Technical File Format/Specifications

Payroll software vendors or employers who are using payroll system/ software can refer to the AIS file format/ specifications to ensure that their software can create and generate files and/ or API that comply with IRAS’ requirements.

File Format/ Specifications for YA 2020 Submission

Payroll software vendors or employers who are using payroll system/ software can refer to the following Year of Assessment (YA) 2020 file format/ specifications.

 S/NType of File Format Description 
1AIS Application Programming Interface (API) Service Specifications
2Text File Format (.txt)
3

Extensible Markup Language Format (.xml)

4Supporting Specifications/ Important Notes

Email us at data_mgmt@iras.gov.sg if you have any enquiries on the Technical File Format/ Specifications.

  • Will there be changes to the technical file format when IRAS makes changes to the Form IR8A and/ or appendices?

    Tax changes and new government initiatives may result in changes to the technical file format/ specifications. We will publish the changes on our website by Aug every year and inform all supporting vendors via email.

  • Are there any requirements for API integration?

    Yes, our API endpoints have to be triggered from a Server-to-Server connection. Your server/ software/ application must be able to:

    a. Support the following protocols: HTTP/2, TLS 1.2/1.3, and 
    b. Trigger HTTP/GET and HTT/POST requests.

    A Callback URL is also required to redirect users to the payroll software after CorpPass login and consent. The Callback URL must use Fully Qualified Domain Name (FDQN), and meet all of the following requirements:

    a. Must be able to accept parameters, 
    b. Must not contain IP address, port number, Hash (#) or Wildcard (*) characters, and
    c. Must not be the same URL for Sandbox and Production environments.

  • Does my payroll system have to support both the TXT and XML formats?

     Vendors’ payroll system must be able to support at least one of the formats. For vendors who support the XML format only, you may also refer to the Specifications of TXT files for all forms document as a reference for the business rules that apply to the corresponding fields of the XML format.

  • There are differences between the hardcopy forms and the requirements stated in the file format. Which template should I follow to customise the printouts from my software?

    Vendors should mimic the fields in the official copy of the income tax forms (www.iras.gov.sg > Quick Links > Forms > Businesses > Income Tax Forms for Employers) to customise the printouts. The payroll software should be able to capture these fields’ input based on the file format specifications, and generate the printout accordingly.

     For clients who are in the Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS), the following statement must be included at the top of the form(s):

    This statement can only be issued by an employer in the Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS) and is for your retention. The information in this statement will be automatically included in your income tax return, so you need not declare them in your taxx form. You can check if your employer is in the AIS at IRAS website, www.iras.gov.sg > Businesses > Employers > Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS) for Employment Income > Check if an employer is in the AIS.

  • Why doesn't IRAS allow "overwriting" of previous submission when submitting Amendment files?

    There are instances where the same company has more than one payroll system administrated by different departments or HR personnel as the nature of income is different. For such cases, the amount given in two different files should be added and not overwritten.

     To avoid confusion to the filing of employment income details, changes to the amounts must be given as the difference. 

  • Must all payroll vendors develop the payroll software based on IRAS file format specifications?

    Employers participating in the Auto-Inclusion Scheme can submit via 2 modes:

    a) e-Submission of Employment Income
    b) Provident and Tax (PAT) System

    IRAS’ file format specifications are for employers submitting via a). If you plan to support employers submitting via b), you must use the file specifications provided by CrimsonLogic. For enquiries pertaining to Provident and Tax System, please contact CrimsonLogic at 6887 78888 or email to PAT@crimsonlogic.com

  • Must the files be encrypted as a security feature?

     No. IRAS’ applications use the Secure Socket Layers (SSL) technology, which is the industry standard protocol for secure, web-based communications and transactions.  SSL creates a secure communication channel between the server and the consumer’s browser. SSL provides message privacy by encrypting all information exchanged between the web server and the consumer’s browser.

     There are control total checks in place to ensure completeness of file submission. Taxpayers will also be able to see the final amounts populated to their individual tax file in myTax Portal. 

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