3 How MAP works
3.3. Role of the taxpayer
3.3.2. Contributing to the MAP discussions
MAP discussions between competent authorities are a government-to-government process in which there is generally no direct taxpayer involvement. Therefore, taxpayer involvement in the MAP is generally limited to presenting the taxpayer’s views and assisting in the fact-finding without participating in the competent authority-to-competent authority discussions. However, taxpayers may be invited to make a presentation before the competent authorities, where appropriate, to ensure a common understanding of the facts of a particular case.
It is generally desirable for taxpayers to be given every reasonable opportunity to present the relevant facts and arguments to the competent authorities both in writing and orally.
Particularly on fact intensive, unusual, or complex cases it may be a valuable exercise to have the taxpayer make a presentation to both competent authorities at the same time, typically prior to the commencement of discussions. The purpose of the presentation would be to clarify issues, transactions, etc., and the presentation is typically limited to this type of information. It does not imply taxpayer involvement in the actual negotiations between competent authorities. Such a presentation would normally be pursuant to a mutual agreement by the competent authorities. Whilst such presentations should not be viewed as standard practice for all cases and should not be a substitute for taxpayer cooperation at the examination level, competent authorities are encouraged to consider inviting such presentations in appropriate cases, time and resources permitting.
In addition, experience has shown that proposals for resolution from the taxpayer can sometimes be valuable and constructive. If a proposal for resolution is included, however, there can be the risk that one competent authority may unduly rely upon this position as “the taxpayer’s position” and therefore be unwilling to explore in good faith other options. All parties should bear in mind that the ultimate goal is resolution of the case, which may or may not have elements of a taxpayer’s proposal.
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