Hong Kong-Insights from first case accepted into Hong Kong’s APA process

Tax Controversy & Dispute Resolution ()

The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) reached another milestone in its advance pricing arrangement (APA) programme when it invited a taxpayer to submit its formal APA application in January 2013. This incident marks the first case that the IRD has formally accepted an APA request into the APA process since the launch of its APA programme on 29 March 2012 via the publication Departmental Interpretation and Practice Notes No. 48 (DIPN 48).

The pace at which the APA request reached Stage 2 (formal acceptance) of the five-stage APA process reflects the commitment of the IRD to its APA programme. The IRD’s practical approach to teaming and expectations as to information sharing were revealed during Stage 1 (pre-filing). Taxpayers keen to pursue an APA should consider the IRD’s practical approach during the pre-filing stage of the APA request so they can focus their efforts and management of the APA request in a manner that is efficient for both parties.