Thursday, March 19, 2015

FATF Public Statement

The Financial Action Task Force (‘FATF’) has issued a statement highlighting the strategic deficiencies in the anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism ('AML/CFT') regimes of two groups of jurisdictions:

  • The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea ('DPRK') and Iran have not shown sufficient commitment to address their serious AML/CFT deficiencies.
  • Algeria, Ecuador, and Myanmar have not yet made sufficient progress in addressing their strategic deficiencies.

Financial institutions are advised to take the appropriate action and due diligence measures as recommended by the FATF with respect to the named jurisdictions.

A point worth nothing is that Indonesia has been moved to the FATF’s 'improving' list of countries who have addressed AML/CFT failings.

More information can be found on the FATF website.

Friday, March 13, 2015

IRAS Takes Steps to Curb Tax Evasion

Regulators worldwide are cracking down on tax evasion, an issue which has come to prominence especially with the recent revelations that UK bank HSBC had assisted more than 100,000 wealthy individuals from paying tax.

With the advent of the increase in marginal tax rates for individuals who earn at least SGD 160,000 as announced in the recent Singapore Budget 2015 statement, high income earners may decide to set up companies in order to avoid higher personal income taxes, and in turn, pay the corporate income tax of 17% instead. The personal income tax for high income earners will be increased up to 22% percent on the chargeable income from the year of assessment 2017.