Chapter INTM423050

Published date09 April 2016
Record NumberINTM423050
Protective MAP Requests

As the UK Competent Authority will admit a case into MAP prior to first notification, it may be that at the time the case is presented it is not certain that a transfer pricing adjustment will be made or that double taxation will arise. In particular, it may not be possible to gauge the quantum of profits that might be subject to double taxation. In such cases, the UK Competent Authority may well defer MAP discussions with the Competent Authority of the treaty partner until it becomes clear that such discussions are likely to prove meaningful and effective in avoiding double taxation.

A protective MAP request protects the taxpayer against missing time limits. It does not mean that the UK Competent Authority automatically accepts that the MAP request is justified. As it is likely that the taxpayer will not be able to provide full information and documentation at the point of making the protective request, the minimum information required in a presentation for a protective MAP request are details of the year(s) concerned; a brief description of the action giving rise, or expected to give rise, to taxation not in accordance with the relevant tax treaty; and the full names and addresses of the parties to which the MAP relates, including the UK taxpayer’s HMRC office and reference number. The UK Competent Authority will defer consideration of whether or not the MAP request is justified until after all the required information and documentation (see INTM 423130) has been provided by the taxpayer. A protective MAP request does not constitute a trigger point for determining the start date of the subsequent MAP case. Nevertheless, in cases of doubt, the UK Competent Authority will contact the other state or states involved to explain why it does not consider it appropriate to commence MAP discussions at that point and to seek the agreement of the other state as to the point at which discussions should commence, provided the request is deemed to be justified. However, it should be noted that even if the UK Competent Authority is prepared to commence MAP discussions, the other Competent Authority may not be and the UK Competent Authority has no power to compel engagement.

MAP and the Enquiry Process

It is important to note that even though the Competent Authorities may begin discussions before an enquiry is completed, MAP is not an alternative to the normal enquiry process. MAP will seek to determine in principle how the double...

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