Advance Pricing Agreements Definition

In October 1999, the OECD published an update of the OECD guidelines on clearing prices for multinational companies and tax administrations in 1995 (the so-called “guidelines”). This update takes the form of a new schedule to the guidelines, which contains guidelines for the implementation of ex ante price agreements as part of the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP-APAs). The annex is an integral part of the guidelines, as evidenced by the OECD Council`s decision of 28 October to amend its original recommendation on the 1995 guidelines to include the new guidelines in this annex. It therefore has the same status as the eight existing chapters of the guidelines. A pre-price agreement (APA) is a prior agreement between a tax payer and a tax authority on an appropriate transfer pricing method (TPM) for a number of transactions involved during a specified period[1] (“covered transactions”). Bilateral and multilateral APAs are generally bilateral or multilateral, i.e. they also enter into agreements between the subject and one or more foreign tax administrations under the control of the Mutual Agreement Procedure (POP) under the tax treaties. [3] The subject benefits from such agreements, since he is assured that income from covered transactions is not subject to double taxation on the part of the IRS and the relevant foreign tax authorities. The IRS policy is to “encourage” taxpayers to apply for bilateral or multilateral APA where there are provisions of the competent authority. Following the signing of the pre-price agreement with the State or foreign countries, BZSt informs the applicant in writing of the result and asks him to approve the content of the agreement. In addition, the applicant is asked to waive his right of appeal to the tax office. Once the applicant has agreed to the content and waived his right of appeal, the tax office grants the applicant the corresponding mandatory prior obligation to implement the pre-transfer prices at the national level. An APA is an administrative approach that aims to avoid transfer pricing disputes by establishing criteria for applying the arm length principle to transactions prior to such transactions.

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