World Tax Reviews

Deloitte Tohmatsu Tax Co

Shinya Matsumiya leads tax practice at Deloitte Tohmatsu Tax. It maintains a strong reputation in corporate tax services, international tax strategies and reorganisation consulting. In addition, the firm’s other legal-related services involve corporate, M&A, tax controversy and labour and employment. Its clients include both Japanese and foreign multinational companies. It has developed its international network by deploying tax professionals to around 11 jurisdictions to meet clients’ needs. 

Recent examples of the firm’s work include a reorganisation project for Chinese subsidiaries of a design and printing company and Japanese consumption tax planning for a Japanese regional bank. 

During the research period the group brought on board a number of new professionals notably from other Big Four teams. This included partners Howard Osawa and Ken Leong from PwC Japan, Hiroshi Maruyama, Sreeni Menon and John Dorff from EY Japan and Hiroyuki Anan from KPMG Japan. It also welcomed Hiromi Ikuta and Hideki Nakajima from EY in the US, Toshiharu Matsuura from DT Goudou Kaisya, Ryota Shibamura from DTFA, Ichiro Suzuki from Seiyu Godo Kaisya and Koji Makino from the Ministry of Finance. On top of that, partners Yoshiki Unno and Hiroyuki Oyobe joined the company from Nomura Security.

DLA Piper

Makiko Kawamura leads tax practice at DLA Piper. It offers a range of services in Japan including, but not restricted to, international and domestic tax restructuring, supply chain remodelling, disputes related to customs duties and consumption tax for multinational clients. It regularly advises significant clients including Fortune 500 companies. It has the capability to deal with complex matters because of the size and expertise of its team. 

Details of the firm’s clients and recent work remains confidential.

KPMG Japan

Yuichi Komakine leads the tax practice at KPMG. Another key practitioner is Takayuki Kozu. It is comprised of approximately 600 tax professionals with a total of 50 partners in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hiroshima and Fukuoka. It provides services including financial services, M&A and real estate investment. In addition, it specialises in customs and VAT practice. It utilises its technology to strengthen the control and visibility of compliance, tax position and reporting. 

One recent example of its work saw it providing global tax advisory services for a large insurance group in relation to implementation of a global tax governance structure. It also used its proprietary technology to help a Japanese automotive group be compliant with Japanese CFC rules.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

The team at Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu has a strong capability in handling tax litigation matters. It has five partners dedicated to tax matters, many of whom are tax lawyers exclusively. Its practice covers general corporate tax, indirect and transactional tax. In addition, the team is supported by full-time special counsel Mamoru Toba. He previously worked at the Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau as a director-general and maintains a good relationship with the tax authorities, regularly obtaining their views on tax issues. 

The team recently assisted a client with a civil dispute involving Japanese consumption tax issues regarding international air transportation. It also defended an individual Chinese entrepreneur against threatened tax assessments by the Japanese tax authority.

Nishimura & Asahi

Nishimura & Asahi has a strong practice in the tax litigation area. Key practitioners include Yo Ota, Kazuhiro Takei, Yasutaka Nishikori, Akihiro Hironaka and Tsuyoshi Ito. Its practice covers tax assessments at the National Tax Tribunal. In addition, it also has development and implementation tax solutions and strategies for various services such as M&A transactions, group structuring and financing arrangements. 

The firm continues to serve as lead counsel to Shionogi & Co, a Japanese pharma company, in relation to a high-profile litigation arising from an in-kind contribution of a partnership interest for the development of a drug to fight AIDS. It also recently advised a client who signed an agreement to acquire a US listed company in the discussion of a post-merger restructuring plan for the close of the transaction.

Tokyo Kyodo Accounting Office

Tokyo Kyodo Accounting Office offers services including indirect tax, M&A and high-net-worth individual planning. It has strengths in various sectors such as banks, security firms and investment funds. It established new offices in Colombo and Sri Lanka. 

The team continues to provide Tax analysis for a Japanese multinational in the light of reformed Japanese CFC legislation, in connection with the restructuring of a large iron ore mining investment  in Brazil. It also provides tax analysis of the adverse effect of Japanese earnings stripping rule reforms in 2019 over cross-border aircraft financing transactions to several leasing companies.

Withers Japan Zeirishi Houjin

Eric Roose is the head of tax department at Withers Japan Zeirishi Houjin. He focuses on international tax planning and international corporate tax. Other key professionals include Takeo Mizutani, Chizuko Tomita and Shingo lizuka. Shingo advises high-net-worth individuals, Chizuko specialises in M&A, corporate tax restructuring and audits, and Takeo advises clients relating to their operations in Japan, foreign tax credits, withholding tax and tax audits. The team has a strong expertise in cross-border transaction practice as it has a team based in various jurisdictions such as Singapore, Hong Kong and the UK. 

One recent example of the work of the team saw it acting as lead tax adviser to PAG SCREP VII Asia-Pacific Real Estate Fund, a new fund that closed on January 2020, with a substantial allocation to Japan assets.