About the Enhanced Taxpayer Relationship Programme

The Enhanced Taxpayer Relationship (ETR) Programme was introduced in 2008 as a service initiative and aims to build an open and collaborative taxpayer relationship through regular engagement with large companies, mutually benefitting IRAS and these companies. 

The Enhanced Taxpayer Relationship (ETR) Programme was introduced in 2008 as a service initiative and aims to build an open and collaborative taxpayer relationship through regular engagement with large companies, mutually benefitting IRAS and these companies.

The ETR Programme is designed to address the needs of large companies and help these companies manage their tax compliance. It offers large companies the benefits of finalising their tax assessments in a timely manner through a collaborative review process with IRAS, as well as tax certainty on significant current events through consultation with IRAS. At the same time, IRAS gains a better understanding of the company's business operations and with the knowledge, IRAS is better able to identify and address revenue risk early.

Scope of the ETR Programme

Through the ETR Programme, IRAS and the company's senior management (Chief Financial Officer or equivalent) will meet regularly to address the company's current and emerging tax issues. The involvement of both IRAS' and the company's senior management, as well as the commitment of resources from both parties, will facilitate timely resolution of the company's tax matters.

Large companies with complex business models will benefit most from the ETR Programme as these companies are likely to have more complex tax issues. Currently, IRAS expects to have up to 200 companies on the ETR Programme.

Key Areas of Engagement

Under the ETR Programme, IRAS will engage the large company in one or more of the following key areas:

  1. Specific issue resolution

    IRAS and the company will work on a mutually agreed plan to achieve timely resolution of specific tax issues.

  2. Generic issue resolution

    Issues that are common to companies within a group are identified so that clear and consistent tax treatment can be applied on the same issue across the group.

  3. Significant current events

    IRAS or the company may request early discussion and resolution of an upcoming significant event before filing of the income tax return so that downstream difficulties in assessments and objections can be reduced.
  4. Review of tax control system

    IRAS and the company may work together to assess the adequacy of the company's tax accounting and reporting controls, identify existing and potential gaps and discuss the remedial actions.

How to Participate in the ETR Programme

Companies that contribute a significant amount of tax revenue may be invited to participate in the ETR Programme. These companies are strongly encouraged to participate in the programme, especially if their corporate tax assessments are not up-to-date.

Companies that have not been selected by IRAS to participate in the ETR Programme but wish to do so may apply to IRAS in writing. IRAS will review the application on a case-by-case basis, based on the following criteria:

  1. Tax contribution from the company;
  2. Complexity of the company's structure and operations;
  3. Current state of tax affairs of the company; and
  4. Company's willingness to commit resources to engage IRAS in the key areas, with the aim of bringing its tax affairs up-to-date.

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