Mutual Agreement Procedure

Guidance on the Mutual Agreement Procedure ("MAP") under our DTAs

What is MAP?

Mutual Agreement Procedure (“MAP”) is a dispute resolution facility provided under the MAP article in our Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements (“DTAs”). It is a facility through which IRAS and the relevant foreign competent authority (“CA”) resolve disputes regarding the application of the DTA. Usually, a MAP is entered into between two CAs, but it is also possible for IRAS to enter into a multilateral MAP involving three or more CAs.

 

IRAS recognises the importance of tax certainty in the fast-changing business environment and is committed to assist taxpayers in resolving tax disputes in a consistent and principled manner, and in accordance with accepted international tax rules and principles. When a Singapore tax resident taxpayer suffer double taxation due to adjustments made by either IRAS or a foreign CA to the transfer prices of its related party transactions, it can request for IRAS to resolve the double taxation through a MAP. Please refer to Singapore's MAP profile for more information. This can also be found on the OECD's website. 

Who can apply for MAP?

MAP is available to:

  • A taxpayer who is resident in Singapore; and
  • A taxpayer who is not resident in Singapore but has a branch in Singapore. However, such an application should be made by the taxpayer in the jurisdiction in which it is tax resident and with which Singapore has a DTA.

IRAS does not impose any fee for MAP.

 

A foreign company can apply to the CA of the jurisdiction in which it is a tax resident for a MAP for its branch operating in Singapore. The branch has to alert IRAS of the application.

In the case of an overseas branch of a Singapore tax resident company, that Singapore company can apply to IRAS for a MAP concerning its overseas branch's affairs in a DTA jurisdiction.

When to apply for MAP?

Taxpayers may seek resolution on double taxation issues that recur over multiple tax years, subject to the time limits provided in the relevant DTA.

 

Taxpayers should only initiate MAP when double taxation has occurred or is almost certain. Double taxation should not be just a possibility, such as the mere occurrence of audit or examinations.

 

MAP should be initiated within the time limit specified in the MAP article of the relevant DTA (e.g. three years). Failure to do so may result in the CAs rejecting the MAP request. 

 

For details on MAP relating to transfer pricing, please refer to the e-Tax Guide "Transfer Pricing Guidelines". For details on MAP relating to matters other than transfer pricing, please refer to the e-Tax Guide "Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs)".  

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