The OECD has published guidelines for the APA as part of its transfer pricing guidelines (see OECD guidelines on transfer pricing for multinational companies and tax administrations, 2010, Chapter IV, Section F and Chapter IV annex). In accordance with OECD transfer pricing guidelines, APA negotiations are based on Article 25 of the OECD Model Tax Convention. A pre-price agreement is an agreement between states parties to a tax treaty. It applies to situations in which transfer pricing issues related to intragroup transactions within a group of international activities must be resolved. The competent authorities do not always reach an agreement. In accordance with the articles relating to the mutual agreement procedure contained in the tax agreements concluded between Finland and other countries, the competent authorities should only endeavour to reach agreement on this issue. If the competent authorities do not reach an agreement, the competent authority will also inform the subject of the omission. A preferential price agreement or preferential pricing agreement (APA) is an agreement between at least two states parties to a tax agreement. Pre-price agreements are negotiated by the competent authorities of each of the countries concerned. It is recommended that APA be compiled as soon as possible. The time required to process the application must also be taken into account. In line with EU recommendations, the application should be processed within 18 months.
In practice, processing times are much longer. This observation is based on EU statistics (which also contain unilateral APAs from individual states and preliminary decisions). The tax exercises covered by the APA are defined separately in the APA between the relevant authorities. However, it is possible that a subject may be able to negotiate a unilateral APA involving only the taxpayer and the IRS. In this case, both parties negotiate an appropriate TPM only for U.S. tax purposes. If the taxpayer is involved in a dispute with a foreign tax authority over the registered transactions, he can apply for a discharge by asking the competent US authority to initiate a procedure of mutual agreement. This, of course, implies the entry into force of an applicable foreign income tax agreement. The meeting may be more productive if, prior to the meeting, the subject submits to the appropriate authority the issue of transfer pricing that he intends to include in the application, the specific scope of the APA and any other relevant issue necessary to resolve the matter. The subject should also contact the competent authorities of other contracting states that may be included in the APA in order to clarify the terms of the APA.
In Finland, there is no specific legislation on the APP. Finland can enter into a pre-price agreement with the countries with which it has a tax treaty (a contract to avoid double taxation on income and capital income). An APP is based on the mutual agreement procedure provided for by the tax treaties between Finland and other states, which allows the abolition of international double taxation between contracting states. The mutual unification procedure is based on Article 25 of the model tax treaty published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The IRS APMA program is operational independently of the audit function, but it has been part of the LB-I division since 2012, with the same notification lines as the test. In particular, the Director of APMA reports to the Director of Processing and Transfer Operations, who also oversees IRS transfer practices, who supports pricing transfer reviews.