TPG2022 Chapter IV paragraph 4.31

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Paragraph 5 of Article 25, which was incorporated in the OECD Model Tax Convention in 2008, provides that, in mutual agreement procedure cases in which the competent authorities are unable to reach an agreement within two years of the initiation of the case under paragraph 1 of Article 25, the unresolved issues will, at the request of the person who presented the case, be resolved through an arbitration process. This extension of the mutual agreement procedure ensures that where the competent authorities cannot reach an agreement on one or more issues that prevent the resolution of a case, a resolution of the case will still be possible by submitting those issues to arbitration. Where one or more issues have been submitted to arbitration in accordance with such a provision, and unless a person directly affected by the case does not accept the mutual agreement that implements the arbitration decision, that decision shall be binding on both States, the taxation of any person directly affected by the case will have to conform with the decision reached on the issues submitted to arbitration and the decisions reached in the arbitral process will be reflected in the mutual agreement that will be presented to these persons. Where a particular bilateral treaty does not contain an arbitration provision similar to paragraph 5 of Article 25, the competent authorities are not obliged to reach an agreement to resolve their dispute; paragraph 2 of Article 25 requires only that the competent authorities “endeavour … to resolve the case by mutual agreement”. The competent authorities may be unable to come to an agreement because of conflicting domestic laws or restrictions imposed by domestic law on the tax administration’s power of compromise. Even in the absence of a mandatory binding arbitration provision similar to paragraph 5 of Article 25 in a particular bilateral treaty, however, the competent authorities of the Contracting States may by mutual agreement establish a binding arbitration procedure for general application or to deal with a specific case (see paragraph 69 of the Commentary on Article 25 of the OECD Model Tax Convention). It should also be noted that a multilateral Convention on the elimination of double taxation in connection with the adjustment of profits of associated enterprises2 (the Arbitration Convention) was signed by the Member States of the European Communities on 23 July 1990; the Arbitration Convention, which entered into force on 1 January 1995, provides for an arbitration mechanism to resolve transfer pricing disputes between European Union Member States.

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