The Institute of Certified Public Accountants
of Singapore (ICPAS) has joined forces with the Tax Academy of
Singapore to launch the Singapore Institute of Accredited Tax
Professionals (SIATP).

The SIATP is the first accreditation body for
tax professionals in Singapore and will promote tax practice
standards and raise the capabilities of tax professionals in the

It will be chaired by ICPAS president Ernest

The ICPAS said the SIATP will enhance tax
professionals’ employability through professional recognition and
skills development.

The SIATP will also provide tax professionals
with access to up-to-date industry knowledge through continuing
professional education (CPE).

The ICPAS said providing these services will
help the overall standards of client service and tax compliance in

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The SIATP also complements recommendations
made in a report by the Committee to Develop the Accountancy Sector
(CDAS) last month, Singapore’s Second Minister for Finance and
Transport Lim Hwee Hua said at the institute’s launch.


Upgrading the profession

It is important for Singapore to develop
“deeper” professional expertise in tax advisory work to service the
increasing cross-border investments and transactions in the
Asia-Pacific region, the ICPAS said.

“With more cross-border businesses and an
increasingly complex tax environment, demand for highly-skilled tax
professionals will increase,” Kan explained.

“SIATP will play a vital role in ensuring tax
professionals are equipped with the right skills, which is
imperative in an increasingly globalised business environment.

“SIATP will also serve to position Singapore
as the regional centre of excellence in tax education and a leading
regional tax hub.”


Government support

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore has
supported the launch of the SIATP, saying upgrading the tax
profession is an important component of its tax compliance

Inland Revenue Commissioner Moses Lee said
accredited tax practitioners will have the expertise and experience
to better manage the tax affairs of their clients and provide
value-added services and advice.

“I believe the higher standards of service and
professionalism of the accredited tax practitioners will give them
a strong competitive edge compared to those who are not, and will
be preferred by companies and individuals who are in need of tax
services,” Lee said.

Lee said firms engaged in tax compliance and
advisory work should encourage staff to apply for


Admission criteria

Tax professionals with five years of approved
practical experience who have completed relevant exams can apply
for the title of accredited tax advisor.

Tax professionals with three years of approved
practical experience who have completed relevant exams can apply to
be an accredited tax practitioner.

Tax professionals with either three years of
approved practical experience or who have completed relevant exams
can apply to be a accredited tax practitioner (provisional).

Members will also be required to fulfil a
minimum number of CPE hours annually to ensure they are up-to-date
with the latest tax changes.