Tax dispute resolution is gaining importance worldwide. In the Netherlands, too, authorities have become increasingly assertive and active in challenging tax positions of corporate taxpayers. We have seen an increase in major cases revolving around the way transfer-pricing rules are applied. This included the Dutch Tax Authorities challenging interest deduction on related-party debt in private equity-structures, the allocation of merger goodwill for tax purposes, and the arm's length nature of guarantee and factoring fees. Besides the substantive aspects, these cases reaffirm that matters are won and lost on procedural aspects, more specifically the availability or lack of adequate transfer-pricing documentation and the allocation of the burden of proof.
In cross-border situations, risks of multiple taxation of multinationals have increased significantly in recent years and are expected to only grow further. Our expectation is therefore that, more often than before, taxpayers will have to develop and implement strategies on international tax dispute resolution. Besides domestic court proceedings, key processes available mainly regard mutual agreement procedures under tax treaties or EU law and related arbitration clauses. All of these processes are far from perfect in terms of legal protection and securing a coherent resolution. Mutual agreement procedures may be started on the basis of a bilateral tax treaty (as modified by the MLI), the Arbitration Convention or the Arbitration Directive. This leaves taxpayers with a choice between these different avenues for resolving their cross-border tax issues. In each given situation, they will need to decide the most appropriate way to achieve the desired outcome within a reasonable timeframe and without risking a good relationship with the competent authorities.
In this Master Class Wiebe Dijkstra, Peter Spijker and Mees Vergouwen will address important formal aspects of domestic court proceedings and international tax dispute resolution processes, and share views on how to develop tax dispute resolution strategies in that respect. We will pay particular attention to the role of transfer-pricing documentation, how the burden of proof in domestic cases is divided, and what the pros and cons are of the various mutual agreement procedures and related arbitration provisions.
Date, time and location
This Webinar Master Class will be held via Microsoft Teams on Tuesday, 29 November from 08:30 to 10:00.
Please note that our Master Classes are based on invitation only.