TAX AGREEMENTS: Singapore authorities to cooperate with ‘covert’ disclosure requests

Singapore’s appeal court has confirmed that the jurisdiction’s tax authorities can disclose account information about taxpayers to foreign governments, in response to a ‘covert’ treaty request made without the subject’s knowledge. Singapore’s Comptroller of Taxes is merely expected to make ‘reasonable inquiries’ to satisfy itself of the validity of the request, said the court. The decision could promote a rise in tax investigations by treaty partners and the issuance of covert requests under treaties such as that signed this month between Singapore and Brazil, says law firm Pinsent Masons.