On 30 January 2017 the OECD announced that it is gathering input in relation to the Stage 1 Peer Reviews of the tax treaty dispute resolution process. The process of peer reviews for monitoring the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) under Action 14 of the action plan on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) was launched in December 2016. The first peer reviews have commenced for Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK and the US. The next batch of peer reviews is to be launched in April 2017 and would include France, Germany and Luxembourg. Input is now required in relation to the countries in this next batch of reviews that are soon to commence.
In October 2016 the OECD made available the first schedule for peer reviews of countries under Action 14 of BEPS. Action 14 is concerned with ensuring that dispute resolution mechanisms for resolving tax treaty related disputes are more effective. Documents in relation to the peer review process also released in October 2016 include the terms of reference to translate the minimum standard approved in Action 14 into a basis for the peer review; the assessment methodology to be used for the peer review and monitoring process; MAP statistics reporting framework; and guidance on the information and documentation to be submitted with a MAP request.
For the jurisdictions to be subject to peer review the OECD is inviting taxpayers to submit input on specific issues relating to access to the MAP; the clarity and availability of MAP guidance and the timely implementation of MAP agreements. The OECD points out that taxpayers are key users of the MAP and their input is therefore important to the peer review process.