As tax disputes proliferate globally, effective advice becomes crucial.
Tax disputes are rising globally as governments focus on perceived underpayment. Cross-border taxation issues such as transfer payments, in particular, are creating a surge of disputes because new legislation creates grey areas and the need for test cases. This makes tax disputes a fact of life for firms with complex tax positions.
Businesses are facing an environment where audits from tax authorities are on the rise. As tax laws become more stringent and regulations more complex, companies have an incentive to avoid disputes whenever possible. We aim to prevent tax disputes at source with robust, risk-based tax advice. We can also advise on record keeping and other processes to minimise the chances of proceedings.
When disputes occur, however, we offer consistent assistance throughout a difficult process which can take, in some cases, many years. We also provide strategic guidance on the risks and benefits of arbitration versus court proceedings and whether to accept settlement offers. We also advise on criminal action being taken against both companies and individuals.
Our dedicated local tax dispute teams in major jurisdictions have detailed procedural and administrative knowledge that can make an important difference to outcomes, with the ability to draw on global expertise in areas such as transfer pricing and customs duties.
We can also advise on issues such as alleged non-payment of minimum wages and executive remuneration that have a labour law component.
We offer support covering:
- Risk-based consultancy to minimise the chance of disputes;
- Local specialists to help with national tax cases, from prevention to management and settlement (this includes communication regarding SARS such as drafting of objections and appeals, attending to SARS enquiries; assisting with the SARS audit process and representing clients in alternative dispute resolution reviews with SARS;
- Extensive experience with transnational mechanisms such as Mutual Agreement Procedure, binding arbitration under OECD MLI, and the European EUAC procedures;
- Advice on the risks/benefits of starting action against tax authorities;
- Advice on voluntary disclosures;
- Representation of clients in the Tax Board;
- Briefing legal teams for the Tax Board/Court.
Our teams include, in some cases, staff who have worked with local taxation authorities who can provide a unique perspective.