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Portugal; Singapore

4 May 2013

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Protocol between Portugal and Singapore re exchange of information – details

Details of the protocol to the Portugal - Singapore Income Tax Agreement (1999), signed on 28 May 2012, have become available. The protocol was concluded in the Portuguese and English languages, each text having equal authenticity. In the case of divergence, however, the English text prevails.

The protocol repeals the wording of article 27 of the treaty (Exchange of information) and includes a new wording in line with article 26 of the OECD Model.

Paragraph 1 of article 27 widens the scope of the information that may be exchanged:

-   The contracting states shall exchange information foresseably relevant for carrying out the provisions of the treaty or the administration or enforcement of their domestic laws.
-   The exchange of information is not restricted by articles 1 and 2, i.e. it covers taxes of every kind, and resident and non-resident persons

Paragraph 2 of article 27 addresses privacy, noting that exchanged information may be disclosed only to persons or authorities (including courts and administrative bodies) involved in the assessment, collection, enforcement or prosecution in relation to the determination of appeals in relation to taxes of every kind. Such information may additionally be disclosed in public court proceedings and judicial decisions.
Paragraph 3(a)-(c) limits the required action on behalf of the contracting states. It provides that the parties are not obliged to:

-   carry out administrative measures at variance with the laws and administrative practice of that or the other contracting state;
-   supply information which is not obtainable under the laws or in the normal course of the administration of that or the other contracting state; and
-   supply information which would disclose any trade, business, industrial, commercial or professional secret or trade process, or information the disclosure of which would be contrary to public policy (ordre public).

New paragraph 4 provides that a contracting state may not decline to supply information solely because it has no domestic interest in such information.

New paragraph 5 provides that a contracting state cannot decline to supply information solely because it is held by a bank, other financial institution, nominee or person acting in an agency or fiduciary capacity, or because it relates to ownership interests in a person.

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