3 How MAP works
3.5. Interaction between competent authorities
Taxpayers, tax administrations, and the international tax community in general are all committed to a streamlined and effective MAP process. For their part, tax administrations can attempt to continually enhance communication and coordination between competent authorities.
Case analysts or competent authority analysts, who are charged with the analysis and development of a position as well as the day-to-day management of a case, are encouraged to consult with their counterparts to discuss or clarify specific issues throughout the MAP process. All such discussions between analysts are best documented to provide a historical summary if the file must change hands within the competent authority office.
Although the competent authorities need not exchange copies of all documents provided by the taxpayer, since doing so may simply replicate the documents already submitted by the taxpayer, an appropriate mechanism could be arranged to corroborate the completeness and details of documents and information supplied by the taxpayers.
Competent authorities often discuss MAP case via means such as letters, facsimiles, e-mail, telephone, and face-to-face conferences. Although it is recognized that face-to-face conferences are often the most productive means by which to discuss a MAP case, the competent authorities are encouraged to determine the most appropriate means of communication to best resolve a case in an expeditious but practical manner. It is also considered beneficial, if face-to-face conferences are conducted, to involve the specific competent authority case analysts whenever possible and practical. In addition, in order to achieve a timely resolution of a MAP case, the competent authority staff with the authority to resolve a case should be present at the time of discussion.
Best Practice Nº15: Face-to-face meetings between competent authorities
Face-to-face meetings may allow for a more open discussion and collegial approach and a perhaps a more relaxed environment. A more unified approach towards problem solving may in turn lead to “win-win” solutions in the resolution of MAP cases.
One other benefit of meeting in person is usually it triggers a milestone event in the timeline of any one particular case that often causes a level of activity and progress. In other words, meeting in person usually helps advance a case. Preparation prior to a meeting and the generation of follow up plans afterwards generally produces results.
Conference calls can be easily postponed, deadlines can get pushed back, but meetings once committed to and arranged can be difficult to set aside.
Considering the diverse cultures and the proliferation of MAP cases, it is recognized that in some cases interpreters may be required to help facilitate face-to-face meetings.