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Published on January 10th, 2018 | by Olga Papadopoulou

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The EU Sets the Standard for International Tax Dispute Resolution

Kluwer Arbitration Blog

The EU Sets the Standard for International Tax Dispute Resolution

Jonathan Schwarz (Temple Tax Chambers; King’s College London)/November 11, 2017

Adoption of the EU Council Directive on Tax Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in the European Union on 10 October 2017 is a milestone in international tax dispute resolution. The Directive offers a uniform mechanism to address tax treaty disputes among EU member states that meets the BEPS Action 14 minimum standard, and largely renders the arbitration option in the OECD BEPS MLI redundant as between EU member states. It will apply to intra-EU disputes relating to income earned in a tax year commencing from 1 January 2018 for cases submitted from 1 July 2019. Competent authorities of Member States may agree to apply the Directive to cases submitted earlier or to earlier tax years.

The directive supplements the EU Arbitration Convention which only covers transfer pricing and attribution of profits to permanent establishments.  The new directive covers disputes between Member States over the interpretation and application of treaties that eliminate double taxation of income and capital. Its self-contained mutual agreement procedure (MAP), backed up by binding mandatory arbitration or alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, will likely provide the most effective, rule based system for resolving treaty disputes.

The directive expressly contemplates multi-state disputes with the result that complex transfer pricing or multiple residence disputes are capable of resolution in a single procedure…

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