WHAT WE DO?
It is difficult to generalise, but, different services are provided to different clients. In the main, our industries of focus include natural resources, media, IT, manufacturing, trading companies, finance, funds investment and real property owning entities. We advise on options available to establish corporate and trust or foundation structures, respecting value chains and the places where value has been created. We assist in implementation. This includes advising where to locate intellectual property, finance and management subsidiaries’ and how related trading companies should access that IP, finance and management services in order that they comply with both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ international tax laws including Bi-Lateral Investment Treaties, Double Taxation Conventions and Human Rights Legislation. We also advise on domestic and international Transfer Pricing rules, including the applicability of the OECD and UN Transfer Pricing Regulations to related party transactions and in some cases, to arm’s length transactions. We also provide counsel and second opinions at the request of other professional advisers to their clients.
We advise on how taxation effects commercial transactions including acquisitions, divestitures, financings, including thin capitalisation and the use within a group of group owned but commonly used technology. We also advise on the applicability of specific anti-avoidance rules such as controlled foreign corporation and transfer pricing. We also advise on how to comply with direct and indirect asset transfer rules.
All these factors being relevant to determining a group’s effective tax rate is clear, but dealing with the underlying issues on a commercial, substantive and practical basis is even more important today than it has ever been.
PUBLIC LISTING AND PRE LISTING ADVICE
We advise multinational groups on the cross border tax implications arising from a stock exchange listing, including the implications of where in the structure the to be listed entity is to be positioned and the pre listing restructuring including establishing a company to provide intra-group finance or licencing intangibles within the group and reviewing and updating cross border intra group documentation, policies and processes to ensure compliance. We also represent clients in pre IPO tax due diligence and in tax due diligence with potential cornerstone investors. A special focus involves advising on the taxation implications for multinational groups with US, BRICS or Middle East investors.
As the only person on the planet having written a PhD Thesis on ‘BRICS and International Tax Law’, which subsequently was published by Wolters Kluwer, (https://lrus.wolterskluwer.com/store/product/brics-and-international-tax-law/), Dr Wilson is uniquely qualified to advise on cross border taxation policy and law and exchange of information issues relevant to outbound investors from the BRICS or for global investors providing FDI to those countries and associated M&A and cross border financing issues.
ULTRA-HIGH NET WORTH INDIVIDUALS
We advise, devise and assist in implementing succession strategies (using companies, partnerships, trusts and foundations), protecting family assets from divestment on divorce or death, devising ownership strategies for families with members (likely to be children) tax resident in different countries (such as the UK, US, France or Germany) from their parents or grandparents. We also help families establish business structures compatible with international and family objectives, including matching tax risk to profile. We also devise and assist in implementing strategies which comply with laws imposing taxes on death. Assisting spouses with the taxation strategy and financial implications of separation and divorce is a speciality.
COLLECTIVE INVESTMENT ARRANGEMENTS
We advise on the taxation implications referable to the structures adopted by the funds, the periodic and exit returns on cross border investments together with the obligations imposed at the domestic and international level to comply with disclosure, including the Common Reporting Standard and information exchange generally.
For global arrangements, we advise on the taxation issues pertinent to sub-administration agreements including VAT and local country deductibility together with the transfer pricing implications of local subsidiaries accessing centrally owned functions and assets.
COUNSEL AND SECOND OPINION
At the request of other professional advisers, we advise their clients on the international tax consequences of transactions or structures in place or under consideration whether involving a business acquisition, refinance, trading activity or divestiture or a personal investment or structure. The advice may be provided in a conference, as a second opinion or other mutually agreeable format.
CROSS BORDER TAX DISPUTE RESOLUTION
When disagreements arise with taxation authorities, as they inevitably do, we assist in resolving them for clients whether by adopting traditional approaches or by resorting to supplementary procedures including arbitration. We provide strong advice through supporting existing advisers or directly, where that is preferred. We also advise on disputed tax provisions contained in buy-sell agreements and generally assist clients and their other advisers on the tax competency of agreements reflecting business transactions.
Having developed expertise in the relationship between international tax law and FDI, we can assist Governments designing changes to their international tax policy which are intended to result in those laws ceasing being seen by international investors as impediments to making FDI.
We advise Boards and families on tax governance, including reviewing existing and recommending new policies which would be compatible with global trends. By adopting best practice the risk of disputes can be minimised.
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