3 How MAP works
3.5. Interaction between competent authorities
3.5.1. Problematic cases
The early identification of problematic cases is crucial to concluding these cases in a reasonable period of time. Once identified, a specific case plan that addresses the critical issues can be developed and monitored. Allocating sufficient resources and experienced personnel to the most contentious cases may also improve the results in these cases.
Although these actions can be carried out in one country, it is best if both competent authorities approach this as a joint effort. A bilateral focus, with appropriate oversight can have a very positive effect on the outcome of MAP cases.
Alternative methods other than the traditional MAP process have been considered and tested as of late. Arbitration, mediation, and the use of experts all bring specific attributes to the process. Expertise in the specific area of the taxpayer’s business (e.g. banking, pharmaceutical, etc.), in tax law, economics, etc. can bring clarity to issues and help identify key information and concepts to resolve the case. In some cases, mediation or the use of experts may be useful, informal mechanisms to consider in order to resolve particularly problematic issues, depending upon the matter being addressed. They may also avoid the need to initiate more formal arbitration proceedings under those treaties that provide for the latter.