2010 - May
ICPAS Launches Singapore’s First Accreditation Body for Tax Professionals
07 May 2010 Category: Media Releases
The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore, in partnership with Tax Academy of Singapore,today (May 7) officially launched the Singapore Institute of Accredited Tax Professionals (SIATP), the first accreditation body for tax professionals in the country.
SIATP aims to promote tax practice standards and raise the capabilities of tax professionals in Singapore. Accredited tax professionals can enjoy greater professional recognition and skills development, thereby enhancing their employability. They will have access to up to date industry knowledge through Continuing Professional Education, and sharpen their technical knowledge and competence. This will help overall standards of client servicing and tax compliance in Singapore, and contribute to Singapore’s position as an efficient and effective business hub. Clients and regulators will benefit from the increased level of technical competency of tax professionals and lower compliance costs.
Guest of honour Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Minister, Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Finance and Transport, said: “The establishment of SIATP is timely. It also complements the recommendations made by the Committee to Develop the Accountancy Sector (CDAS). This initiative signifies that tax practice and compliance standards will be raised even higher.”
The Asia Pacific accountancy services market is today the fastest-growing region for the global accountancy networks, and is forecasted to reach US$38.8 billion by 2013. One key area of focus for Singapore is to develop deeper professional expertise in tax advisory work, especially to service the increasing cross-border investments and transactions in the Asia-Pacific region.
Dr Ernest Kan, Chairman of SIATP and President of ICPAS, said: “With more cross-border businesses and an increasingly complex tax environment, demand for highly-skilled tax professionals will increase. 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.”
The SIATP enjoys strong support from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), as the upgrading of the tax profession is an important component of its tax compliance framework.
Mr Moses Lee, Commissioner of Inland Revenue, said, “Accredited tax practitioners would have the expertise and experience to better manage the tax affairs of their clients and provide value-added services and advice. This will help their clients comply with their tax obligations at the lowest possible cost. 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. As such, I urge the industry and accounting firms engaged in tax compliance and advisory work to encourage your staff to apply for accreditation.”
Tax professionals with five years’ approved practical experience and completed relevant exams can apply for the title of Accredited Tax Advisor. Tax professionals with three years’ approved practical experience and have completed relevant exams can apply to be an Accredited Tax Practitioner (ATP). Tax professionals with either three years’ approved practical experience or completed relevant exams can apply to be a Accredited Tax Practitioner (Provisional).
Applicants will need to fulfill robust accreditation requirements that centre on having acquired approved practical experience in tax practice and/or having completed relevant examinations. They are also required to fulfill a minimum number of Continuing Professional Education hours annually, to ensure they are kept abreast of the latest tax changes.
For the first six months, tax professionals who sign up may be considered for admission under transitional admission requirements. SIATP members who apply for Tax Academy’s Advance Tax Programme will enjoy a 50 percent subsidy from IRAS.
The public can visit SIATP’s website at www.siatp.org.sg for more information.
Established in 1963, Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS) is the national accountancy body that develops, supports and enhances the integrity, status and interests of the profession.
The Certified Public Accountant Singapore (CPA Singapore) is a professional in accountancy, finance and business who has the relevant work experience in addition to a recognised accountancy qualification. CPAs Singapore serve every corner of the world in every industry. Many of them helm some of the most prominent local and international corporations.
ICPAS accords the CPA Singapore designation. Working closely alongside businesses, ICPAS connects its membership to an unmatched range of information resources, events, professional development and networking opportunities. Presently, there are more than 21,000 members making their strides in businesses across all industries in Singapore and around the world.
ICPAS’ international outlook and connections are reflected in its membership of regional and international professional organizations like the ASEAN Federation of Accountants (AFA), the Asia-Oceania Tax Consultants’ Association (AOTCA) and the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).
For more information, please visit www.icpas.org.sg
About the Tax Academy of Singapore
The mission of the Academy is to raise the professional competency of the tax community and develop Singapore into a regional tax knowledge hub. A non-profit institution, the Tax Academy was set up in 2006 by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore in collaboration with the international accounting firms – Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore and the Law Society of Singapore.
The Academy collaborates with leaders in the industry and the academia to develop and deliver programmes that effectively raise the professional competency, knowledge and capabilities of the tax community. It provides the platform for exchange among tax officials, tax professionals and the academia, and promotes the development of tax expertise. The Academy also supports the strategic engagement of foreign tax officials and policymakers through its regional programmes.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Ms Betsy Tan
Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore
DID: 6597 5608