The ETR Programme is a service initiative designed to address the needs of large companies and help these companies manage their tax compliance.
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. This collaborative review and consultation process with IRAS offers large companies the benefits of finalising their tax assessments in a timely manner as well as providing tax certainty on significant current events. 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.
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 company in 1 or more of the following key areas:
- Specific issue resolution
IRAS and the company will work on a mutually agreed plan to achieve timely resolution of specific tax issues.
- 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.
- Significant current events
IRAS or the company may request for early discussion and resolution of an upcoming significant event before filing of the Corporate Income Tax Return so that downstream difficulties in assessments and objections can be reduced.
- 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 Income 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:
- Tax contribution from the company
- Complexity of the company's structure and operations
- Current state of tax affairs of the company
- The company's willingness to commit resources to engage IRAS in the key areas, with the aim of bringing its tax affairs up-to-date