Responsible Tax Management

DBS is committed to paying our fair share of taxes across the countries in which we operate, and to comply with applicable tax laws and regulations.

Our dealings with tax authorities are regular and based on mutual respect and trust. We aim to be transparent in our tax filings, and will provide tax authorities with sufficient information such that robust conclusions regarding the tax treatment of our activities can be made. We participate in the Enhanced Taxpayer Relationship Programme introduced by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore to facilitate timely resolution of our tax matters.

The statements presented in this section comply with the requirements under the United Kingdom Finance Act 2016, Schedule 19, paragraph 19 for the Group. These statements are effective from 2017, and in effect for 2018.

Tax Governance and Risk Management Framework

The Board of Directors has overall responsibility for sustainability at DBS, and takes into account responsible tax management as part of its consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters in the development of the Group’s strategy. The Group CFO, supported by the Head of Group Tax, oversees the tax function which is responsible for ongoing tax compliance and robust management of tax risks and exposures.

DBS has a low tolerance for tax risk and adopts a clearly-defined tax risk management framework that promotes transparency, fairness and accountability. This is implemented through our Group Tax Policy, which is approved by the Group CFO. The policy is further supplemented by standards and procedures to ensure continued adherence with the framework.

DBS’ tax risk management framework is based on the following principles:

1. We only undertake transactions which are underpinned by strong commercial motivations that we are prepared to fully disclose.

2. We carefully consider the potential tax sensitivity of transactions and are guided by a set of established escalation and approval procedures.

3. We have sufficient skilled staff in tax matters within each major location and we will seek independent advice on transactions with significant tax uncertainty.

4. We take our tax compliance responsibilities very seriously. Senior management and independent tax consultants review our returns and submissions prior to finalisation.


Approach to Base Erosion and Profit Shifting

Base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) refers to tax avoidance strategies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to artificially shift profits to low or no-tax locations. Singapore is part of the BEPS Project led by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for the global implementation of an action plan that will address BEPS issues in a coordinated and comprehensive manner across countries and jurisdictions.

DBS welcomes and supports the consistent implementation of measures under the BEPS Project.

Cross-border Transactions

DBS has embedded procedures to ensure that cross-border transactions with related parties adhere to the arm's length principle.

We ensure that transfer pricing outcomes are consistent with the functional activities undertaken, risk assumed and assets utilised in each tax jurisdiction. DBS implements an internal transfer pricing framework, which codifies the governance, reporting structure, operational implementation and tax principles around cross-border transactions, to ensure that all such transactions are accounted for in a consistent and principled manner.

Country-by-Country Reporting

In response to the implementation of Action 13 of the BEPS Project, DBS will ensure that the relevant information required for the Country-by-Country reporting will be provided annually to the tax authorities from 2017 and after.

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