Dispute Resolution: Country Mutual Agreement Procedure Statistics
25-Sept-2009. Two key objectives of the OECD work on the mutual agreement procedure (MAP) under tax treaties were to improve the timeliness of processing and completing MAP cases and to enhance the transparency of the MAP process. To those ends, the OECD is making available to the public, via its website, annual statistics on the MAP caseloads of all its member countries and of non-OECD economies that agree to provide such statistics.
The analysis of OECD member country MAP statistics was originally proposed as an area for future study in a 2004 draft progress report on the work of the OECD Committee on Fiscal Affairs (CFA) on improving the resolution of cross-border tax disputes. The report, entitled “Improving the Process for Resolving International Tax Disputes” (the 2004 Progress Report) contained 31 proposals aimed at improving the way that tax treaty disputes are resolved through MAP.
The follow-up work on the proposals in the 2004 Progress Report was described in a 2006 public discussion draft “Proposals for Improving Mechanisms for the Resolution of Tax Treaty Disputes” and discussed in a March 2006 public consultation in Tokyo. As a result of this work, the OECD concluded that a periodical analysis of member country MAP caseloads would be useful, and the OECD Secretariat was accordingly directed to prepare a proposal for the reporting of MAP statistics. In January 2007, the CFA directed that member countries would submit annual reports containing statistical information on their MAP caseloads and approved the reporting framework that had been developed for that purpose. The MAP reporting framework, as well as the other results of the proposals in the 2004 Progress Report, are described in detail in the CFA’s 2007 report “Improving the Resolution of Tax Treaty Disputes”.
Initial MAP statistics are provided for the 2006 and 2007 reporting periods. Considered in the aggregate, MAP inventories in OECD member countries generally increased from 2006 to 2007, although there were no clear trends in the total number of MAP cases initiated or completed. For those countries that reported them, the average cycle times for cases completed, closed or withdrawn showed a slight decrease over the two years for which data was collected. The OECD intends to continue to collect and make available MAP statistics from later periods as such information becomes available, which will provide useful information on longer-term trends in MAP caseloads.
Visit the OECD’s site on Dispute Resolution.