Private Groups attracting ATO attention

The ATO has once again shown Private Groups that it is committed to greater transparency – however only this time, it is the ATO that is being transparent. Late last week, the ATO released a list of behaviours, characteristics and tax issues that will attract its attention in relation to Private Groups. The release can be found here.

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Singapore and United States affirm efforts to strengthen sharing of tax information

A joint statement issued by the United States and Singapore suggests that US authorities are seeking to accelerate off-shore tax enforcement aimed at US accountholders and financial institutions in Singapore.

A joint statement was issued on 2 August 2016 to coincide with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s state visit to the United States, announcing the two countries’ commitment to negotiate and sign “as soon as possible with the aim of doing so by the end of 2017” a reciprocal intergovernmental agreement (“IGA”) and a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (“TIEA”). The TIEA in particular would provide an avenue for US authorities to seek account information held by financial institutions in Singapore otherwise protected by Singapore’s strict bank secrecy laws.

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Trust filing duties under the French Tax Code

Although an entity is not identified as a "trust" in its country of establishment, it could fall within the scope of the filing duty in France in relation to trusts as long as it meets the French Tax Code (hereinafter "FTC") definition of a trust, i.e. the legal relationship created in a foreign State by a settlor – during his lifetime or on death – seeking to put under control of a trustee (or "administrator") assets or rights in the interests of either one – or more – beneficiaries or one special purpose[1].

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