ASEAN Regulatory Brief: Tax Evasion in Singapore, Business Registration in the Philippines, and Indonesian Banking Rules
Singapore Signs Agreement with Australia to Curb Tax Evasion
Singapore and Australia signed a deal called the Competent Authority Agreement to help curb tax evasion. The agreement was signed by Singapore’s Inland Revenue Authority (IRAS) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Under the pact, IRAS will exchange financial account information of accounts held by Australian tax residents in Singapore, while the ATO will do the same for Singapore. The agreement is based on automatic exchange of financial account information (AEOI) by Common Reporting Standard (CRS). The CRS is an internationally agreed standard for AEOI endorsed by more than 100 jurisdictions. The agreement will come into effect by September 2018.
Philippines: Government Simplifies Business Registration Process
The Philippines’ Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued making changes to the document requirements for business applications to further streamline the process. As per BIR, steps that will be implemented are:
- Apply for Registration
- Pay Annual Registration Fee
- Get Certificate of Registration with auto-approved Authority to Print (ATP) for initial principal receipts/invoices
During registration, businesses must submit all the documents as per the revised checklist. Payments can be done through authorized agent banks, G-cash, and revenue collection officers, among others. The developments bodes well for businesses that want to register themselves and will help in the ease of doing business ranking for the Philippines.
Indonesia: Banking Rules Eased for First Time Customers
Indonesia’s central bank, Bank Indonesia, has relaxed requirements for first time customers that want to open bank accounts. As per the new law, customers only need to present an ID card and submit their mother’s maiden name to open a new account. The country is attempting to convince half of the population to get bank accounts. Earlier in 2009, Bank Indonesia introduced banking agents which allow banks to assign individuals to provide banking services on their mobile phones to customers. However, the 100,000 agents in the past seven years have only been able to onboard 1.2 million customers as opposed to the bank’s target of 50 million new customers.
The new system will cut down the long paperwork required for opening accounts, as the elaborate background checks were frustrating customers from opening new accounts. In addition, the law also allows lenders with capital of at least US$384 million (IDR 5 trillion) and regional banks to sign up individual banking agents to expand their digital services. The development bodes well for new customers that wish to open bank accounts as the government wants to push its citizens into the banking system.
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