Singapore: Anti-avoidance provision applied | KPMG | GLOBAL
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Singapore: Anti-avoidance provision applied in income tax case

Singapore: Anti-avoidance provision applied

The Income Tax Board of Review agreed with the tax authorities to disregard a taxpayer’s arrangement under the anti-avoidance provisions on a finding that one of the main subjective purposes of the arrangement was to avoid tax.


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The case is: GBF v. Comptroller of Income Tax [2016] SGITBR 1


The taxpayer (a medical doctor who specializes iin plastic and cosmetic surgery) entered into a series of transactions that ultimately resulted in arranging for two corporate entities to receive what was essentially his income from his medical practice. There were substantial tax savings under the arrangement. 

The tax authorities challenged the taxpayer’s claim that the structure provided for business convenience and benefits, and invoked the provisions of section 33 of Singapore’s income tax law (the anti-avoidance provision). In what is only the second income tax case on application of the anti-avoidance provision, the Income Tax Board of Review agreed with the tax authorities and applied section 33 to find that one of the main purposes of the taxpayer’s arrangement was to avoid tax. There were no findings that the taxpayer’s situation warranted application of an exception provided by section 33(3)(b).


Read an October 2016 report [PDF 315 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Singapore

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