Enhanced IRAS-Tax Agent Relationship

IRAS recognises tax agents as our partners in administering of the Singapore tax system and in facilitating tax compliance. As tax agents work closely with their clients, they also glean valuable insights into the business needs and concerns of their clients. They serve as a valuable channel of feedback for IRAS in the formulation and refinement of tax policies and practices.

Given that IRAS and tax agents share the same objectives of encouraging maximum voluntary tax compliance and facilitating business growth and wealth through sound and effective tax policies, IRAS formulated the Enhanced IRAS-Tax Agent Relationship Framework to support closer partnership and collaboration between tax agents and IRAS, particularly in the area of training and improving the competence of tax agents.

Principles and Strategies

The Enhanced IRAS-Tax Agent Relationship Framework is built on three principles:

  1. Mutually beneficial – Both parties stand to gain from the enhanced relationship.
  2. Balanced – Both parties are committed towards enhancing the relationship and achieving the common goals of the partnership. Both parties contribute towards the success of the relationship.
  3. Underpinned by openness, transparency and trust – Both parties should be open and transparent in their practices and dealings with each other, and trust that neither will attempt to exploit the other’s vulnerabilities when such areas are exposed.

    and supported by these four strategies:

    1. Profiling Tax Agents – Understanding Tax Agent’s practices and needs
    2. Facilitating Growth of Competence – Improving Tax Agent’s capabilities
    3. Improving Communication and Service – Enable greater value to be delivered to taxpayers and Tax Agents
    4. Consulting and Collaborating – Facilitate Tax Agent’s greater contribution to the tax system Both IRAS and tax agents can take the following actions towards fulfilling these strategies:


Actions by IRAS

Actions by Tax Agents

a. Profiling Tax Agents

IRAS will improve its understanding of Tax Agents’ businesses and needs through:

  • Setting up a Tax Agent Database, which is a repository of business profile of Tax Agents.
  • With this database, email updates and latest tax information can be disseminated to Tax Agents easily.
  • Participate in this initiative by completing this form (PDF, 74KB) and email it to us at [email protected].

b. Facilitating Growth of Competence

IRAS will assist Tax Agents in improving their capabilities by conducting seminars and workshops for Tax Agents.

  • Recognising the importance of training and setting aside time and budget for constant upgrading of own technical competency
  • Keeping up-to-date with tax changes and developments

c. Improving Communication and Service

IRAS will aid Tax Agents in delivering greater value to their clients by:

  • Maintaining a Tax Agent webpage for easier access to information and improve depth and breadth of information available to Tax Agents
  • Facilitating use of e-Services Improving service delivery to Tax Agents
  • Being receptive to and taking up new e-Services
  • Taking part in pilot testing of e-Services to help improve e-Services
d. Consulting and Collaborating

IRAS will actively engage Tax Agents on the following via surveys, consultations and focus group sessions:

  • Designing of policies
  • Refining of rules
  • Crafting of legislation.
  • To provide inputs on tax rules and policies through consultation documents, focus groups etc
  • To be proactive in engaging IRAS in resolving technical or compliance issues

Expectations of IRAS and Tax Agents under the Enhanced IRAS-Tax Agent Relationship Framework


Tax Agents

  • Recognise that Tax Agents have a commercial relationship with their clients and will always put their clients first
  • Handle tax matters with fairness and integrity
  • Be competent and act ethically and professionally when dealing with Tax Agents and taxpayers
  • Conduct their practice with integrity
  • Be competent and act ethically and professionally in providing quality service and advice to their clients
  • Provide tax advice within the letter and the spirit of the tax laws
  • Be compliant in their own tax matters

Consequences of Non-Compliance by Tax Agents

IRAS will not hesitate to take action against errant accountants or tax agents who are non-compliant in their own tax matters or provide objectionable tax advice to their clients. Heavy penalties will be imposed for assisting others to defraud the Government or citizens.

Examples of past cases concerning non-compliance by tax agents and the actions taken by IRAS include:

1Jun 2019Tax agent to pay more than $80,000 in fines and penalties for assisting client in avoiding GST registration
2Apr 2015 CPA sentenced to 6 Weeks' Jail for Tax Evasion
3Apr 2012CPA fined for under-reporting income
4Feb 2011First CPA charged for assisting company to evade tax
5Apr 2009First practising Certified Public Accountant jailed for tax evasion

Contacting IRAS

Tax agents who require assistance can contact IRAS via one of the following channels:

To facilitate communication between IRAS and the tax agents, please provide the direct number of the tax advisor and/or tax manager handling the tax matters concerned in your correspondences with IRAS. This will help our officers respond to the right contact in the relevant tax agent firm.