OECD – INTERNATIONAL COMPLIANCE ASSURANCE PROGRAMME. PILOT HANDBOOK. WORKING DOCUMENT. 1. The International Compliance Assurance Programme (ICAP) is a programme for a multilateral cooperative risk assessment and assurance process. It is designed to be a swift and coordinated approach to providing multinational groups (MNE groups) willing to engage actively, openly and in a fully transparent manner with increased tax certainty with respect to certain of their activities and transactions, while identifying areas requiring further attention. ICAP does not provide an MNE group with legal certainty as may be achieved, for example, through an advance pricing agreement, but gives assurance where tax administrations participating in the programme consider a risk to be low. 2. This handbook contains information on a pilot for ICAP, which commences in January 2018 including tax administrations from eight jurisdictions (the participating tax administrations): Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. The information contained in this handbook will be revised based on experiences gained in the pilot, and will be used as the basis for an ICAP Operating Manual, which will describe in detail the process to be applied beyond the pilot. 3. The process of the pilot can be summarised as follows. • In advance of the pilot launch, a number of MNE groups have been identified, which have headquarters in the jurisdictions of one of the eight participating tax administrations. It has been agreed with the MNE group which jurisdictions of participating tax administrations will be covered by its ICAP risk assessment (i.e. these will be the covered tax administrations). All MNE groups and participating tax administrations will be invited to participate in a Participant Orientation Event, to be held in Washington DC in January 2018, hosted by the IRS. • Following the Participant Orientation Event, MNE groups participating in the pilot will be invited to provide a package of documentation, the content of which is set out in this handbook. Depending on the approach agreed between the MNE group and the tax administration in its headquarter jurisdiction (the lead tax administration), this package may be delivered by the MNE group (i) to each covered tax administration directly, or (ii) to the lead tax administration, which shares the package with other covered tax administrations through existing tax information exchange agreements. Approximately six weeks after the documentation package is provided, a kick-off meeting will be held between the MNE group and all covered tax administrations, to discuss the documentation package and ensure a common understanding of its content and the process to be followed. • The covered tax administrations then conduct an assessment of the transfer pricing risks and permanent establishment risks (the covered risks) posed by the MNE group, based on the information contained in the documentation package and other information held by the covered tax administrations. This will begin with a high level initial risk assessment (a Level 1 risk assessment) but may be extended to more in-depth risk assessment (a Level 2 risk assessment) if required. The covered tax administrations will seek to gain assurance that the MNE group poses no or low risk for each of the covered risks, within the timeframes described in this handbook. At the end of the risk assessment process, and subject to domestic requirements and processes, each covered tax administration will issue an outcome letter to the MNE group, which will set out each of the covered risks where the tax administration has been able to gain assurance, and any identified tax risks that remain. • The ICAP process and the pilot is based on a collaborative working relationship between the MNE group and covered tax administrations, built on transparency, cooperation and trust. Throughout this process, the lead tax administration will engage in regular and timely communication with the MNE group to ensure it is kept abreast of the status of its risk assessment and any issues as they arise. 2018
OECD (2018), International Compliance Assurance Programme Pilot Handbook, OECD, Paris.