As the MAP process is acknowledged to be inefficient, ineffective and time-consuming, the OECD will establish a peer review process to monitor performance of countries’ in resolving Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) cases. The reviews should be ready in 2017.
Paascal Saint-Amans, director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, has stated: “I don’t know how successful the (BEPS) project will be in the long term, but what is for sure is that we have fed the political beast – the G-20 leaders and finance ministers – and they still have a lot of appetite. They are asking us for more. They need some more blood.”
The OECD’s Working Party 1 and the Forum on Tax Administration have started the peer review process under BEPS Action 14. Reviews will consist of checking number of cases, time needed to resolve, etc.
OECD believes this is a game-changer due to new accountability. However, without full transparency into what countries are doing, or not doing, how effective will the new peer review process be? The level of transparency should be commensurate with the transparency demanded from multinationals. It is hopeful this process will be a revolution for MAP, although many practitioners will be adopting a wait-and-see attitude.
With China’s commitment on 27 August 2013, all G20 countries have signed the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (Convention), resulting in automatic exchange of information as the new global standard.
Tax authorities are cooperating multilaterally and automatically, as the Convention provides for spontaneous exchange of information, simultaneous tax examinations and tax assistance. The accompanying press release, including a list of the 56 signatories, is available at:
What are the implications on Best Practices for these continuing developments? Ideas for consideration include the following:
- Providing taxpayer information to one authority should be viewed as being provided to many countries worldwide, thus maintaining consistency is essential. A formal methodology will ensure Best Practices are being followed.
- Tax assistance, simultaneous examinations and joint audits should be envisioned for reviewing the global Tax Risk Framework.
- Best Practices for implementation of Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) are a topic of frequent discussion by tax authorities worldwide; thus Best Practices for Multinationals should also be focused on risk identification, measurement and application of MAP.
- Related posts for reference:
- 23 July, OECD exchange of information: Multilateral Convention review
- 27 June, OECD FTA MAP forum to develop Best Practices
- 25 June, OECD report to the G20: Status, training, effectiveness
- 20 June, OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information: Activities
- 18 June, OECD: Tax Transparency report.