This online Manual on Effective Mutual Agreement Procedures (MEMAP) is part of a broader project to improve the functioning of existing international tax dispute procedures and to develop supplementary dispute resolution mechanisms. More information about the project, the proposed supplementary dispute resolution mechanism, and other suggested improvements to the Mutual Agreement Procedures (MAP) process can be found at www.oecd.org/ctp/memap under Dispute Resolution.
The MEMAP is intended as a guide to increase awareness of the MAP process and how it should function. It will provide tax administrations and taxpayers with basic information on the operation of MAP and identify best practices for MAP without imposing a set of binding rules upon Member countries.
The following points are important elements to consider in understanding the status of the manual and its interaction with other OECD guidance:
The manual does not, and is not intended to, modify, restrict or expand any rights or obligations contained in the provision of any tax convention.
To the extent that there are any statements or information in the MEMAP which appear to conflict, or to be incompatible with a convention, domestic guidance provided by a country, the OECD Model Tax Convention, its Commentary, or the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines, then the latter guidance is controlling.
“Best practice” is the term used in this manual to describe what is generally thought to be the most appropriate manner to deal with a MAP process or procedural issue. There is no priority or significance associated with their order or with the length of discussion of a particular practice. Although taxpayers and tax administrations should ideally strive towards implementing these best practices, it is recognised that it may not always be possible to apply a best practice as described in the manual or there may be situations where their application may not be appropriate.