MAP Peer Reviews Released For UK, US, Others
Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels
02 October, 2017
The OECD has released its first peer review reports of mutual agreement procedure (MAP) frameworks in Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, and the US.
The MAP peer review and monitoring process was launched in December 2016 under base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) Action 14. The OECD's Action 14 proposals concern making dispute resolution mechanisms more effective. The MAP is used to settle disputes between countries and taxpayers concerning cross-border tax arrangements for trade and investment where double taxation of the same income occurs.
The peer review process is conducted in two stages: Stage 1 seeks to evaluate implementation of the Action 14 minimum standard for Inclusive Framework members and Stage 2 focuses on monitoring how countries respond to recommendations resulting from Stage 1.
The reports, which were released on September 26, represent the first evaluation of how the assessed countries are implementing new minimum standards agreed in the BEPS project. The reports include over 110 recommendations relating to the minimum standard. A document addressing the implementation of best practices is also available on each jurisdiction.
According to the OECD, the six assessed jurisdictions performed well in various MAP areas; all provide for roll-back of bilateral APAs with a view to preventing disputes from arising; MAP is available and access to MAP is granted in the situations required by the minimum standard; the competent authority function is adequately resourced and takes a pragmatic and principled approach for the resolution of MAP cases; and MAP agreements reached so far have been implemented on time.
The OECD however noted that resolution of MAP cases within the pursued average of 24 months is a challenge for some jurisdictions, especially concerning transfer pricing cases. It also noted that while MAP guidance is generally clear and accessible, improvements for some jurisdictions are necessary and already under way.
The OECD noted that the six jurisdictions are already working to address deficiencies identified in their respective reports.
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