What is an Advance Pricing Arrangement (APA)?

APA is a dispute prevention facility under which IRAS and the taxpayer or relevant Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) partner agree in advance on a set of criteria to ascertain the pricing of a taxpayer’s related party transactions for a specific period of time.

What are the types of APAs available?

There are 3 types of APA:

  • Unilateral APA – Agreement between IRAS and the taxpayer
  • Bilateral APA – Agreement between IRAS and a DTA partner on the transfer pricing between entities in their respective countries
  • Multilateral APA – Agreement between IRAS and 2 or more DTA partners on the transfer pricing between entities in their respective countries

Unilateral APA

The level of certainty in a unilateral APA is lower than a bilateral or multilateral APA. This is because the APA terms are non-binding on the foreign tax authority which is not a party to the unilateral APA.

If Singapore does not have a DTA with the other tax jurisdiction, the unilateral APA comes under the framework of Singapore's Advance Ruling System and a fee will be charged. If Singapore has a DTA with the other jurisdiction, the unilateral APA will be issued outside of the Advance Ruling System, and no fee will be charged for the unilateral APA.

IRAS will exchange information on cross-border unilateral APAs with:

  • Jurisdictions of residence of all related parties with which the taxpayer enters into transactions that are covered by the unilateral APAs
  • Jurisdictions of residence of the taxpayer’s ultimate parent entity and immediate parent entity

Learn how to apply for an APA (PDF, 1.48MB) (refer to sections 10 and 12).

FAQs

Can my company pursue an APA request when the covered transaction is being litigated in a domestic or foreign court?

We strongly encourage taxpayers to proceed with either the APA or Court procedures for efficiency. We will accept the APA request when the Court procedures are suspended. This includes cases where the transaction is being considered in Court procedures for the earlier periods.