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  • Common Reporting Standard – user guide for the Small Reporter Tool

    This guide provides information to help Australian Reporting Financial Institutions (RFIs) complete and lodge the Common Reporting Standard (CRS report) using our Small Reporter Tool v2.0 (XLSM, 5.71MB)This link will download a file.

    In this guide:

    About this guide

    CRS reports must be lodged in XML format. This solution allows reporters, who meet the criteria below, to input information into an Excel spreadsheet which will then convert the data into an XML file.

    Reports from Australian RFIs include data from January to December. They are due annually, by 31 July in the following year.

    On this page:

    Who should use this guide

    Australian CRS reporters with 50 or less individual and 50 or less organisation accounts or those who wish to provide a nil report.

    At this stage the spreadsheet option is not available for MAC users. A communication will be issued if this changes.

    Files containing more than 50 reportable individual and 50 reportable organisation accounts cannot be accepted.

    How to use this guide

    Read this guide in conjunction with the CRS User Guide Version 3.0 available on the OECD websiteExternal Link. The tables below map the spreadsheet cell reference and name to the CRS Schema XML element and attribute names. To help you locate more detailed information on each element, and its requirements, the relevant page number in the CRS user guide has also been provided.

    Regular updates

    Always refer to the online published version of the CRS and Small Reporter Tool user guide to ensure you have the most recent information.


    We welcome your feedback on the Small Reporter Tool and user guide. Provide your feedback and suggestions to

    Setting up the spreadsheet

    Download the spreadsheet (XLSM, 4.7MB)This link will download a file from our website.

    Save the spreadsheet onto your computer. The spreadsheet is not compatible with MAC computers at this stage.

    Fill in the spreadsheet ensuring all required information is included in the following tabs:

    • report information
    • individual accounts
    • organisation accounts

    Generate the report through the ‘Generate report’ tab. This creates an XML file.

    Save the XML file to your computer.

    Lodge the file online. See How to lodge below.

    Note:this tool will generate the required wrapper header for lodgment online.

    How to lodge

    The CRS report can be lodged through:

    File transfer

    Your XML CRS file is lodged through the file transfer facility.

    In Online services for business:

    • select Lodgments from the top menu
    • select File transfer
    • select lodge

    In Online services for agents:

    • from the Agent Homepage select Reports and forms
    • select File Transfer
    • select Lodge file
    • select test or lodge – files can be tested before lodgment so any errors can be corrected before submitting.

    See also:

    A validation report will then be produced informing whether the lodgment was successful or not.

    If successful, an ATO reference number is provided. This confirms the report has been lodged with us. This does not confirm the overseas receiving jurisdiction has successfully processed the report. If another jurisdiction advises us of errors in the file, we may contact you.

    Backup of data

    It is the responsibility of the investment body to keep effective records as part of their tax reporting obligations. You should keep backups of data supplied to us so that data can be re-supplied if necessary.

    Nil reports

    There is no requirement for 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.

    To complete a nil report all of the mandatory elements in the Report information tab must be provided.

    Nil reports

    Cell ref

    Cell name

    Content (example only)


    Sending company Id number*



    Message type indicator*

    CRS703 – No data to report


    Reporting period end date*



    Unique message identifier*

    User generated reference for your records e.g. xxxx01


    Message reference

    Automatically generated


    Document type*

    OECD1 – New Data


    Unique document identifier*

    User generated reference for your records e.g. nilfri2


    Document reference

    Automatically generated


    Corrected document reference identifier


    Individual and Organisation accounts tabs must be blank.

    Next steps:

      Last modified: 22 Apr 2021QC 55152