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Competent Authority Assistance

If you are a U.S. citizen or resident, you can request assistance from the U.S. competent authority (See the instructions in Revenue Procedure 2015-40) if you think that the actions of the United States, a treaty country, or both, cause or will cause a tax situation not intended by the treaty between the two countries. You should read any specific treaty articles, including the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) article, that apply in your situation. The filers of Competent Authority claims involving Canada should consult Revenue Procedure 98-21, 1998-8 I.R.B. 1.

It is important that you make your request for competent authority consideration as soon as you have been denied treaty benefits or the actions of both the United States and the foreign country have resulted in double taxation or will result in taxation not intended by the treaty. Except where otherwise provided in an applicable treaty, taxpayers have discretion over the time for filing a request; however, delays in filing may preclude effective relief. In addition to a timely request for assistance, you should take the following measures to protect your right to the review of your case by the competent authorities.

  • File a timely protective claim for credit or refund of U.S. taxes in accordance with Section 11 of Revenue Procedure 2015-40.
  • Take appropriate action under the procedures of the foreign country to avoid the lapse or termination of your right of appeal under the foreign country's income tax law.

The U.S. competent authority cannot consider requests involving countries with which the United States does not have an applicable tax treaty. However, there exist some competent authority agreements between the United States and other countries that involve issues other than those normally found in income tax treaties.

References/Related Topics

Note: This page contains one or more references to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), Treasury Regulations, court cases, or other official tax guidance. References to these legal authorities are included for the convenience of those who would like to read the technical reference material. To access the applicable IRC sections, Treasury Regulations, or other official tax guidance, visit the Tax Code, Regulations, and Official Guidance page. To access any Tax Court case opinions issued after September 24, 1995, visit the Opinions Search page of the United States Tax Court.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 22-Nov-2016