• Service: Tax, Global Transfer Pricing Services
  • Type: Business and industry issue, Survey report
  • Date: 9/10/2013

Tax authority views: Portugal 

APA: Portugal
How are tax authorities conducting APAs? What are they concerned with? These exclusive interviews can help taxpayers simplify the process.

We have gathered feedback from the tax authorities of various key countries to find out the specifics about their APA programs. Read the following Q&A interview on the topic of APAs in Portugal with the Portuguese tax authority.


Q: What are, in your view, the main achievements of your APA program?


  • Good image (openness/professional/friendly) passed to the taxpayers.
  • Greater certainty achieved with such an option for both taxpayers and tax authorities.

Issues and challenges

Q: What are the main challenges facing your APA program?


  • Subjectivity involving transfer pricing in general.
  • Time of response of other tax authorities.
  • Lack of experience of tax authorities/taxpayers.

Q: Are there particular substantive issues (for instance, marketing intangibles or buy-ins for cost-sharing arrangements, etc.) that have been more difficult to deal with?

A: Intangibles.

Q: Are there particular procedural issues (for instance, APAs involving more than two jurisdictions or APAs where prior years are under the mutual agreement procedure and these involve large proposed adjustments, etc.) that have been more difficult to deal with?

A: Time of response/capacity to reach an agreement of other tax authorities.

Q: Are there any other issues that you would like to bring to the attention of taxpayers as potentially difficult?

A: See above.

Best practices

Q: From your experience, what are the main best practices that you would recommend that taxpayers adopt in requesting and filing for an APA?


  • Open mind.
  • Trust.
  • Be transparent.
  • Think having the future in mind, and not the past.

Trends and outlook

Q: Based on your experience, have you noticed certain trends in any of the following topics:

  • Type of APA requested (unilateral vs. bilateral)

A: Unilateral.

  • Type of transaction covered

A: Production/distribution.

  • Transfer Pricing Methodology (TPM) proposed

A: All except the PSM.

  • TPM agreed upon

A: Usually not different that proposed, but the sample is not representative.

  • Reasons for making APA applications (difficult transfer pricing audits/examinations; desire for certainty; other)

A: All the ones mentioned and also a sequential APA strategy.

  • Are there particular industries seeking APAs?

A: Not relevant.

Q: Looking to the future, what do you foresee for APAs?

  • Do you see an increase vs. stability in terms of demand for APAs?

A: Increase.

  • APA staffing needs for tax authorities

A: Not particularly relevant, but may tend to increase.

  • Mechanism to deal with triangular issues

A: Not relevant.

  • Arbitration

A: We have some cases in the recent year.


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