Transfer pricing: methodologies: Advance Pricing Agreements: formal application
The formal APA application
Where, following HMRC’s indication that it is willing to consider the APA proposal, the business wishes to proceed, it should submit a formal written application to the address given at INTM422050. This APA application should also be copied to the business’ Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) or its Customer Coordinator.
Annex 1 (see INTM422130) contains full details of the information that should generally be incorporated in the formal application. HMRC may, in practice, be flexible with such requirements where the circumstances of the particular case mean that a different approach will make for a better process. In a bilateral case, HMRC is often able to agree to work from the same format application as is mandated by the other Administration’s procedures. These are issues best discussed with HMRC at the Expression of Interest stage. Annex 2 (see INTM422140) contains a diagram showing a timeline of the typical APA process for a bilateral case.
The application should ideally be made before the start of the first chargeable period proposed to be covered by the APA, but HMRC may exercise discretion over this, for instance, when a bilateral is sought and the other Administration is prepared to allow the business more time to lodge its’ application.
In the case of a bilateral APA the business will be asked to ensure that all information provided in the application supplied to one Administration is made available at the same time to the other Administration involved.
APA information is subject to the same rules of confidentiality as any other information about taxpayers. Information exchanged with treaty partners - for instance, in the course of reaching agreement on bilateral APAs-is also protected from disclosure by the terms of the Exchange of Information Article in the relevant DTA.