Common Reporting Standard ("CRS")

Date
What's new 
12 January 2018  List of Reportable Jurisdictions for 2017 CRS reporting published: Reporting SGFIs are to submit CRS information for these jurisdictions by 31 May 2018. 
26 December 2017 List of Participating Jurisdictions updated: The updated list will take effect from 1 January 2018. 
24 November 2017 An entity that is or becomes a Reporting SGFI at any time between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2017 (both dates inclusive) are reminded to apply for CRS registration by 31 March 2018. Reporting SGFIs are encouraged to apply for CRS registration as early as possible to avoid the last minute rush. A failure to comply with the registration requirement is an offence under the CRS Regulations.
24 November 2017 IRAS CRS Registration FAQs document updated: updates were made to FAQs 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13 and 14.  
2 November 2017 IRAS CRS FAQs document updated: update was made to FAQ E.8. 
13 October 2017

The first edition of the finalised XML Schema User Guide for CRS Return is available here.

The Summary of Responses to the common public feedback received on the draft User Guide is available here

13 October 2017 IRAS CRS FAQs document updated: update was made to FAQ C.2.
22 September 2017 New exchange relationships established under the CRS MCAA. 
31 August 2017

Reporting SGFIs can now submit an application to IRAS for CRS Registration via the Apply for CRS Registration e-Service.

More information on CRS registration requirements can be found here.  

Past updates can be found here.


Background

Automatic exchange of information (“AEOI”) based on the CRS refers to the regular exchange of financial account information between jurisdictions for tax purposes, with the objective of detecting and deterring tax evasion by taxpayers through the use of offshore bank accounts.

The CRS is an internationally agreed standard for AEOI on financial account information, endorsed by the OECD and the Global Forum for Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. The CRS sets out the financial account information to be exchanged, the financial institutions (“FIs”) required to report, the different types of accounts and taxpayers covered, as well as the customer due diligence procedures to be followed by FIs. The CRS builds on the FATCA reporting regime to maximise efficiency and reduce costs for implementing jurisdictions and their FIs. More than 100 jurisdictions, including major financial centres such as Dubai, Hong Kong, Luxembourg and Switzerland, have endorsed the CRS and will commence AEOI in either 2017 or 2018.

Singapore has committed to implement the CRS, with the first exchange to take place by September 2018. 

More information on the CRS can be found here.

Competent Authority Agreement ("CAA")
A CAA enables the implementation of the information exchange based on existing legal instruments such as a tax information exchange agreement, a bilateral tax treaty or the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters ("the Convention").

A CAA is either a bilateral or multilateral agreement that sets out the type of information to be exchanged between two jurisdictions, the time and manner of exchange as well as the confidentiality and data safeguards to be respected for the exchange of information. More information on the bilateral CAAs signed and activated exchange relationships under the multilateral CAA is available here.

CRS Regulations
The Income Tax (International Tax Compliance Agreements) (Common Reporting Standard) Regulations 2016 (“CRS Regulations”) incorporate the requirements of the CRS into Singapore’s domestic legislative framework. The CRS Regulations has entered into force on 1 January 2017.
     •  CRS Regulations

The CRS Regulations requires and empowers all FIs to put in place necessary processes and systems to collect financial account information from 1 January 2017. Singapore has adopted the “wider approach”, which means that FIs will need to collect and retain the CRS information for all account holders and where the account holder is a Passive Non-Financial Entity ("NFE"), the controlling persons of the Passive NFE in the case of new accounts, instead of only for account holders and controlling persons who are tax residents of Singapore’s CAA partners. For CRS reporting purposes, SGFIs will need to transmit to IRAS the financial account information relating to tax residents of Singapore’s CAA partners from 2018. IRAS will subsequently exchange the reported information with Singapore’s CAA partners.


List of Reportable Jurisdictions

Under the CRS Regulations, Reporting SGFIs are required to provide IRAS with a return setting out the CRS information of Reportable Accounts that they maintained during the calendar year. Reportable Accounts are Financial Accounts that are held by Account Holders and where the Account Holder is a Passive NFE, the Controlling Persons of the Passive NFE that are tax residents of a Reportable Jurisdiction.

The list of Reportable Jurisdictions for 2017 CRS information reporting is available here. Reporting SGFIs are required to submit such information by 31 May 2018.



List of Participating Jurisdictions
Under the CRS, a Reporting SGFI which maintains an account for a professionally managed Investment Entity (as described in sub-paragraph A(6)(b) of Section VIII of the CRS), that is not a Participating Jurisdiction FI, has to treat the Investment Entity as a Passive NFE and apply the "look through" to identify the Controlling Persons.


In line with the approach that is outlined in paragraph 31 of the CRS Implementation Handbook, Singapore will consider all jurisdictions that have publicly and at government level committed to adopt the CRS as Participating Jurisdictions. The list of Participating Jurisdictions will be updated at least once a year to reflect changes in jurisdictions' commitment to and implementation of the CRS, and will be published on IRAS' CRS webpage.

This list of Participating Jurisdictions is available here.
 
CRS Guidance
In implementing the CRS, SGFIs may rely on the following materials for interpretive guidance.

IRAS-issued guidance comprising FAQs and basic guides on CRS to help financial institutions, service providers and account holders understand the key requirements of the CRS and how they will be affected by its implementation:
    •  IRAS FAQs (updated on 12 January 2018)
     •  How account holders of FIs will be affected 

     • IRAS CRS brochure for account holders  


Draft IRAS CRS e-Tax Guide on the Common Reporting Standard

The draft IRAS CRS e-Tax Guide is intended to assist businesses and those affected by CRS, in particular SGFIs, in understanding the CRS framework and their CRS compliance obligations. A public consultation was held from 25 August to 25 September 2017. We are reviewing the feedback received and will publish the finalised Guide on this page.

OECD-issued guidance
     •  Commentaries on the CRS
     •  CRS Implementation Handbook
     •  CRS-related FAQs (updated in December 2017)

CRS Registration

  Reporting SGFIs can submit an application for CRS Registration via the Apply for CRS Registration e-Service.

An entity that is or becomes a Reporting SGFI at any time between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2017 (both dates inclusive) must apply for CRS Registration by 31 March 2018.

Certain groups of Reporting SGFIs need not register with IRAS for CRS purposes. For more details on CRS registration requirements, please refer to the IRAS CRS Registration FAQs.

The following information is needed before you proceed to apply:

  1. Singapore Tax Reference Number of the FI.
  2. Singapore Tax Reference Number of a Point of Contact for the Financial Institution (i.e. an authorised individual whom IRAS can approach on AEOI matters relating to the Reporting SGFI). Passport Number is required if the Point of Contact does not have a Singapore Tax Reference Number.
  3. PDF copy1 of a Letter of Authorisation (“LA”) for the Point of Contact. This refers to a document that is signed by the Reporting SGFI’s director or principal officer authorising an individual as the FI’s Point of Contact for AEOI matters. A sample LA is available here.

1File size cannot exceed 2MB. 

  1. Singapore Tax Reference Number of the FI (i.e. the Trust), if available. A PDF copy1 of the Trust Deed or an Agreement that evidences the creation of the trust is required if the trust does not have a Singapore Tax Reference Number. 

  2. Singapore Tax Reference Number of the non-individual trustee.
  3. Singapore Tax Reference Number of a Point of Contact for the trustee (i.e. an authorised individual whom IRAS can approach on AEOI matters relating to the Trust). Passport Number is required if the Point of Contact does not have a Singapore Tax Reference Number.
  4. PDF copy1 of a Letter of Authorisation (“LA”) for the trustee’s Point of Contact. This refers to a document that is signed by the trustee authorising an individual as the trustee’s Point of Contact for AEOI matters in relation to the Trust. A sample LA is available here.  

1File size cannot exceed 2MB. 

  1. Singapore Tax Reference Number of the FI (i.e. the Trust). A PDF copy1 of the Trust Deed or an Agreement that evidences the creation of the trust will be required if the trust does not have a Singapore Tax Reference Number.

  2. Singapore Tax Reference Number of the trustee. 

1File size cannot exceed 2MB. 

The application for CRS registration will take about 3 weeks to be processed. Once the application is processed, we will send an email to the Point of Contact or individual trustee to inform him/her of the registration outcome. 

Alternatively, Reporting SGFIs can also check on their CRS registration status using the Check CRS Registration Status e-Service.

    CRS Data Format
    Reporting SGFIs will need to have processes in place to collate and prepare the required data in accordance with the prevailing CRS XML Schema and XML Schema User Guide set out in the table below. 

    Effective Date  XML Schema User Guide
    13 October 2017 CRS XML Schema v1.0 

    IRAS XML Schema User Guide for CRS Return (First Edition)
    (Published on 13 October 2017) 

     IRAS will develop an IT system to collect and exchange the CRS information.

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    You can subscribe to IRAS eAlerts so that you will be informed when there are updates to the IRAS CRS webpage.