Common Reporting Standard (CRS)

The CRS is the single global standard for the collection, reporting and exchange of financial account information on foreign tax residents.

Banks and other financial institutions use the CRS due diligence rules to review their accounts, identify those held by non-residents and report the relevant information to the ATO. That information will then be exchanged with the participating foreign tax authorities of those non-residents. In parallel, the ATO will receive eligible financial account information on Australian residents from other countries' tax authorities. This will help ensure that Australian residents with financial accounts in other countries are complying with Australian tax law and act as a deterrent to tax evasion.

In Australia, the CRS Reportable Financial Institutions (RFIs) include banks and other deposit taking institutions, custodial institutions, investment entities, and specified insurance companies.

The CRS came into effect on 1 July 2017 and the first report from Australian RFIs is due by 31 July 2018. The first report will include data from 1 July 2017 to 31 December 2017. After this period reports will include data from January to December and will be due annually, by 31 July in the following year.

The CRS is part of a broader suite of international measures aimed at combating tax avoidance through more comprehensive exchanges of information between countries (for example, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and Country-by-Country Reporting (CbC).

Latest news

28 March 2019

Contact attribute

A name and contact phone number or email address should be included in the RFI Contact attribute. This will allow us to contact you in the event that there is an issue with your file.

Updates to validation rules

Over the next few months we will be updating a number of validation rules for 2018 CRS Reports due 31 July 2019. 

The updated validations will trigger ‘error’ messages and require correction before a successful lodgment can be accepted.

Your 2018 CRS reports will need to conform to the following validation rules:

  • Namespaces must be provided in your CRS files.  Refer page 290 of the CRS XML Schema User Guide
  • The Account Balance must be zero if an account was closed during the reporting year
  • The ReportingFI ResCountryCode element must be AU
  • The BirthDate element cannot be greater than the current date or before 1900
  • Controlling Person/s must be provided when
    • Account Holder = Organisation & Account Holder Type = CRS101
  • Controlling Person/s must be omitted when
    • Account Holder = Organisation & Account Holder Type = CRS102 or CRS103

Reporting details for trusts

If the RFI is a trust the ReportingFI element must contain the details of the trust including the trust name, address and TIN (TFN or ABN) as opposed to the trustee. This ensures that the record of lodgment is correctly recorded against the trust.

13 December 2018

To pass validation, the XML schema files must not contain certain invalid characters. If your XML file contains one or more of the below characters, replace them with the following predefined references.

Character

Description

Replace with

&

Ampersand

&

Less Than

<

Greater Than

>

Apostrophe

'

Quotation Mark

"

 

The below combinations of characters are not allowed. If your XML file contains one or more of the below characters, you will need to remove them.

Character

Description

--

Double Dash

/*

Slash Asterisk

&#

Ampersand Hash

 

26 September 2018

In order to pass validation, XML Schema files must not contain the CorrMessageRefID. This element is not used for CRS and the file will fail validation if it is included. For more information on correcting or deleting information previously provided, refer to page 253 to 271 of the CRS User Guide.

11 May 2018

There is a 250MB limit for lodgment of CRS files.  If your CRS file exceeds this size you will need to split the file (message) into 250MB sections. Refer to the CRS user guide (page 270) for further information on splitting files.

Use the ‘Warning’ element in the lodgment to indicate the file reference when splitting files. For example,‘1 of 10’, ‘2 of 10’, '3 of 10' and so on.

19 February 2018

In order to pass validation, all CRS XML Schema files must contain MessageRefID and DocRefID elements with the following format:

  • AUReportingYearAUSendingCompanyINUniqueReference

The components of the above format are:

  • Sending Country Code - must be, AU
  • Reporting Year (the year in which the data relates) - for example, 2017 for a report period ending 2017-12-31
  • Receiving Country Code - must be, AU
  • Sending Company IN - for example, ABN, GIIN or TFN
  • A unique string of characters the reporter can use to make the file unique - for example, UniqueReference.

The MessageRefID and DocRefID must be unique in space and time.

The Sending Company IN and Reporting FI elements must be identical in the report.

20 December 2017

Wrapper header

CRS files must contain the appropriate wrapper header for lodgment via Bulk Data Exchange (BDE) and Standard Business Reporting (SBR) channels.

To view the BDE wrapper header guidance see Bulk Data Exchange common information artefacts.

To view the SBR wrapper header guidance see SBR ebMS3 webservices artefacts.

Testing

Testing for both BDE and SBR is available via the External Vendor Testing Environment (EVTE).

7 September 2017

Lodgment of CRS reports will be limited to one reporting entity per report. The report should contain all of the entities reportable accounts. The first report is due by 31 July 2018.

17 March 2017

The OECD Automatic Exchange of Information Portal has now been updated to reflect Australia’s Domestic Reporting Format.

Links and documents

For further information refer to the websites and documents below.

Contact info

Feedback can be sent to DPO@ato.gov.au