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13.4.4. APAs and Dispute Resolution Mechanisms

APAs

Ireland has not implemented any formal advanced pricing agreement (APA) procedures. Note, however, that the Irish tax authorities will generally be willing to enter into bilateral or multilateral APAs with treaty partners on a case-by-case basis.

DTA Mutual Agreement Procedures

Ireland includes mutual agreement procedures (MAP) in DTA's with other jurisdictions. In the case of transfer pricing adjustments, MAP can be used to avoid double taxation.

When a MAP request is made for relief, the Irish tax authorities require the following information:

  • The legal basis for the MAP request
  • Explanation of the need for MAP
  • Explanation of the issues involved including relevant documentation
  • Explanation of the desired outcome of the procedures, including any supporting documentation

When a request for a corresponding adjustment for double taxation relief is made, the Irish tax authorities require the following information:

  • The legal basis for relief claim
  • Details of how relevant parties are related
  • Details of the transfer pricing policy prior to adjustment in the other country
  • Explanation of which aspects of the prior policy were not accepted in the other country
  • Details of how the agreement was reached with the other country, including:
    • How the enterprise sought to rebut the assessment
    • How agreement was reached and determined to be arms length
    • The process by which agreement was reached and how such an agreement is justifiable as arm’s length
    • The amount of the adjustment agreed upon and the financial years covered
    • An overview of the factors leading to acceptance of a negotiated settlement as opposed to litigation (if relevant)
  • A copy of the settlement agreement
  • State whether there are any outstanding audits to be conducted when similar issues are likely to arise
  • State whether any audits being undertaken by other countries that might affect the profits of the Irish related enterprise

If the claim is accepted, a revised tax calculation must be submitted to the tax authorities for the periods affected. The tax authorities will then calculate the amount of relief and will typically issue a revised assessment.

Transfer Pricing Audit and Appeals

Audit

If the Irish tax authorities suspects a taxpayer is not complying with transfer pricing guidelines, and does not agree with their tax return, an audit will be triggered and possible tax adjustment. There are no specific provisions given for the transfer pricing audits apart from general audit procedures in Ireland (Covered in Sec. 14.4.). Note, however, that transfer pricing audits in Ireland are conducted by officers specially qualified to deal with transfer pricing issued.

Appeal

A taxpayer has the right to appeal an adjustment decision and must do so within 30 days of receiving notice. The procedures for transfer pricing adjustment appeals are the same for any other decision of the Ireland tax authorities (covered in Section 14.7.).

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for audit and additional assessments is 4 years after the relevant year of assessment. There is no limit incase of criminal acts.