OECD has published a document on MAP and APA procedures

On 1 February, OECD released a Manual on the Handling of Multilateral Mutual Agreement Procedures and Advance Pricing Arrangements (MoMA). As a reminder, in 2022, OECD Manual on Bilateral APAs was published.

MAP and APA are procedures designed to ensure the security of the taxpayer in the field of controlled transactions. They allow the acceptance of transfer pricing methodology applied in particular transaction (APA) or MAP methodology that will be accepted by two or more jurisdictions. Thus, the taxpayer can reduce the risk of tax authorities questioning the transaction or double taxation.

These agreements (especially multilateral ones) are actually not very popular. This is mainly because of the long waiting time for a decision and the difficulty in establishing a coherent approach by representatives of various jurisdictions.

For example, a total of 23 MAP agreements have been made in Poland between 2016 and 2021 (including 16 for which applications were filed before 2016). With regard to APA, only 2 multilateral agreements were made in Poland (one in 2014, the other in 2019).

OECD decided to compile a document that would serve as a guide to MAP and APA: from a legal and procedural perspective. It is (like other OECD-released documents) a set of recommendations and has no legal force in individual jurisdictions.

The Manual aims to enable tax administrations to improve their processes based on the good practices. It also provides guidance for taxpayers on filing and processing applications that will help them to work with tax administrations in the handling of MAPs and APAs.

Topics covered in the document include:

  • basics for handling multilateral MAP and APA cases – definitions, legal bases, guidelines for processing multilateral cases and related applications,
  • procedural matters – guidance on cooperation with various jurisdictions, a set of approaches from individual legislations on procedural or appeal issues as well as the rights, obligations and role of the taxpayer,
  • sample procedures for multilateral agreements – the document introduces a number of representative, simplified examples of transactions that could be covered by APAs or MAPs,
  • an example schedule for a multilateral procedure.

The PDF file (in English) can be downloaded here.

The MoMA should be viewed positively. OECD collects the experience of various jurisdictions and publishes sample transactions that can be covered by the procedure. This enables local jurisdictions to become familiar with good practices. As a result, some of them may be introduced into local regulations.

Taxpayers are discouraged from APA or MAP primarily by the long waiting time for a decision and the inconsistent approach of jurisdictions.

Therefore, the manual may be a good step to harmonize the regulations and perhaps shorten the application processing time.


Marta Klepacz

Senior Manager, Transfer Pricing

Tel.: (+48) 533 889 036