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Singapore ratifies Multilateral Convention to implement BEPS-related measures

On 21 December 2018, Singapore deposited the Instrument of Ratification for the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent BEPS1 (the Multilateral Instrument or MLI).2

As of 21 December, 17 countries, including Singapore, have deposited their instruments of ratification. For Singapore, the MLI will enter into force on 1 April 2019.

Impact

An existing tax treaty of Singapore will be amended by the MLI only if both Singapore and the treaty partner have identified their income tax treaty as a covered tax agreement (CTA) and after both countries have ratified the MLI. On the date of ratification, Singapore notified that it intends for the MLI to apply to its existing 86 income tax treaties.

When an income tax treaty is to be amended by the MLI, the specific provision of the income tax treaty will be replaced or modified by the MLI only if both treaty partners agree. Out of Singapore’s CTAs, the following jurisdictions had ratified the MLI as of 21 December: Australia, Austria, France, Isle of Man, Israel, Japan, Jersey, Lithuania, Malta, New Zealand, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.3 For these CTAs, the MLI provisions will be effective as of the following dates, unless otherwise agreed by the treaty partners:

  • Withholding taxes: 1 January 2020
  • Other taxes: 1 October 2019

Endnotes

1. Base Erosion and Profit Shifting.

2. For Singapore’s positions on the MLI, see EY Tax alert, Singapore signs the BEPS Multilateral Instrument, dated June 2017.

3. Sweden is also included in Singapore’s list of covered tax agreements but has been excluded from the above list as Singapore is not included in Sweden’s list of covered tax agreements.

EYG no. 012712-18Gbl

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