Transfer Pricing

Transfer Pricing: OECD guidance on multilateral Mutual Agreement Procedures (MAPs) and Advance Pricing Arrangements (APAs)

Sasha Kerins
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The Forum on Tax Administration, a member group of the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting), along with other OECD task forces, published a guide to Multilateral Mutual Agreement Procedures multilateral (MAPs) and Advance Pricing Arrangements (APAs). This guide is abbreviated as the ‘MoMA’.

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APAs are one of the tools available to taxpayers to manage transfer pricing risks and to agree a pricing methodology in advance, especially in complex transactions involving tax authorities. MAPs are in place to resolve situations of double taxation or taxation not in accordance with a bilateral tax treaty.

Multilateral MAPs and APAs offer greater tax certainty to both taxpayers and tax administrations where multiple bilateral tax treaties cover different parts of the same transaction or arrangement involving a multinational enterprise. Both MAPs and APAs are appropriate dispute prevention tool impacting complex, multi-jurisdictional transactions.


The MoMA is intended to serve as a guide to multilateral MAP and APA processes from both a legal and procedural perspective. The Manual suggests different approaches to tax administrations, based on the existing practices of their jurisdictions, without imposing a set of binding rules. Tax authorities can consider if the MoMA can be incorporated into their own MAP and APA programmes to provide greater clarity.

In our view, the MoMA is a positive step forward in improving the process for concluding MAPs and APAs around the world and provides greater clarity for all stakeholders to settle them on a timely basis.

Details of the guidance is available on the OECD website

How can we help

Given the importance of certainty and avoiding double taxation in the current global tax environment, taxpayers should monitor the adoption of the MoMA guidance in relevant jurisdictions where such rules are not already in place.

The adoption of the MoMA guidance will help foster greater collaboration between tax administrations and taxpayers which is more important than ever in light of the ongoing work on the BEPS 2.0 project.

Grant Thornton’s transfer pricing team can advise and guide you through the MoMA and the bilateral/multilateral APAs and MAPs process. We can recommend how you can avail of APAs and MAPs.