by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels
22 August 2019
The OECD on August 13, 2019, released follow-up reports for
Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States on their efforts to implement BEPS recommendations on dispute resolution.
The phase 2 peer reviews look at how the countries have responded to recommendations resulting from their stage 1 reviews, into their dispute resolution frameworks.
The reviews focus on the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP), which 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 OECD has reported positive change across all six jurisdictions, including that:
- Some jurisdictions have updated or clarified issues in their MAP guidance;
- All jurisdictions that had not already done so have introduced documented internal guidance to provide for a notification or bilateral consultation process with the other competent authority concerned in cases where an objection is considered as being not justified;
- In some jurisdictions, more resources were provided to the competent authority function and organizational changes were implemented or have been initiated with a view to handling MAP cases in a more timely, effective, and efficient manner;
- Each of the six jurisdictions decreased (or maintained) the amount of time needed to close MAP cases and five of the six jurisdictions met the sought-after 24-month average timeframe to close MAP cases.
According to the OECD, the Multilateral Instrument was utilized by almost all jurisdictions to bring some of these treaties in line with the standard and bilateral negotiations were concluded (or are ongoing) for most jurisdictions.