Mandatory Tax Treaty Arbitration


Certain U.S. income tax treaties provide for mandatory binding arbitration to resolve eligible cases in which the competent authorities have endeavored but are unable to reach a complete agreement. To date, arbitration is included in the U.S. income tax treaties with Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain and Switzerland. More information on mandatory binding arbitration under these treaties, together with associated documents, is available through the following links

Mandatory Arbitration Documents with Germany, Belgium, Canada, France, Japan, Spain and Switzerland

Taxpayer Agreements for MAP Arbitration

In arbitration, a case is resolved by the determination of an arbitration board comprised of three members: one member selected by each of the respective competent authorities and a chair chosen by those respective members from a panel of candidates agreed upon by the competent authorities.

Depending on the treaty, within 60-90 days of the appointment of the chair, each competent authority will submit for the board's consideration a proposed resolution paper proposing a resolution for each issue presented (not exceeding 5 pages) and a supporting position paper (not exceeding 30 pages) plus annexes.

The arbitration panel must select one of the two proposed resolutions for each issue presented and inform both competent authorities of its determination in writing, depending on the treaty, within 6 and 9 months of the appointment of the chair. The written determination must not include any rationale or analysis for the selection and will not be considered precedential. No information relating to the arbitration proceeding, including the written determination, may be disclosed by the board member

It is anticipated that the arbitration board will conduct its meetings through telephonic and video conferences. Board members will be compensated for up to three days of preparation, up to two days of meetings, and, if applicable, and depending on the treaty, certain travel days and travel expenses. It is expected that applicants stand ready to serve on at least one arbitration board at any time within 3 years after being named to the registry.

Individuals interested in serving as U.S. members of arbitration boards, as well as non-U.S. citizens interested in serving as arbitration board chairs with respect to U.S. tax treaties providing for mandatory binding arbitration should send an e-mail to (subject line "Arbitration Panel Solicitation").