Volume 46 (2018) / Issue 10
Traditionally, most international tax disputes among jurisdictions have been resolved through the mechanism of the mutual agreement procedure (MAP). A long-standing concern with MAPs is that competent authorities might pursue a so-called package deal, whereby a certain taxpayer’s interests would be sacrificed as part of a larger trade-off between the competent authorities. This article argues that, contrary to this common belief, a package deal under the MAP is not necessarily a bad deal; indeed, it even has the potential to strengthen the MAP mechanism. Specifically, this package deal method helps to reduce the average costs of handling MAP cases; expands the space for cooperation between competent authorities; and, if properly devised, helps to foster a stable fiscal climate. In a broader sense, the method of package negotiation also has implications for the mechanism of international tax mediation. This article adopts an interdisciplinary approach, combining the topic of the MAP with transaction cost theory.
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