eOASIS is Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP's legal information website for clients, containing business and legal information prepared from a practitioner's viewpoint. It has four different modules, updated regularly, and materials range from commentaries on the latest legal developments to key legal and business information.

What's new on eOASIS

ASEAN Issues Guide on AI Governance and Ethics
The rapid growth of artificial intelligence ("AI") has shone a light on the pressing need to manage its development and inherent risks. While governments have been seeking to establish national AI frameworks, such frameworks are often jurisdiction-specific, while the propagation of AI commonly crosses national boundaries, resulting in potentially differing standards and requirements.

Building on greater cooperation in AI framework building and standards equivalence, the ASEAN member states have issued the ASEAN Guide on AI Governance and Ethics ("ASEAN AI Guide"), which establishes common principles and recommends best practices on the implementation of trustworthy AI in ASEAN. It seeks to help promote consumer confidence and facilitate cross-border deployment of AI services and solutions throughout the ASEAN region.

This Update provides a summary of the key elements of the ASEAN AI Guide, including the guiding principles, the key components, and the national-level and regional-level recommendations.  

Disposition of Property in Bankruptcy – Can the Court Grant Consent to a Proposed Sale Prior to a Bankruptcy Order
In the course of bankruptcy proceedings, the disposition of property by the bankrupt is subject to a degree of control and restriction, requiring the consent or ratification of the Court. In Re Eng Lee Ling and another matter [2024] SGHC 52, the Singapore High Court considered the scope of the Court's jurisdiction to grant such approval – specifically, in circumstances where prior approval is sought for a proposed disposition of property, and where a bankruptcy order has yet to be made. The Court also provided general guidance on what it expects of the applicant when applying for prospective approval of proposed dispositions.

The Court in this matter declined to grant consent to a proposed sale of property, finding that the applicants had fallen short in demonstrating how the proposed sale would benefit the general body of creditors, and of the requisite good faith. Chua Beng Chye, Cherie Tan and Foung Han Peow of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP represented the non-party creditor bank in this matter, successfully resisting the debtors' applications for the Court's prospective approval.  

Announcements Made at Budget 2024 Regarding Residential Properties
On 16 February 2024, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr. Lawrence Wong, delivered the Budget speech in Parliament for the approval of the financial policy of the Government for the financial year 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025. Several policies were introduced, including changes to the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty ("ABSD") regime, and adjustments to the property tax ("PT") rates.

In this Update, we provide a summary of the following key changes to the ABSD treatment and PT rates of residential properties:

  • The new ABSD concession for single Singapore Citizen seniors purchasing a replacement private residential property;
  • The revised ABSD remission clawback rates for housing developers; and
  • The revised annual value bands for owner-occupier residential PT rates.

Singapore Budget 2024: Building Our Shared Future Together
The Budget Statement for Budget 2024 was delivered on 16 February 2024. Given a modest 1.1% in Singapore's economic growth in 2023, expected continued resilience of growth in major economies and looming geopolitical risks, Budget 2024 seeks to assist Singaporeans in meeting their full potential, navigating uncertainties, and building a common, shared future together. At a glance, some key measures include:

  1. The introduction of a corporate income tax rebate;
  2. The introduction of a refundable investment tax credit;
  3. A top-up of the goods and services tax ("GST") voucher fund;
  4. The introduction of a personal income tax rebate;
  5. The enhancement of retirement support schemes;
  6. The introduction of an overseas emergency humanitarian assistance tax deduction scheme;
  7. An adjustment to Annual Value Bands for owner-occupier residential property tax rates;
  8. The introduction of a property tax instalment plan;
  9. The introduction of Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty ("ABSD") refunds for single Singaporeans above 55 years of age;
  10. The adjustment of ABSD clawbacks for housing developers;
  11. The introduction of an income inclusion rule; and
  12. The introduction of a domestic top-up tax.
In this Update, we discuss the key tax measures, changes, enhancements and extensions, as well as refinements in the existing Singapore tax regime below.

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