Flash Alert: IRS APMA Program Hits Record High in Advance Pricing Agreements Execution for 2023

Flash Alert: IRS APMA Program Hits Record High in Advance Pricing Agreements Execution for 2023

Flash Alert: IRS APMA Program Hits Record High in Advance Pricing Agreements Execution for 2023

  • Posted by kalyani
  • On April 8, 2024


Shishir Lagu
Partner - US Tax

Hetav Vasani
Senior Manager - Global Transfer Pricing

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Executive Summary

The IRS Advance Pricing and Mutual Agreement (APMA) Program released its 25th annual report on March 30, 2024, marking a significant milestone in its operation for the year 2023. The program not only doubled the number of Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) executed compared to the previous year but also improved its efficiency in processing times.


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  • Historic Achievement: The graph showcases a significant increase in APAs executed by the APMA Program, jumping from 77 in 2022 to 156 in 2023.
  • Application Trends: This line graph illustrates a slight decrease in APA filings, from 183 in 2022 to 167 in 2023, yet indicating continued robust interest.
  • Efficiency Gains: The plot highlights a marginal improvement in the process efficiency, with the median time to finalize an APA decreasing from 43.4 months in 2022 to 42 months in 2023.
  • Workforce Expansion: The final graph depicts the APMA Program’s team growth to 115 professionals by the end of 2023, up from 98 in 2022, reflecting a 17% increase. ​

Key statistics and insights about the APA program from its inception through 2023

APA Program Inception to 2023 Total APA applications received: 3,286

Total APAs executed: 2,424

APA Applications in 2023 Total: 167 (Unilateral: 17, Bilateral: 144)
APAs Executed in 2023 Total: 156 (Unilateral: 24, Bilateral: 130)
Renewals Executed in 2023 Total: 74 (Unilateral: 15, Bilateral: 59)
Pending Requests for APAs as of 2023 Total: 558 (Unilateral: 44, Bilateral: 480)
Pending Requests for Renewals as of 2023 Total: 252 (Unilateral: 33, Bilateral: 199)
APAs Cancelled or Revoked in 2023 Total: 0
APAs Withdrawn in 2023 Total: 13 (Unilateral: 2, Bilateral: 11)
APMA Staffing in 2023 Total professionals: 115 (Directors: 1, Team Leaders: 70, Economists: 29, Managers: 12, Assistant Directors: 3)
Average Completion Time for New Bilateral APAs in 2023 50 months
Average Completion Time for Renewal of Bilateral APAs in 2023 36.1 months
Average Completion Time for Renewal of Unilateral APAs in 2023 30.2 months
Average Completion Time for APAs in 2023 Median: 42 months

Detailed Insights

  • Treaty Partners and APA Execution: The top treaty partners for bilateral APAs executed in 2023 were Japan (32%), India (17%), and Italy (11%), reflecting a shift in partnership dynamics and emphasizing the growing significance of Italy in the APA process.
  • Industry Focus: The manufacturing and wholesale/retail trade sectors continued to dominate the APA landscape, albeit with a reduced proportion from the previous year. This demonstrates a diversification in the types of industries seeking APAs.
  • Methodology Preference: The Comparable Profits Method/Transactional Net Margin Method (CPM/TNMM) remained the predominant methodology for APAs, especially for intercompany services transactions, underscoring its utility in achieving pricing agreements.

Operational Metrics and Trends

  • The program’s efficacy in handling bilateral and unilateral APA requests has shown progressive improvement, with specific enhancements in the average completion times for new and renewal APAs.
  • The majority of APAs executed involved transactions between foreign-parented companies and their US subsidiaries, highlighting the international dimension of the program’s impact.
  • The report also notes a continued interest in multilateral APAs, suggesting a broader recognition of their value in navigating the complexities of international tax agreements.

Implications for Taxpayers

The record number of APAs executed in 2023 and the program’s enhanced operational efficiency are positive indicators for taxpayers considering the APA process and the need for certainty. The APMA Program’s commitment to improving processing times, coupled with its expanding expertise, offers taxpayers a viable path to achieving pricing certainty in an increasingly complex global tax environment. The active engagement with key treaty partners like Japan, India, and Italy further signifies the IRS’s dedication to fostering cooperative international tax relations.


The IRS APMA Program’s 2023 report showcases remarkable achievements, including a record number of executed APAs, marking significant strides in efficiency and international collaboration. With the highest number of APAs executed in a single year and improvements in processing times, the program emerges as crucial for multinational corporations seeking tax certainty.

The report highlights India’s significant involvement, with steady increases in APA requests, underscoring an improved IRS-India tax authority relationship amidst potential double taxation challenges. This reflects a positive trend for multinationals investing in India, reinforcing the APA process’s role in providing stability. Additionally, the program’s staffing expansion and process refinements exemplify the IRS’s commitment to efficiency and taxpayer needs. The 2023 achievements underline the program’s importance in the global tax landscape, offering valuable insights for informed transfer pricing strategies and emphasizing the IRS’s dedication to fostering healthy international tax practices.



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