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Singapore announces tax changes to strengthen its financial sector

Nurdianah Md Nur | Feb. 24, 2015
Financial institutions in the republic can expect tax and GST concessions till 2020; details to be released by MAS and IRAS by the first half of this year.

Finally, Singapore will be extending and enhancing the GST remission for listed REITs and listed Registered Business Trusts (RBTs) in the infrastructure business, ship leasing and aircraft leasing sectors. Under the existing GST remission, REITs and RBTs are allowed to claim GST on their business expenses regardless of whether they hold underlying assets directly or indirectly through multi-tiered structures such as SPVs. This scheme will be extended to 31 March 2020.

The improved scheme serves to further facilitate fundraising by REITs and RBTs through SPVs. Qualified REITs and RBTs under the current GST remission will be allowed to claim GST on business expenses incurred to set up SPVs that are used solely to raise funds for the REITs or RBTs, and which do not hold qualifying assets of the REITs or RBTs, directly or indirectly. The enhancement to the GST remission will take effect for GST incurred from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2020. Further details will be announced by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) by 31 March 2015.


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