On November 22, 2022, the OECD released the latest mutual agreement procedure (MAP) statistics covering 127 tax jurisdictions.
The statistics – which practically cover all MAP cases worldwide – form part of the BEPS Action 14 Minimum Standard, providing an objective and global frame of reference, as well as a country-specific view, which together allow measurement of progress but also show where further work is needed.
Approximately 13 percent more MAP cases were closed in 2021 than in 2020, with both transfer pricing cases and other cases closed being significantly more than in 2020. Competent authorities were able to close more cases in 2021 due to the greater use of virtual meetings, the prioritization of simpler cases, and greater collaboration to solve common issues collectively that could be applied across multiple MAP cases.
Further, jurisdictions noted that increases in staff and the experience of these staff are now reflected in their ability to be able to resolve more cases.
The number of new MAP cases opened in 2021 decreased compared to 2020. This is attributed to a significant decrease in new transfer pricing cases being opened, while the number of other cases opened increased compared to 2020.
The statistics reveal that MAP outcomes remain generally positive. Around 75 percent of the MAPs concluded in 2021 fully resolved the issue both for transfer pricing and other cases (similar to 76 percent for transfer pricing cases and 74 percent for other cases in 2020). Approximately two percent of MAP cases were closed with no agreement compared to three percent in 2020.
According to the latest figures, MAP cases continue to take a long time. On average, MAP cases closed in 2021 took 32 months for transfer pricing cases (35 months in 2020) and approximately 21 months for other cases (18.5 months in 2020). Some jurisdictions experienced delays, especially for more complex cases, and the COVID-19 crisis affected the quality of their communication with some treaty partners.
Finally, the data reveals that MAP continued to be available throughout the pandemic with several actions taken by competent authorities. Jurisdictions noted that, especially towards the end of 2021, there has been an increase in MAP engagement with treaty partners.
The 2021 MAP Statistics were presented during the fourth OECD Tax Certainty Day, where tax officials and stakeholders took stock of the tax certainty agenda and discussed ways to further improve dispute prevention and resolution.