OECD’s Fifth Tax Certainty Day: A Comprehensive Overview of MAP Updates and Global Tax Certainty Efforts

December 1, 20230

On the 14th of November 2023, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) hosted its fifth annual OECD Tax Certainty Day, a virtual assembly that shed light on significant developments in the topic of tax certainty and Mutual Agreement Procedures (MAP). 

 

The event, which was attended by esteemed speakers including OECD Secretariat members, the Chief of International Tax Cooperation and Trade of the United Nations, country delegates representing finance ministries and tax authorities, as well as corporate tax executives, served as a platform to unveil the 2022 statistics on MAP and present the 2022 MAP awards. The discussions traversed the International Compliance Assurance Programme (ICAP), ongoing work concerning tax certainty under Pillars One and Two of the OECD/G20 project on digital economy tax challenges (BEPS 2.0 project), and updates from the MAP Forum. 

 

Significance of Tax Certainty 

Amidst a continually evolving business environment, the importance of tax certainty remains paramount. Businesses are urged to vigilantly monitor these developments and look into the available dispute prevention and resolution mechanisms to navigate the dynamic tax landscape effectively. 

 

Insights from the Event 

The introductory sessions emphasized the continued commitment toward tax certainty. Insights highlighted the traction gained by tax certainty mechanisms, advocating increased participation in ICAP, focusing on bilateral and multilateral Advance Pricing Arrangements (APAs), and encouraging cooperative compliance programs and joint audits. 

 

MAP Statistics and Trends 

The release of the 2022 MAP statistics disclosed intriguing insights into the current tax certainty landscape. The figures reflected a rising inventory of MAP cases, albeit slightly slower growth than previous years. Despite a decrease in closed cases, positive trends emerged, with a considerable number of cases resolving the issues under dispute. 

 

Key Findings from MAP Statistics 

The statistics indicated a prolonged resolution time for MAP cases, with concentration in a few countries. However, the outcomes remained predominantly favorable, with most cases successfully resolving issues in compliance with tax treaties. 

 

MAP Forum’s Progress Update 

The MAP Forum’s endeavors were highlighted, encompassing the completion of Stage 2 Peer Review, extensive MAP training workshops, collaborations on BEPS 2.0’s Pillar One, and the substantial growth of the ICAP. 

 

Insights from ICAP 

The ICAP, a voluntary risk assessment and assurance program, showcased promising outcomes, including a high proportion of transactions categorized as “low risk,” leading to efficient and resource-saving dispute resolutions. 

 

Tax Certainty under BEPS 2.0 

Pillar One and Pillar Two of BEPS 2.0 emphasized binding dispute prevention and resolution mechanisms, aiming to ensure consistent application and calculation of tax provisions. 

 

Global Tax Certainty Initiatives 

Representatives from various tax administrations provided insights into their countries’ tax certainty efforts, illustrating how support and training initiatives are aiding smaller jurisdictions in managing MAP caseloads effectively. 

 

2022 MAP Awards and Implications 

The closure of the event witnessed the announcement of the 2022 MAP awards, recognizing competent authorities for their accomplishments in various categories, signifying the ongoing endeavor towards enhanced tax certainty globally. 

 

Conclusion 

The Tax Certainty Day highlighted the significance of tax certainty in an ever-evolving global tax landscape. As the BEPS 2.0 project ushers in new tax rules, securing tax certainty through these mechanisms will be of great importance for both taxpayers and tax administrations. 

 

This comprehensive review of the OECD’s Tax Certainty Day serves as an illuminating guide for tax professionals, investors, and businesses keen on staying abreast of the evolving tax certainty landscape and understanding the nuances of MAP developments and global tax certainty initiatives. 

 

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