The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) announced on 18 November 2019 that Thailand and other 14 countries are under the Stage 1 peer review on MAP, Action 14 of the BEPS Action Plan, which is one of the four minimum standards that Thailand is committed to comply under the Inclusive Framework, to improve efficiencies in solving double taxation disputes.
Although MAP provision has been included in most tax treaties concluded by Thailand, namely Article 25 of the OECD Model Tax Convention, based on “Thailand Dispute Resolution Profile” dated 12 June 2018, the Revenue Department answered OECD’s questionnaires that, this provision has rarely been implemented, it has no specific office to deal with MAP matters, no MAP guideline has been provided to taxpayers, there is no roll-back of the Advanced Pricing Agreement (APA), and not all tax treaties of Thailand agree to implement MAP irrespective of the time limits under the domestic law.
Subject to the peer review, the Revenue Department came up with a draft MAP Guideline in October 2019 – which does not make it appear as a committed dispute resolution method. The draft implies that Thailand is not obliged to implement the agreed procedure, which is not in line with MAP’s objective. Besides a long list of requirements to initiate MAP, the taxpayer is also required to submit a written statement to refrain from taking any subsequent action.
The draft states that, even though the court’s judgment does not prevent an application for MAP, the Revenue Department cannot implement the agreed procedure that contradicts the court’s decision, which makes it futile where the issue is brought to the Thai court.