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Multilateral advance pricing agreements – A multifaceted approach to a global conundrum?


There is currently a revival of interest in multilateral advance pricing agreements (MAPAs), not only at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) level, but also among revenue authorities. The revenue authorities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom have recently demonstrated an interest in multilateral approaches to transfer pricing controversy resolution. This article examines this revived interest in MAPAs before going on to consider some past multilateral agreements, in order to gain valuable insights into the multilateral process going forward. The views of some of the main protagonists in these agreements are discussed, including reflections from the coordinator of the APA Programme in the UK until 2012, a competent authority negotiator in many of the world’s past MAPAs.

Current economic, fiscal and accounting developments have made transfer pricing a top priority concern for all multinational enterprises (MNEs), there has been an unprecedented rise in international collaboration between tax administrations, and MAPAs are the only transfer pricing controversy management tool to simultaneously offer multiple revenue authorities and MNEs prospective certainty. This article contributes to the study of tax law and policy in that it examines the advantages and disadvantages of prospective multiparty dispute resolution in this globally important area.

Author profile:

Michelle MARKHAM
Michelle is an Associate Professor of Law, Bond University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Senior Research Fellow, Taxation Law and Policy Group, Monash University
Current at 1 December 2014
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