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Singapore becomes first ASEAN state to commit to FATCA intergovernmental agreement

May 21 2013 Patricia Lee, Compliance Complete

Singapore has indicated its intent to enter into an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the U.S., a move which will help financial institutions operating in the city-state comply with the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). While Singapore's move is laudable, it could present significant challenges if it is the only country in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region to ink such an agreement, given its close ties with ASEAN members, industry officials told Compliance Complete. Tan Lee Yee, associate director in the forensic practice at KPMG in Singapore, said the city-state's decision to sign IGA Model 1 is part of its wider efforts to strengthen its framework for international tax cooperation. "Singapore, by entering into Model 1, [has given] a strong sign of its willingness to help combat tax evasion. It also achieves another important goal, which is that it does help Singapore-based financial institutions to be able to comply with FATCA," she said.

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