The introduction of an Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) is expected to create more transparency in the tax administration process involving both tax authorities and taxpayers and enabling both parties to control and monitor transfer pricing (TP) issues, according to the Tax Consultants' Association.
The argument was made by several experts at the ongoing 21st annual conference of the Asia-Oceania Tax Consultants' Association (AOTCA) in Vietnam's capital Hanoi, state-run Vietnam News Agency reported Friday.
APA will not only help enhance the enterprises' tax and transfer pricing compliance level but also increase their confidence that a transfer pricing audit is mitigated or avoided for the duration of the APA, said the report quoting a tax partner of Ernst & Young Vietnam as saying.
Vietnam has a large number of small-and medium-sized enterprises who would like to mitigate TP risks through APA, and the process would be useful and practical for tax authorities to efficiently allocate resources.
Mie Seyama from Zeirishi, a certified public tax accountant member, said Japan pioneered this system and introduced it in 1987.
Taxpayers proposed a way to calculate the APA in advance. If the tax offices approved the method, TP rules would not be imposed. He said bilateral APAs have been the most effective to prevent TP disputes.
According to Marcellus Wong, senior advisor at PricewaterhouseCoopers Hong Kong, APA agreements resolved transfer pricing issues and reducing uncertainty arising from related party transactions.
APA applications were made by taxpayers on a voluntary basis in Hong Kong with five steps including pre-filling, formal application, analysis and evaluation, negotiation and agreement, drafting, execution and monitoring.
The annual AOTCA 21, with participation of 300 delegates and 200 senior tax experts, focused on six major topics regarding preferential tax policies for investment encouragement: APA, legal regulations on tax evasion and impacts on tax consultants, tax payers' rights and obligations, taxable income and profit shifting -- the cause and effects of developing countries and principles of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The Vietnam Tax Consultants' Association joined the AOTCA in 2008 as an observer and became a full member in 2009.