ABSTRACT

As businesses expand operations globally, the threat of double taxation on income earned becomes a significant concern. The current Mutual Agreement Procedures (MAP) within the tax treaties frequently fail to provide equitable relief, exposing taxpayers to uncertain outcomes, and cause compliance considerations under Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 740, Income Taxes. In July 2008, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Model Tax Treaty began including a mandatory arbitration provision for taxpayers failing to reach agreement under MAP. The U.S. Model, while beginning to shift toward including mandatory arbitration in some of the later treaties, still relies on the voluntary MAP proceedings for resolution of disagreements, because any party can elect out of arbitration. Data provided by the U.S. Treasury indicated that a wide range of taxpayer income covered by the U.S. treaties failed to receive partial or full relief from double taxation. The U.S. should consider adopting the OECD Model Tax Treaty's mandatory arbitration provisions for all tax treaties, to remove the uncertainty of double taxation and promote international trade.

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