The Australian Taxation Office has issued a release on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently signed with Belgium, which is the first Australia has finalized.
Belgium MOU a first for MLI tax treaty arbitration
The first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for arbitration provided under the Multilateral Instrument (MLI) for unresolved issues under the mutual agreement procedure (MAP) has been finalised with the Kingdom of Belgium.
Independent and binding arbitration is, subject to certain conditions, available under the Australia-Belgium double tax agreement (DTA) for issues submitted to MAP that remained unresolved for two years. The MOU reflects the mutual understanding between the competent authorities of Australia and Belgium on the procedural and operational details of the arbitration process.
This MOU will help give certainty and guidance to taxpayers with tax affairs in Belgium and Australia, particularly those who have initiated (or are contemplating) MAP provided for in the Australia-Belgium DTA.
While Belgium is the first jurisdiction Australia has concluded a MOU for MLI arbitration with, it's expected that others will soon follow suit. A further 15 MOUs are currently in development with jurisdictions with whom we have a tax treaty modified by the MLI to include arbitration provisions. These MOUs will be published on the ATO legal database as they become available.
Our website has more information to help you find out if you're eligible for arbitration, and what information you'll need to submit with your application.