Tax Law Committee

Handling Tax Disputes in the Brave New World

Session Synopsis:

The days of amicable negotiation with your friendly neighborhood tax auditor are over: just as world politics have become increasingly confrontational, so too has the world of tax audits and investigations. And with the BEPS Action Plans continuing to loom over the horizon, both the tax authorities and the taxpayers are not seeing eye to eye and more and more issues are remaining on the table unresolved, ultimately leading to administrative appeals, MAPs and court litigation. To make things worse, the amounts involved in tax disputes are ever-increasing and as home countries begin to scrutinize FTC claims for taxes paid in source countries, taxpayers are increasingly being boxed into a corner with little choice left but to fight.


What should MNCs do in this brave new world of tax disputes? If it becomes clear that an issue cannot be resolved, what are the next steps? Should they just accept the additional assessments and do nothing? What are the risks that home country will not provide FTC for taxes paid? Will fighting with the tax authority impact the MNC’s business, especially in those countries that are highly regulated and administrative bodies yield enormous powers who can materially impact how the MNC conducts business? If a decision is made to dispute the assessment, what dispute resolution mechanism or forum is available?


This session will explore the key issues related to dealing with tax disputes, including whether to settle or fight aggressive assessments imposed by the tax authority and if a decision is made to dispute an assessment, what are the procedures and forums available to the taxpayer. In particular, the panel will explore the importance of tax practice and procedure, including gathering information, assembling facts and building evidence which can be used effectively in a dispute resolution forum. The session will also focus on strategy, including discovery, statute of limitations, and where applicable, privilege.



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