Common Reporting Standard ("CRS")

Date
What's new 
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.  

25 August 2017 

IRAS is inviting public feedback on the draft IRAS CRS e-Tax Guide.

The public consultation will be from 25 August to 25 September 2017.

More information can be found here

25 August 2017  IRAS CRS FAQs document updated: updates were made to FAQs E.23 and F.1. 
18 August 2017

Reporting SGFIs can submit an application for CRS Registration from 31 August 2017.

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.

More information can be found here.

18 July 2017 IRAS CRS FAQs document updated: updates were made to FAQs B.5, C.8, E.11A and E.23.
17 July 2017 Singapore and Switzerland Sign Agreement for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information.
22 June 2017 Singapore signs Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information.
12 June 2017 IRAS is inviting public feedback on the draft IRAS CRS Return XML Schema User Guide (“draft User Guide”). This draft User Guide explains the information required to be included in each CRS data element of the XML Schema when reporting to IRAS.

The public consultation will be from 12 June 2017 to 12 July 2017.


More information can be found here.

7 June 2017 The Competent Authority Agreements for CRS with Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania and New Zealand entered into force on 5 June 2017.


With the above, the respective jurisdictions will be regarded as “Reportable Jurisdictions”. SGFIs will have to transmit to IRAS the financial account information of accounts held by persons that are tax residents of the above Reportable Jurisdictions, with the first submission due by 31 May 2018. 

4 May 2017 Singapore and Spain Sign Agreement for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information
10 April 2017 

Singapore and Guernsey Sign Agreement for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information

10 April 2017 A CRS brochure has been prepared to help account holders understand the salient features of CRS and how CRS affects them. SGFIs may print the IRAS CRS brochure for account holders’ information.

The IRAS CRS brochure can be found here.
10 April 2017 

IRAS CRS FAQs document updated: updates were made to FAQs C.13, E.21 and E.22. A table setting out the past updates to the document was added.  

 4 April 2017

The Income Tax (International Tax Compliance Agreements) (Common Reporting Standard) Regulations 2016 "CRS Regulations" have been amended. The amendments came into effect on 4 April 2017.

The amendments to the CRS Regulations can be found here.  

27 March 2017  Singapore and France Sign Agreement for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information  
15 March 2017 Singapore and Denmark Sign Agreement for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information
13 March 2017 Singapore Signs Agreements with Belgium and Luxembourg for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information
27 February 2017  The Competent Authority Agreements for CRS with Australia, Korea, Italy, Canada and Latvia entered into force on 27 February 2017. 

With the above, the respective jurisdictions will be regarded as "Reportable Jurisdictions". SGFIs will have to transmit to IRAS the financial account information of accounts held by persons that are tax residents of the above Reportable Jurisdictions, with the first submission due by 31 May 2018.
24 February 2017 Singapore and Lithuania Sign Agreement for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information
15 February 2017 Singapore and Estonia Sign Agreement for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information  
15 February 2017 IRAS CRS FAQs document updated: updates were made to FAQs A.1, C.8, D.1 and E.3, and 2 new FAQs (E.20 and E.21) were added.
31 January 2017 The Competent Authority Agreements for CRS with United Kingdom, Japan, South Africa, Norway, Finland, Netherlands, Iceland, Malta and Ireland entered into force on 31 January 2017.

With the above, the respective jurisdictions will be regarded as "Reportable Jurisdictions". SGFIs will have to transmit to IRAS the financial account information of accounts held by persons that are tax residents of the above Reportable Jurisdictions, with the first submission due by 31 May 2018.
31 January 2017 A media release on the Common Reporting Standard and how account holders may be affected was issued on 6 January 2017.

The media release can be found here.
30 December 2016  Notice issued to Financial Institutions on Implementation of the Common Reporting Standard ("CRS") with Effect from 1 January 2017 
23 December 2016 Singapore and New Zealand Sign Agreement for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information
IRAS FAQs updated. Regulation 11(2) (j) of the CRS Regulations will be amended to align it with the OECD CRS Commentary  


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.

Bilateral CAAs for CRS
Singapore has concluded the following bilateral CAAs:    

Jurisdiction  First Reporting Year1  Date of Signing Date of Entry into Force2 First Submission from SGFIs by
(First Exchange by)
Australia 2017 6 September 2016

27 February 2017

31 May 2018
(September 2018)
Belgium 2017  10 March 2017  Pending   31 May 2018
(September 2018) 
Canada  2017 16 November 2016  27 February 2017  31 May 2018
(September 2018) 
Denmark 2017 13 March 2017 5 June 2017

31 May 2018

(September 2018)

Estonia 2017
 14 February 2017 5 June 2017 31 May 2018
(September 2018)
Finland 2017  22 November 2016 31 January 2017  31 May 2018
(September 2018)
France  2017  27 March 2017  Pending  31 May 2018
(September 2018) 
Guernsey 2017  7 April 2017  Pending  31 May 2018
(September 2018) 
Iceland 2017  13 December 2016 31 January 2017  31 May 2018
(September 2018) 
Ireland 2017  20 December 2016 31 January 2017  31 May 2018
(September 2018)
Italy 2017  3 November 2016 27 February 2017 31 May 2018
(September 2018)
Japan 2017  13 October 2016 31 January 2017  31 May 2018
(September 2018) 
Korea, Republic of  2017  14 October 2016 27 February 2017  31 May 2018
(September 2018) 
Latvia 2017  20 December 2016  27 February 2017  31 May 2018
(September 2018) 
Lithuania 2017  23 February 2017  5 June 2017
31 May 2018
(September 2018) 
Luxembourg  2017  10 March 2017  Pending  31 May 2018
(September 2018) 
Malta 2017  15 December 2016  31 January 2017  31 May 2018
(September 2018) 
Netherlands 2017  5 December 2016  31 January 2017  31 May 2018
(September 2018) 
New Zealand 2017  22 December 2016 5 June 2017  31 May 2018
(September 2018) 
Norway 2017  25 October 2016 31 January 2017  31 May 2018
(September 2018) 
South Africa 2017  24 October 2016 31 January 2017  31 May 2018
(September 2018)
Spain 2017
28 April 2017  Pending  31 May 2018
(September 2018)  
Switzerland  2018  17 July 2017  Pending  31 May 2019
(September 2019)
United Kingdom 2017
16 September 2016 31 January 2017 31 May 2018
(September 2018)

1This refers to the first calendar year to which information of a reportable account maintained by a Reporting SGFI relates and has to be reported to IRAS for exchange with Singapore's AEOI partners.
2A jurisdiction becomes a “Reportable Jurisdiction” after the CAA for CRS between Singapore and that jurisdiction has entered into force.

Multilateral CAA for CRS ("CRS MCAA")
On 21 June 2017, Singapore signed the CRS MCAA. The signing of the CRS MCAA will enable Singapore to efficiently establish a wide network of exchange relationships for the automatic exchange of information based on the CRS. For more details, the press release is available here.

The CRS MCAA is a multilateral framework agreement based on the Convention. It provides a standardised and efficient mechanism to facilitate the automatic exchange of information based on the CRS. Under the CRS MCAA, a bilateral exchange relationship comes into effect only if both jurisdictions are signatories to the CRS MCAA, have filed the relevant notifications under Section 7 of the CRS MCAA, and have listed each other as intended exchange partner jurisdictions under the CRS MCAA.

As of 7 August 2017, exchange relationships under the CRS MCAA have been activated with the following jurisdictions: Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, India, Indonesia, Isle of Man, Jersey, Luxembourg, Mexico, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Uruguay. For more information, please visit the OECD webpage.

     •  Text of the CRS MCAA
     •  FAQs on the CRS MCAA

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 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 Participating Jurisdictions
Under the CRS, a Participating Jurisdiction is a jurisdiction with which: i) an agreement is in place pursuant to which there is an obligation to automatically exchange information on reportable accounts; and ii) is identified on a published list.  In line with 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 by 2018 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 CRS, and will be published on IRAS' CRS webpage.

This list of Participating Jurisdictions, as of 8 December 2016, 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 25 August 2017)
     •  How account holders of FIs will be affected 

     • IRAS CRS brochure for account holders  


Draft IRAS CRS e-Tax Guide (for public consultation)

The draft IRAS CRS e-Tax Guide is available for public consultation from 25 August to 25 September 2017. This draft 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.

We invite all interested parties to submit your comments on the draft e-Tax Guide using this feedback template and email it to CRS@iras.gov.sg by 25 September 2017. We regret that feedback received after 25 September 2017 will not be considered.

Respondents are requested to observe these guidelines when submitting your feedback:

a. Please identify yourself as well as the organisation you represent (if any) so that we may follow up with you to clarify your comments, if necessary.

b. Be clear and concise in your comments.

c. Focus your comments on how the e-Tax Guide can be better written to make it clearer.

d. Use the prescribed template provided above to organise your feedback.

e. As far as possible, please explain your points with illustrations or examples.


OECD-issued guidance

     •  Commentaries on the CRS
     •  CRS Implementation Handbook
     •  CRS-related FAQs (updated in March 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

    SGFIs will report CRS information in accordance with OECD’s CRS XML Schema v1.0. IRAS will develop an IT system to collect and exchange the CRS information. 

    Draft IRAS CRS Return XML Schema User Guide (For Public Consultation)

    The draft IRAS CRS Return XML Schema User Guide, which explains the information required to be included in each CRS data element of the XML Schema when reporting to IRAS, is available here. A public consultation was held from 12 June to 12 July 2017. We are reviewing the feedback received and the finalised guide is targeted to be issued by 30 September 2017.


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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.