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  • Common Reporting Standard reporting

    Common Reporting Standard (CRS) reports must be lodged by 31 July each year in the approved CRS XML Schema format.

    Preparing the CRS report

    XML Schema

    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released V2.0 of the CRS XML schema and V3.0 of the guidance material. From 1 January  2021, CRS reports must be created using the updated V2.0 of the CRS XML Schema. Up until this time, reports must be created using V1.0 of the CRS XML Schema.

    The changes to the changes to V2.0 of the CRS XML schema are:

    • There is now a schema version attribute that will be mandatory.
    • Message Type Indicator is now a validation element and is mandatory.
    • Minimum length of all string elements is one character
      • For a validation element, a value must always be provided.
      • For an optional element, if there is no value, the element should be omitted.
    • The length of some string elements has been limited – refer to the user guide.
    • The use of fractions of seconds is now allowed in the Timestamp element.
    • Controlling Person information is not to be provided when the Account Holder is a Individual.
    • The ISO code country list has been updated.

    The CRS XML Schema and associated user guides are available on the OECD websiteExternal Link.

    Additional requirements for CRS XML files

    For compatibility with our systems, we have introduced some additional requirements for CRS XML files.

    MessageRefID and DocRefID elements

    In order to pass validation, all 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 – (in order of preference), 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.

    CorrMessageRefID element

    To pass validation, XML Schema files must not contain the CorrMessageRefID. This element is not used for CRS. For more information on correcting or deleting information previously provided, refer to page 253 to 271 of the CRS User GuideExternal Link.

    Contact attribute

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

    Wrapper headers for CRS reports

    CRS reports must contain the appropriate wrapper header for lodgment regardless of the channel used. A wrapper header enables us to identify the file.

    See also:

    One CRS report per reporting entity

    The lodgment of CRS reports will be limited to one reporting entity per report. The report should contain all of the entities reportable accounts.

    File size limits and splitting files

    CRS files cannot exceed 250MB for lodgment. If your CRS file exceeds this size you will be required to split the file (message) into 250MB sections. Refer to page 270 of the CRS user guideExternal Link for further detail on splitting files. 

    We encourage you to use the ‘Warning’ element to indicate the file reference in the lodgment when splitting files; for example, ‘1 of 10’, ‘2 of 10’, '3 of 10'.

    Invalid characters

    If your XML file contains one or more of the below characters, replace them with the following predefined references.

    Invalid character replacements



    Replace with





    Less than



    Greater than




    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.

    Invalid characters




    Double dash


    Slash asterisk


    Ampersand hash

    Updates to validation rules

    We are 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. Ensure your 2018 CRS reports conform to the following validation rules:

    • Namespaces must be provided in your CRS files. Refer page 290 of the CRS XML Schema User GuideExternal Link.
    • 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 = CRS10
    • 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.

    Nil reports

    There is no requirement for Reporting Financial Institutions (RFIs) to lodge a nil CRS report. However, lodging a nil report will help us monitor CRS compliance and may reduce the need for queries.

    Next steps:

    Note: If you are generating a nil report from internal software ensure you use CRS703 in the MessageTypeIndic field.


    If you are producing a CRS XML file in-house you can lodge a test file via Online services for agents or the Business Portal. Ensure you select the lodgment type as a test and a validation report will be produced for your review.

    We have a test environment available for digital service providers to test their software. The test environment can be accessed via the test facilityExternal Link. Developers will need to register with the Digital Partnership Office (DPO) to gain access to the test environment.

    If you encounter any issues with registration or the test environment:

    CRS Small Reporter Tool

    We have developed a CRS Small Reporter Tool (SRT) to allow small RFIs with less than 50 Reportable Accounts to download and complete an Excel spreadsheet.

    The spreadsheet will convert the information into the required XML Schema format.

    This can then be lodged through Online services for agents or the Business Portal. A nil report can also be generated if the RFI has no Reportable Accounts.

    Note: Ensure you have read the User Guide before using the SRT.

    Next steps:

    Due date for the CRS report

    The CRS came into effect on 1 July 2017 with the first CRS report covering the reporting period 1 July 2017 to 31 December 2017. This report was due by 31 July 2018.

    After this period, reports should include data from January to December and will be due annually by 31 July in the following year.

    Applying for an extension of time

    If you are unable to lodge your CRS report by 31 July, you can request an extension of time using the mail option in Online services for agents or the Business Portal. To apply select:

    • a new message
    • the topic Lodge report
    • the subject Common Reporting Standard (CRS) extension of time.

    The message should include:

    • the ABN, TFN or GIIN of the RFI
    • the name of the RFI
    • your name and daytime telephone number
    • the reasons for the request to extend time to lodge
    • the date by which you will be able to lodge the CRS report.

    How to lodge

    You can lodge your CRS report online through any of the following:

    • Online services for agents
    • the Business Portal
    • CRS enabled business/accounting software.

    Log in to Online services for agents

    Log on to the Business Portal

    Enquiries after lodgment

    Validation of CRS reports is a three step process. A successful online lodgment may still result in follow up enquiries.

    Following lodgment, further validation checks on CRS reports will be conducted in our data hub and by our international partner jurisdictions.

    We will attempt to bundle together enquiries from all our international partners, however, some may still occur on an ad hoc basis.

    We advise reporters not to archive CRS lodgment data for at least 12 months from the lodgment due date.

    CRS news and information

    You can subscribe to DPO's News servicesExternal Link to receive the latest CRS information through newsletters, alerts and emails.

    If you have any further questions about the CRS, contact the CRS Project Team.

    See also:

    Last modified: 17 Feb 2020QC 54580