte Ltd providing specialist financial advice and portfolio management services to international and local professionals in Singapore.