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New Singapore/DE tax disclosure laws - beginning of the tax wedge.

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New Singapore/DE tax disclosure laws - beginning of the tax wedge.

Postby offshoreoildude » Thu, 25 Oct 2012 9:14 pm

http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2012/10/singapore

Quote:
[i]
Singapore’s lack of transparency in its banking system has been a sticking-point in negotiations of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union and Singapore. The new measures should allow the FTA to go through fairly smoothly.

Likewise, the new laws and regulations will go some way towards appeasing sentiment in America, where there is also concern about Singapore’s lax regulations. America does not even have a full double-taxation agreement with Singapore. The new measures are in line with the latest recommendations against tax evasion from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, a think-tank of mainly rich countries. This has not always been the case in the past.

The Singapore government realises that the “tax evasion issue has become politically sensitive”
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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 25 Oct 2012 9:36 pm

Singapore doesn't actually give a shit about Europeans or Americans... although we have been the beneficiaries of Singapore's somewhat occluded banking reporting system.

Singapore's banks are full of money from Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, Thailand... and more recently, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and China. No one asks where the money came from... and it has come from lots of questionable places.

And many believe that our "friend" who crashed his Ferrari, killing several people, wasn't actually an "investment banker" but rather a money launderer for shady interests in PRC.

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Postby offshoreoildude » Fri, 26 Oct 2012 8:10 am

Strong Eagle wrote:Singapore doesn't actually give a shit about Europeans or Americans... although we have been the beneficiaries of Singapore's somewhat occluded banking reporting system.

Singapore's banks are full of money from Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, Thailand... and more recently, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and China. No one asks where the money came from... and it has come from lots of questionable places.

And many believe that our "friend" who crashed his Ferrari, killing several people, wasn't actually an "investment banker" but rather a money launderer for shady interests in PRC.


+1 - those were my thoughts to some extent as well. However as an Aussie I'm acutely aware that Singapore DOES share information with the ATO.
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Postby Brah » Fri, 26 Oct 2012 11:19 am

What about the change in reporting of all foreign holdings to IRS? Whereas before the IRS might not know of foreign bank holdings unless declared by the taxpayer.

Or is that what you mean tongue-in-cheek about 'beneficiaries" ?


Strong Eagle wrote:Singapore doesn't actually give a shit about Europeans or Americans... although we have been the beneficiaries of Singapore's somewhat occluded banking reporting system.

Singapore's banks are full of money from Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, Thailand... and more recently, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and China. No one asks where the money came from... and it has come from lots of questionable places.

And many believe that our "friend" who crashed his Ferrari, killing several people, wasn't actually an "investment banker" but rather a money launderer for shady interests in PRC.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 26 Oct 2012 12:25 pm

Brah wrote:What about the change in reporting of all foreign holdings to IRS? Whereas before the IRS might not know of foreign bank holdings unless declared by the taxpayer.

Or is that what you mean tongue-in-cheek about 'beneficiaries" ?


Strong Eagle wrote:Singapore doesn't actually give a shit about Europeans or Americans... although we have been the beneficiaries of Singapore's somewhat occluded banking reporting system.

Singapore's banks are full of money from Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, Thailand... and more recently, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and China. No one asks where the money came from... and it has come from lots of questionable places.

And many believe that our "friend" who crashed his Ferrari, killing several people, wasn't actually an "investment banker" but rather a money launderer for shady interests in PRC.


I'm not aware that all foreign holdings are reported. Do you have a citation? I thought only requests by the US government, which Singapore deemed worthy of response, would be reported.

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Postby Brah » Fri, 26 Oct 2012 12:46 pm

No citation, but I thought all banks were required to report to the US on overseas holdings of Americans.

In Japan I think only Citi did that, but here I thought all were being required to do it, something relatively recent.

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Postby zzm9980 » Fri, 26 Oct 2012 3:48 pm

Brah wrote:No citation, but I thought all banks were required to report to the US on overseas holdings of Americans.

In Japan I think only Citi did that, but here I thought all were being required to do it, something relatively recent.


I'm pretty sure you're supposed to report all of those holdings. I know when I opened a Citi account here, I filled out IRS forms for them to report for me. DBS and OCBC did not have me fill out those forms. Since they don't have my social security number and without those forms, I imagine they're not voluntarily sending anything to the US Gov.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 26 Oct 2012 10:57 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
Brah wrote:No citation, but I thought all banks were required to report to the US on overseas holdings of Americans.

In Japan I think only Citi did that, but here I thought all were being required to do it, something relatively recent.


I'm pretty sure you're supposed to report all of those holdings. I know when I opened a Citi account here, I filled out IRS forms for them to report for me. DBS and OCBC did not have me fill out those forms. Since they don't have my social security number and without those forms, I imagine they're not voluntarily sending anything to the US Gov.


I never filled out any reporting forms for any of my accounts. It is my understanding that the Singapore government will not entertain fishing expeditions. If the USA can show hard evidence, Singapore will cooperate... but if the USA just comes calling to see if I have an account in Singapore that I haven't reported, the response will be a one finger salute.

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Postby zzm9980 » Sat, 27 Oct 2012 9:50 am

Strong Eagle wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:
Brah wrote:No citation, but I thought all banks were required to report to the US on overseas holdings of Americans.

In Japan I think only Citi did that, but here I thought all were being required to do it, something relatively recent.


I'm pretty sure you're supposed to report all of those holdings. I know when I opened a Citi account here, I filled out IRS forms for them to report for me. DBS and OCBC did not have me fill out those forms. Since they don't have my social security number and without those forms, I imagine they're not voluntarily sending anything to the US Gov.


I never filled out any reporting forms for any of my accounts. It is my understanding that the Singapore government will not entertain fishing expeditions. If the USA can show hard evidence, Singapore will cooperate... but if the USA just comes calling to see if I have an account in Singapore that I haven't reported, the response will be a one finger salute.


I was referring to this one:
http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Bus ... unts-(FBAR)

My accountant had me file it at the same time as my taxes. TurboTax (didn't use them) prompted me to fill one out also.

Who Must File an FBAR
United States persons are required to file an FBAR if:
The United States person had a financial interest in or signature authority over at least one financial account located outside of the United States; and
The aggregate value of all foreign financial accounts exceeded $10,000 at any time during the calendar year to be reported.


I don't know how they know if you meet those requirements or not if you don't fill one out, but I imagined at the time they could look at your tax return and make an educated guess.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Sat, 27 Oct 2012 2:22 pm

zzm9980 wrote:I don't know how they know if you meet those requirements or not if you don't fill one out, but I imagined at the time they could look at your tax return and make an educated guess.


Well, they don't know, and the Singapore government won't help them fish. The IRS has to have hard evidence of laundering, tax avoidance, etc before Singapore gets involved. If the IRS comes over and says, "Hey, does Strong Eagle have lots of bank accounts with lots of money in them?", the answer will be, "Piss off".

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Postby zzm9980 » Sat, 27 Oct 2012 3:09 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:I don't know how they know if you meet those requirements or not if you don't fill one out, but I imagined at the time they could look at your tax return and make an educated guess.


Well, they don't know, and the Singapore government won't help them fish. The IRS has to have hard evidence of laundering, tax avoidance, etc before Singapore gets involved. If the IRS comes over and says, "Hey, does Strong Eagle have lots of bank accounts with lots of money in them?", the answer will be, "Piss off".


I go back and forth on this. While it offends the hell out of me that the US Gov demands this detail, I worry what will happen if I don't provide it. What if five years down the road I move back, or do *something* where I need to show proof of paying taxes and it comes back to haunt me? When my daughter was born, I needed to show five years of income tax returns to get her CRBA and passport.

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Postby offshoreoildude » Sat, 27 Oct 2012 9:26 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:I don't know how they know if you meet those requirements or not if you don't fill one out, but I imagined at the time they could look at your tax return and make an educated guess.


Well, they don't know, and the Singapore government won't help them fish. The IRS has to have hard evidence of laundering, tax avoidance, etc before Singapore gets involved. If the IRS comes over and says, "Hey, does Strong Eagle have lots of bank accounts with lots of money in them?", the answer will be, "Piss off".


I go back and forth on this. While it offends the hell out of me that the US Gov demands this detail, I worry what will happen if I don't provide it. What if five years down the road I move back, or do *something* where I need to show proof of paying taxes and it comes back to haunt me? When my daughter was born, I needed to show five years of income tax returns to get her CRBA and passport.


While not encouraging tax evasion (which is a crime - as opposed to every citizens legitimate right to minimize taxes) nor money laundering (which is a crime as opposed to being discreet about ones means) I'd suggest that we all need some form of legitimate income coupled with the logical and appropriate number of bank accounts, pension funds, taxes paid etc for each and every jurisdiction we might intend to live in.
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