IRS looking for help with tax treaty arbitration

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The Internal Revenue Service is looking for people who are interested in serving as U.S. members of arbitration boards, along with non-U.S. citizens who would like to serve as arbitration board chairs, for U.S. tax treaties providing mandatory binding arbitration.

Some U.S. income tax treaties with other countries provide for mandatory binding arbitration to resolve cases in which the authorities have tried but were unable to reach a complete agreement. So far, arbitration is included in the U.S. income tax treaties with Belgium, Canada, France, and Germany. Most tax treaties aim to avoid double taxation of companies and individuals in different countries.

A case is settled through an arbitration board made up of three members chosen by the various authorities. Depending on the treaty, within 60 to 90 days of the appointment of the arbitration board chair, each authority will submit for the board’s consideration a proposed resolution paper and a supporting position paper with annexes.

The arbitration panel needs to select one of the two proposed resolutions for each issue presented and inform both competent authorities of its determination in writing, depending on the treaty, within six and nine months of the appointment of the chair. The written determination shouldn’t include any rationale or analysis for the selection and won’t be considered precedential. No information relating to the arbitration proceeding, including the written determination, should be disclosed by the board members.

The arbitration board will likely conduct its meetings through telephone and video conferences. Board members will be compensated for up to three days of preparation, up to two days of meetings, and, if applicable, and depending on the treaty, certain travel days and travel expenses. The IRS expects applicants to be ready to serve on at least one arbitration board any time within three years after being named to the registry.

Anyone who is interested should send an email to For questions, contact Anthony Ferrise at or call him at (202) 317-8622.

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