In our experience, financial exposures materialize because the tax aspects of transactions and other commercial decisions are often overlooked. For this reason, we have always advocated for a multidisciplinary approach in handling legal issues and planning for future transactions. The effect of taxes should always be analyzed and considered not just in major transactions but even in day-to-day financial and commercial decisions.

Our Tax Group efficiently complements our Firm’s other practice groups in providing strategic tax counseling service. It is a value-added service we provide to our clients to ensure that their legal issues are addressed to cover all possible legal bases, including tax, to the extent possible.

Other than general tax advisory services, our Tax Group’s extensive tax practice also includes administrative protests, tax refunds, tax litigation, tax treaty relief matters, tax-free rulings, estate and family wealth and succession planning, obtaining certificates authorizing registration on real property or share transfer transactions, donations, estate settlements, and other applications with the Bureau of Internal Revenue such as the registration of businesses, obtaining tax identification numbers, certificates of tax domicile, certificates of tax exemption, etc.

Our tax practice covers not just tax planning and review, but also the implementation of corrective measures to achieve our clients’ objectives and to promote tax compliance.

Sub Practice Areas

We prepare legal opinions to address tax queries and advise on the tax consequences of specific transactions or business decisions. Our opinions are often based on the rulings and issuances of the Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as well as the decisions of the Court of Tax Appeals and the Supreme Court. We also incorporate our experience in dealing with the BIR in our other pending audits, protests, and other tax matters. We therefore provide a thorough approach in handling tax queries as our advice covers not just the laws, rules, and regulations of the BIR but also the manner in which these have been applied based on our experience.

Our tax lawyers and paralegals assist clients in the course of internal revenue audit and other tax examinations. We represent clients in protests at both the administrative and judicial levels, the latter in coordination with our Litigation Group. Given the firm’s expertise in business counseling, our tax advocacy practice aims not only to win tax controversies but, in tandem with the Group’s tax planning work, to advise clients of potential tax exposures and provide corrective solutions. We therefore try to involve ourselves as early as possible by giving recommendations in our clients’ day-to-day transactions. We believe this is a proactive approach towards minimizing the number of tax issues even before a Letter of Authority to audit the books and records of our clients is issued by the BIR.

We assist clients in their one-time transactions (ONETT) that require a BIR Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR). These transactions include real property or share transfer transactions, donations, and estate tax settlements.

We provide comprehensive assistance by already computing the taxes due on the transaction, which may also require an initial legal study on the nature of the asset (i.e., capital or ordinary asset), underlying assets, if any, and other similar matters that affect the amount of taxes due. If needed, we also take care of obtaining all certified true copies from various government agencies. We also handle the preparation of all the documents that our clients need to obtain the BIR CAR such as the Deed of Absolute Sale, Deed of Donation, or Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate, all the tax returns, and such other certifications or authorizations that the BIR may require in the course of its review of the transaction.

We assist clients by determining whether or not the applicant is entitled to treaty relief under a specific tax treaty for avoidance of double taxation. If in the affirmative, we assist in completing all the documentary requirements to be submitted to the BIR. We also provide advice on the next steps to guide the client in the process.

Other than tax treaty relief rulings, we also assist in obtaining Certificates of Tax Domicile that our clients use to avail treaty benefits in relation to their transactions abroad.

We assist clients in evaluating transactions to confirm if they are entitled to a tax-free ruling under Section 40 (C)(2) of the National Internal Revenue Code of the Philippines, as amended. If in the affirmative, we assist our clients in completing all the documentary requirements to proceed with an application for a tax-free ruling.

In 2018, our Firm was able to successfully obtain a tax-free ruling involving a merger. This was after more than four years of no tax-free rulings being issued by the BIR.

Other than tax-free rulings, we also assist clients in obtaining certificates of tax exemption, such as those involving the payment of separation benefits to employees terminated through authorized causes of termination (e.g., redundancy).

We assist in the estate planning as well as the family wealth and succession planning of our clients. We handle these projects with due care to ensure that those involved will feel comfortable as we guide them through the process of planning and implementation. Our clients include families that have built and grown their business into one of the strongest in the Philippines. We are happy to complete these projects that give our clients peace of mind and assurance that their assets and wealth will be properly handled in the future.

We also handle other filings for our clients such as applications for business registration, authority to print receipts, one-time Tax Identification Number, etc.