November 16, 2023
US IRS announces hiring for Advance Pricing and Mutual Agreement Program
On November 8, 2023, an IRS official announced that the agency is actively hiring individuals to work in its Advance Pricing and Mutual Agreement (APMA) program.1 Peter Rock, a field operations director in the IRS's Large Business & International (LB&I) division, said at a conference sponsored by the Tax Executives Institute and San Jose State University that he "expect[s] to see a lot of growth" in the program as a result of additional funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, which was originally nearly $80 billion.2
In 2022, taxpayers filed 183 APA requests, which increased from the 145 APA requests filed in 2021. This increase continued the trend from the last several years. Since 2019, the number of APA requests filed in a year has either remained steady or increased annually.3 Additionally, APMA has faced an increased backlog of APA requests. At the end of 2022, 564 APA requests were pending, over 100 more requests than were pending at the end of 2021. The increased backlog could be due to a decrease in APMA employees between 2021 and 2022. For more information on the statistics regarding the APMA program (including IRS employee numbers), see Tax Alert 2023-0620.
The hiring announcement was not the first from the IRS regarding APMA in 2023. In April, the IRS released interim guidance on updates to its procedure for reviewing and accepting APA requests into the program (see Tax Alert 2023-0800). The interim guidance came just over a month after the then-Acting Deputy Commissioner for the IRS's LB&I Division said that the prefiling process for APAs would be modified in a forthcoming update to Revenue Procedure 2015-41, which provides procedural instructions for APA requests (see Tax Alert 2023-0550). While these announcements, particularly the interim guidance, were viewed as efforts to make the APA program more selective, the IRS also indicated that the changes are not meant to limit the number of APA requests (see Tax Alert 2023-0800).
The IRS's announcements regarding APMA demonstrate that the agency is aware of taxpayers' interest in advance tax certainty and achieving that certainty through the APMA program. An increased number of employees working at APMA will hopefully decrease the average amount of time it takes to close APA and mutual agreement cases. Taxpayers should continue to work with their tax advisors to identify intercompany transactions that would be good candidates for an APA.
Published by NTD’s Tax Technical Knowledge Services group; Andrea Ben-Yosef, legal editor
1 Michael Rapoport, IRS Says It's Hiring More to Support Advance-Pricing Growth, Daily Tax Report (Nov. 7, 2023).
3 A large number of the more than 200 APA requests filed in 2018 stemmed from a February 2018 announcement that the filing fee would substantially increase beginning July 1, 2018 (IRS Statement (2-6-18)).