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.

 

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.

For details on MAP relating to transfer pricing, please refer to the e-Tax Guide "Transfer Pricing Guidelines". The following sections provide details on MAP relating to matters other than transfer pricing.

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. 

How to apply for MAP?

If taxpayers intend to apply for MAP, they should observe the four-step MAP process:

 

Four-step MAP process

 

  • Taxpayer's name, address, tax identification number, contact details and main business activities;
  • Letter of authorisation (view sample) stating the engagement of tax agents or other representatives to act for the taxpayer (where applicable);
  • The specific DTA including the provision(s) of the specific article(s) which the taxpayer considers is not being correctly applied;
  • The relevant facts of the case including any documentation to support these facts, the taxation years or period involved and the amounts involved;
  • Analysis of the issue(s) involved, including taxpayer's interpretation of the application of the specific DTA provision(s), to support the claim that the provision of the specific DTA is not correctly applied, together with relevant documentation (e.g. copies of tax assessments, audits conducted by the tax authorities leading to the incorrect application of the DTA provision);
  • Whether the taxpayer has pursued domestic remedies such as tax tribunals or courts in the foreign jurisdiction. If yes, a copy of the decision is to be provided;
  • Whether similar issue(s) has been previously dealt with in an advance ruling or by any tax tribunal or court. If yes, a copy of these rulings or decisions should be provided where relevant and available;
  • How the taxpayer has reflected the issue(s) in its Singapore income tax return (e.g. income not brought to tax, foreign tax credit claimed); and
  • A statement confirming that all information and documentation provided in the MAP request is accurate and that the taxpayer will assist the CA in its resolution of the issue(s) presented in the MAP request by furnishing any other information or documentation required by the CA in a timely manner.

MAP application

Taxpayers are to send their MAP application to:

 

The Competent Authority

International Tax Branch

Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore

55 Newton Road

Revenue House

Singapore 307987

 

Alternatively, the MAP application can be submitted electronically using myTax Mail

Acceptance of a MAP application

The acceptance of a MAP application is at the discretion of the CAs. IRAS will consider taxpayers' request for a MAP based on the merits of each case.

 

Taxpayers must also recognise that if they choose to accept a settlement with a foreign CA, any unprejudiced negotiation between IRAS and the foreign CA to eliminate double taxation arising from the action of the jurisdiction that imposed the taxation not in accordance with the DTA could be challenging.

 

The MAP does not deprive taxpayers of other remedies available under their respective domestic tax law. Taxpayers should inform IRAS and the relevant foreign CA if the matter is adjudicated through any legal or judicial proceedings while the MAP process is still ongoing. The CAs will discuss and decide if the MAP should continue, cease or be suspended. Where the matter has been subjected to litigation and determination by the Singapore tribunals and courts, IRAS is unlikely to depart from the determination of the Singapore tribunals and courts.

Resolution of a MAP case

Upon accepting a MAP application, IRAS will engage the relevant foreign CA to discuss the MAP case. IRAS will also apply its best efforts to bring every case to closure in a prompt, efficient and effective manner.

 

While IRAS works to achieve timely resolution of the MAP case, the complexity of issues involved in each case will determine the actual time needed to resolve the case. In general, IRAS aims to resolve a MAP case within 24 months from receiving the taxpayer's complete application.

Implementation

When an outcome is reached between IRAS and the relevant foreign CA, IRAS will contact the taxpayer within one month of reaching agreement to discuss the details and implementation of the agreement. 

The taxpayer will have to decide whether the agreed outcome is acceptable. The taxpayer is not obliged to accept the outcome agreed between the CAs. It may reject the agreed outcome.

Unless the taxpayer rejects the outcome, IRAS and the relevant foreign CA will proceed to exchange agreement to conclude the MAP. 

If any interest or penalties have been imposed in a jurisdiction in connection with the taxation that is the subject of the MAP, the MAP agreement may address whether any refund of such interest or penalties should appropriately be made.

RATE THIS PAGE

  • Strongly Disagree
  • Strongly Agree

Information is easy to understand.

Information is useful.

Information is easy to find.

Please email us if you would like us to respond to your enquiries.