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Singapore's Myanmarese Go Online for Double Taxation Petition

Categories: East Asia, Myanmar (Burma), Singapore, Economics & Business, Governance, International Relations, Labor, Law, Protest

Myanmar Bloggers from Singapore reported that the Myanmarese are gathering signatures for an “Avoidance of Double Taxation Petition” which is to be sent to the prime minister of Singapore.

Myanmarese residents abroad have to pay a tax at their embassies despite the fact that they are paying tax in the host country. If the don't pay the tax, the Myanmar embassy denies them of all consular services.

provides the background on the double taxation policy [1] practiced by Myanmar.

Burmese in Japan, for example, are expected to pay 10% of their income or ¥10,000 per month, whichever is higher, to the Burmese Embassy in Tokyo. In the U.S., they must pay 10% (usually around $65) monthly to the Burmese Embassy in Washington D.C. In both cases, such workers are already paying taxes to the government of the host country. The situation is similar for Burmese living in such places as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea and Australia. (The only exception to this practice, in fact, may be the U.K. because of a tax treaty between the two countries.)

The petition prepared by the Myanmarese residents in Singapore states that despite the fact that a DTA (double taxation agreement) has been acknowledged since 1999 and came into force on 1st January 2001, Myanmarese in Singapore are still being double taxed [2]. Hence the DTA signature collection campaign has been launched to seek help and action from the Singapore government.

DTASG [3] group states:

With the advice of a very competent law professional, we have already established several communications and discussions with competent Singapore tax authorities in accordance with the procedure mentioned in the article 26 of Singapore – Myanmar DTA.

As directed in the article 26, Singapore tax authorities are officially looking into this matter and the next logical step is to prepare a solid case on this issue to be officially communicated to the competent tax authorities in Myanmar.

The law (the DTA) is clearly on the side of Myanmar Citizens and we have already formulated very clear strategies and execution plan on how to protect our rights and arrive at the satisfactory solution to this case.

Blogger Lin Lat Kyal Sin [4] and TZA [5] asks her readers to pass the word around for the DTA signature collection campaign.

Ka Daung Nyin Thar [6] wants the Myanmarese workers in Singapore to be united and participate in the campaign which would compel Singapore PM to discuss with Myanmar government to respect the agreement.

The people working on this project have set up the DTASG blog [7]. The blog announces a venue where Singapore based Myanmarese can sign the petition from May 22nd to July 1st 2007. The blog also provides links to download a signature template from the blog and an address where the form can be mailed to.

It is requested that the participants use their proper names and EP/S Pass/WP/Dependent Pass/Student Pass/NRIC (Blue) Number in signing for the petiton. You can find more informations on the campaign and necessary downloadable forms on DTASG blog.