Tax Newsbites - Archive

A monthly publication which shares bite-sized information and updates from Singapore and around the region

Previous issues

15 April 2016 to 31 May 2016

Some of the updates in this issue include:

  • The Monetary Authority of Singapore announced concession on tax deduction of up to 200% for issuance costs attributable to retail bonds.
  • The Protocol to India's tax treaty with Mauritius has been signed, phasing out the exemption of Indian tax on gains on disposal of shares in Indian companies for Mauritius residents. As a result, a similar exemption in the Singapore-Indian Protocol will need to be renegotiated given this exemption is linked to the availability of exemption for Mauritius residents.
  • India: The Central Board of Direct Taxes issued an instruction providing that income from transfer of unlisted shares would be treated as ‘capital gains’ irrespective of period of holding.
  • India: The Pune bench of the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal held on facts that treaty benefits could not be denied to a Singapore tax resident company in respect of royalty and interest income if it was the beneficial owner, and the income had been remitted to Singapore.
  • Malaysia: The Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia released a public ruling explaining the rules for tax incentives for the venture capital industry.
  • UK: The UK Supreme Court ruled in favour of the HMRC in a tax avoidance case.

16 February 2016 to 15 April 2016

Some of the updates in this issue include:

  • The 2016 Budget Statement was delivered on 24 March 2016.
  • The Income Tax (Amendment) Act 2016 was published on 11 April 2016.
  • The Income Tax (Amendment No. 2) Bill 2016 was published on 14 April 2016.
  • Australia: Australia has introduced a new 10% final withholding tax on the disposal of certain taxable Australian property by foreign residents.
  • China: The final stage of the B2V Reform will be rolled out from 1 May 2016.
  • India and UK: Country-by-country reporting regulations were introduced in the UK Budget 2016 and the India Union Budget 2016.
  • US: The Internal Revenue Service and US Treasury proposed regulations that would treat debt instruments issued to related persons as equity in certain circumstances.

1 December 2015 to 15 February 2016

Some of the updates in this issue include:

  • The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2016, Income Tax (Exchange of Information Arrangement) Order 2016 and the Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill 2016 were published in the Government Gazette website on 25 January 2016.
  • The Income Tax (Exchange of Information Arrangement) Order 2016 was issued on 21 January 2016 and comes into operation on 1 May 2016, giving effect to the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters by declaring it to be an exchange of information arrangement under the Income Tax Act (along with reservations made by Singapore).
  • The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) added a new FAQ to clarify that India's dividend distribution tax does not qualify for foreign tax credit.
  • Singapore's respective tax treaties with Luxembourg, Ecuador, San Marino and Seychelles were ratified and entered into force.
  • Australia: The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) issued guidelines that implement OECD standards for transfer pricing documentation and country-by-country reporting.
  • India: The Indian Authority for Advance Rulings (IAAR) in a ruling dated 11 January 2016, upheld application of the capital gains exemption under the India-Mauritius tax treaty to a transfer of shares of an Indian company from Mauritius to Singapore.
  • Malaysia: The Malaysian Inland Revenue Board (IRB) released two Public Rulings to clarify the tax rules for loan transactions between related persons, and to explain the tax treatment of a Malaysian-resident investment (real estate) holding company respectively.

November/December 2015

Some of the updates in this issue include:

  • PwC Singapore launched a paper that makes recommendations to reform Singapore's tax system.
  • The Ministry of Finance has accepted 31 of 70 consultation suggestions on the draft Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2016.
  • The IRAS updated its website content to clarify that the Temporary Employment Credit is taxable.
  • Singapore-Russia DTA: Singapore and Russia signed a Protocol to amend the existing tax treaty.
  • Australia: The Australian Parliament approved the multinational tax anti-avoidance bill on 3 December 2015.
  • Taiwan: The legislature repealed a controversial capital gains tax on share trades by active investors before the tax ever entered into force.

September/October 2015

Some of the updates in this issue include:

  • IRAS issued a consultation paper on the income tax implications arising from the adoption of FRS 115. IRAS updated several webpages on Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC).
  • IE Singapore has released circulars on its website on the International Growth Scheme (IGS) and Double Tax Deduction for Internationalisation (DTDi).
  • Australia: Multinational anti-avoidance legislation was introduced and would be effective on 1 January 2016 to tax certain non-residents as if they have a permanent establishment in Australia where certain conditions are satisfied.
  • China: The State Administration of Taxation (SAT) released a draft circular that covers transfer pricing and anti-avoidance measures as well as country-by-country reporting (CbCR) requirements.
  • Indonesia: The Minister of Finance introduced Debt to Equity Ratio for tax calculations purposes, applicable from fiscal year 2016.
  • Malaysia: Budget 2016 was announced on 23 October 2015.
  • International: The OECD released its final recommendations on the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan.

 


August 2015

Some of the updates in this issue include:

  • The IRAS revised its website content to provide areas of focus for compliance and examples of specific compliance related mistakes and issues identified in its Compliance Focus Programmes.
  • The Australian Treasury released exposure draft legislation to implement new OECD standards on transfer pricing documentation.
  • China's State Administration of Taxation announced new tax measures to support the One Belt, One Road initiative.
  • The Indian government has enacted rules for FATCA reporting and notified that the due date for 2014 reporting is 31 August 2015.

 

 


July 2015

Some of the updates in this issue include:

  • The IRAS revised its circulars on "Income Tax & Stamp Duty: Mergers and Acquisitions Scheme".
  • The Hong Kong government extended profits tax exemption for offshore funds to private equity funds, with retrospective effect.
  • China's State Administration of Taxation issued a public notice (SAT Gong Gao [2015] No. 47) clarifying that with effect from 19 July 2015, the interest derived by an overseas branch of a Chinese bank from Chinese entities is not subject to withholding tax.
  • The New Zealand government released an issues paper seeking feedback on the new bright-line test on the sale of residential property.
  • The UK Budget, released on 8 July 2015, announced a tax rate cut and focused on tackling tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning.

May/June 2015

Some of the updates in this issue include:

  • Draft Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2015 issued for public consultation.
  • IRAS updates on the deductibility of reinstatement costs, tax concessions for listed real estate investment trusts, simplification of deduction claims for rental expenses for individuals and tax rates for payments to non-resident individuals (including non-resident professionals).
  • GST Board of Review case of GAQ v Comptroller of Goods and Services Tax
  • Singapore and Thailand signed a new tax treaty (to be ratified).
  • Australia: The Australian Federal Budget for 2015/2016 was announced on 12 May 2015.
  • China: The State Administration of Taxation announced administrative rules on cost sharing agreements, and on capital gains tax deferral and special tax treatment on certain transfers of shares or other assets.
  • India: The Indian Central Board of Direct Taxes announced that it would stop issuing new minimum alternative tax (MAT) demands to foreign institutional investors.
  • Malaysia: The Malaysia tax authorities announced a tax amnesty programme.
  • Thailand: The Thai Cabinet approved the draft Transfer Pricing Act.
  • Switzerland: Swiss Supreme Court case concerning the application of the tax treaty concept of beneficial ownership to total return swaps.
  • US: US Treasury releases proposed revision to the US model income tax convention.
  • WTO: The World Customs Organisation issued a guide on the interaction between customs valuation and transfer pricing..

April/May 2015

Some of the updates in this issue include:

  • YA 2015 corporate tax filing forms are now available from the IRAS website.
  • The IRAS has extended the FATCA reporting data to 31 July 2015 for Reporting Year 2014 only.
  • China and Indonesia signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the interpretation of the interest article in the China-Indonesia tax treaty.
  • The Indian government sent tax notices to foreign institutional investors demanding Minimum Alternative Tax of 18.5% of book profits until financial year 2014/2015.
  • Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry issued principal hub guidelines.

 

 


February/March 2015

Some of the updates in this issue include:

  • Singapore's Budget 2015 was announced on 23 February 2015.
  • The IRAS has updated its website to include new content on examples of abusive PIC schemes, as well as PIC claims for automation equipment.
  • China issued two public notices on overseas indirect equity transfers, and transfer pricing rules on services and royalty payments to overseas related parties.
  • Hong Kong's Budget 2015/2016 was announced on 25 February 2015.
  • India's Budget 2015 was announced on 28 February 2015.
  • The United Kingdom announced its 2015 Budget on 17 March 2015.

 

 


January 2015

Some updates in this issue include:

  • IRAS released the second edition of its transfer pricing guidelines, spelling out, among others, the need for preparation of contemporaneous documentation (and when exceptions may apply).
  • IRAS released the fourth edition of its circular on research and development tax measures, incorporating a new annex for the food and beverage industry.
  • Overseas tax updates and news 

 

 

 

 


December 2014

The updates in this issue include:

  • Administration of Exchange of Information for Tax purposes
  • Signing of Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA)
  • Discussion drafts issued on Action Plans on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting
  • Overseas Tax updates

 

 

 

 

 

 


November 2014

The updates in this issue include:

  • Income Tax (Amendment) Act 2014 and Stamp Duties (Amendment) Act 2014 published
  • Withholding tax on construction contracts
  • Business expenses and Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) Scheme
  • Unacceptable PIC arrangements
  • Group relief
  • Tax updates from Australia, China, Hong Kong and Malaysia

 

 

 

 


October 2014

The updates in this issue include:

  • Ministry of Finance's response to public feedback on draft Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2014
  • Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore prepares for bunkering of the future
  • "Annex G - Application software R&D projects" included in the third edition of the IRAS circular on "Research and Development Tax Measures"
  • Unacceptable PIC arrangements
  • Budget proposals in Ireland and Malaysia

 

 

 

 


September 2014

Some of the updates included in this issue are:

  • Updates to the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) Circular
  • Public consultation on proposed regulations to help financial institutions comply with US FATCA
  • Updates on tax treatment of Directors' fees and bonuses from employment
  • International agreements
  • Overseas updates

 

 

 

 

 


August 2014

Some of the updates included in this issue are:

  • Updates to the list of deductible borrowing costs other than interest expenses
  • Updates to the IRAS circular on "Research and Development Tax Measures"
  • How to prepare your GST return correctly
  • Overseas updates

 

 

 

 

 


July 2014

Some of the updates included in this issue for the period 15 July 2014 to 31 July 2014 are:

  • Singapore tax case of BFC v Comptroller of Income Tax [2014] SGCA 39
  • Updates on the IRAS website and the determination of business commencement date tax circular
  • Double tax agreements
  • Overseas updates

 

 

 

 

 


July 2014

Some of the updates included in this issue are:

  • Singapore tax case of BLP v Comptroller of Income Tax [2014] SGHC 127
  • Public consultation on draft Amendment Bills 2014, including non-Budget related changes
  • Updates on the IRAS website and the foreign-sourced income exemption tax circular
  • Double tax agreements
  • Overseas updates

 

 

 

 


June 2014

Some of the updates included in this issue are:

  • Guidance on the tax treatment of hybrid instruments
  • Updates to the PIC IT and automation equipment list
  • Updates to withholding tax treatment of services and interest
  • Guidance on the attribution of input tax and updates on the GST rules for the fund management industry
  • Legislation and overseas updates

 

 

 

 

 


May 2014

Some of the updates included in this issue include:

  • Updates on Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme, withholding tax exemption and IRAS Compliance Review
  • Updates on double taxation agreements and other international agreements
  • Other overseas updates

  

 

 

 

 

 


April 2014

Some of the updates included in this issue include:

  • Updates on Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme covering the new PIC+ scheme
  • Updates on the fund management industry
  • Legislation updates
  • Highlights of Singapore tax cases
  • Updates on double taxation agreements
  • Other overseas updates

 

 

 

 

 


March 2014

Some of the updates included in this issue include:

  • PwC 2014 Budget Commentary
  • New objection and appeal procedures
  • Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme
  • Research and development
  • Withholding tax on management fees
  • Tax treatment of virtual currencies
  • Legislation updates
  • Singapore tax cases
  • Double Taxation Agreement, Free Trade Agreements and Partnership and Cooperation Agreement
  • Overseas updates

 

 


November 2013

Some of the updates included in this issue include:

  • Tax updates on research and development tax measures
  • Updates on the taxation of employer-provided accommodation
  • Legislation updates
  • Highlights of Singapore tax cases
  • Updates on free trade agreements
  • Other overseas updates.

 

 

 

 

 


October 2013

Some of the updates included in this issue include:

  • Compliance focus by IRAS
  • Legislation updates
  • Highlights from Singapore tax cases
  • Updates/ revisions to Double Taxation Agreement and Free Trade Agreements
  • And other overseas updates.