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    ASEAN Tax and Regulatory Update

    In this article we highlight some of the recent tax and regulatory actions taken in the ASEAN region. The importance of ASEAN continues to grow, with 2015 set to see the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). The AEC seeks to “transform ASEAN into a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, a region of equitable economic development, and a region fully integrated into the global economy.” Collectively, ASEAN represents a market of some 600 million people, with a combined GDP of about US$2.5 trillion and upwards of US$1.5 trillion in trade flowing throughout the region.

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    Singapore Releases New e-Tax Guide for Business Trusts

    The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has released a new e-tax guide which provides details on the income tax treatment of trusts registered under the Business Trusts Act, applicable to both trustee-managers and unit-holders.

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    Malaysia to Implement Lowest ASEAN Goods and Services Tax (GST)

    Beginning in April 2015, Malaysia will introduce a goods and services tax (GST) of six percent – the lowest rate in the ASEAN region. The new GST will replace the country’s current sales and services taxes. 2015 will also see the release of Malaysia’s new budget.
    The new tax regime is intended to increase the competitiveness of Malaysia’s exports, which will be zero rated. Additionally, a number of special schemes will be implemented in order to support the cash flow of exporters – such as, allowing companies to defer accounting for GST on temporarily imported goods for re-export.

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    Singapore to Streamline Regulatory Fees for Businesses

    In a recent announcement, Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) stated that it intends to change its regulatory structure in order to streamline the process for businesses. Under the new system, fees from most ad hoc transactions will be removed.

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    Understanding How The Philippines Taxes Online Sellers

    The Philippines’ Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has issued a memorandum stating that it will now begin collecting taxes from individuals and businesses that are engaged in selling products online.

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    Philippines Signs onto Multilateral Tax Assistance Convention

    In a move aimed at streamlining its tax processes, the Philippines has become the 68th nation to sign on to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. Kim Jacinto Henares, the Commissioner of the country’s Bureau of Internal Revenue, signed the agreement in Paris on September 26th.

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    Thailand’s Government Announces that it Will Keep Income Tax Cuts in Place

    Foreign investors in Thailand can breathe a little easier; the country’s new government has announced that it will extend the lowered rates of corporate income tax (CIT) and personal income tax (PIT) through the 2015 tax year. Thailand’s Finance Ministry is hoping that the extension of the tax cuts will spur consumption and aid economic growth.

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    Singapore Releases e-Tax Guide to Help Financial Institutions Comply with FATCA

    Singapore’s Ministry of Finance, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) have issued a draft e-Tax Guide that is intended to help financial institutions (FIs) in Singapore comply with the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

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    Thailand Considers Inheritance and Property Tax Reforms

    The head of Thailand’s National Council for Peace and Order has approved plans to reform Thailand’s tax system, namely by incorporating inheritance and property taxes.

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    Singapore Expands SME Financing Options to Support Small Businesses

    More channels for small and medium enterprise financing are opening up in Singapore, as banks introduce new grant programs and the government steps up effort to support small businesses.

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