Singapore

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World Tax Reviews

Tax
Allen & Gledhill

Sunit Chhabra and Lim Pek Bur are the tax partners at Allen & Gledhill. They focus on tax advisory and dispute resolution. The team is also supported by Cheong Swee Ying, who is a former senior officer with the Ministry of Finance and IRAS. The team specialises on tax advisory, structuring and planning, and dispute resolution. It also provides a wide range of tax services including complex legal, commercial and financial arrangements. It provides tax services across various industries including financial institutions, business trusts, real estate investment trusts, issuers of capital market instruments, real estate companies, infrastructure-related entities and private equity and hedge fund managers.

The firm acted on a number of general corporate tax matters in the last year. Sunit Chhabra and Wai Kar Wye handled the issue of $500 million rate green bonds by DBS Group Holdings. It was the first financial institution in Singapore to issue green bonds. The team also helped SBC on the establishment of its $1 million secured multicurrency medium term note programme.

Baker McKenzie.Wong & Leow

Wong & Leow is the Singapore branch of the Baker McKenzie network. The tax team provides services including international tax planning, domestic tax, tax controversies, indirect tax and trade, transfer pricing and wealth management. The lawyers have engaged with the Singapore tax authorities in relation to tax reform. The firm is supported by its global team of more than 200 tax lawyers, economists and financial analysts. It provides advice to help clients implement optimal transfer pricing policies, ensure compliance, manage tax audits and avoid costly tax provisions. In addition, the firm has hosted the Asia-Pacific Tax Conference for nearly 30 years.

In the last year, Benchi Klaver joined the firm as an economist of transfer pricing.

BDO Tax Advisory

Evelyn Lim is the head of the tax department at BDO Tax Advisory. She has more than 20 years of experience in Singaporean and international tax. The team is comprised of more than 50 professionals and provides a wide range of tax services. Wong Sook Ling leads M&A practice. She has more than 20 years of experience in M&A tax and international tax. Kylie Luo leads private client services. She specialises in private wealth and international taxation. She also provides services covering international tax, succession planning, wealth and asset structuring, trust law and family business advisory. Eu Chin Sien leads the GST service. She has more than 18 years of GST specialist experience as regulator with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore and advisor. She also had 10 years of experience with big four accounting firms.

In the past year, Wong Sook Ling and Ng Voon Seong helped a client carry out a restructuring to achieve the streamlining of its group structure. Wong Sook Ling and Adelyn Teh also advised a client on the submission of revised income tax computations and the concurrent application for tax refund.

Deloitte

Low Hwee Chua leads the tax practice at Deloitte. He is the regional managing partner for the Southeast Asia Tax & Legal group. He specialises in corporate income tax, international tax, group restructuring, M&A, and the structuring of inbound and outbound investments. The tax team is also supported by other professionals, including Ajit Prabhu, Wong Meng Yew, Jill Lim and Lee Tiong Heng. Its practice covers business tax, transfer pricing, international tax, global employer services, tax management consulting, indirect tax, global investment and innovation incentive, M&A and business process solutions. Deloitte is a member of Deloitte’s centres of excellence in Asia, providing services such as international financial reporting standards, tax compliance and data analytics. In addition, The Deloitte Global Tax Center Asia is based in Singapore. It not only highlights the importance for both global and regional clients, but also leverages the expertise of the Singapore team in coordination, project management and central delivery.

In the last year, the firm hired several new partners and professionals as to increase the depth and breadth of its tax services.

Dentons Rodyk & Davidson

Dentons Rodyk & Davidson offers legal counsel and consulting services on transactional matters, both inbound and outbound investments, and structuring work. The practice covers corporate and individual income tax, international tax planning, transfer pricing, GST and stamp duties. The tax team has the capability to advise on complex, multi-jurisdictional cross-border issues. It also specialises in private client matters. The team assists high net-worth individuals and families, business owners, trust companies and private banks in various practices. It includes trusts, estates, wealth planning, family and business succession, and probate among its capabilities. In addition, the firm advises on related issues involving trustee obligations, money laundering, secrecy, tax transparency and immigration.

The firm helped a multinational semiconductor conglomerate on its entry into a syndicated finance lease of certain assets. The team is reviewing and advising the client on the impact of the proposed change on existing tax incentives. In addition, the firm is also assisting the client to negotiate with government authorities.

Drew & Napier

Ong Ken Loon is the head of the tax department at Drew & Napier. The team includes two partners and four qualified lawyers. Ong Ken Loon assists clients with the tax aspects of corporate transactions, involving income tax, GST, stamp duty and property tax. She also services private clients by providing solutions to complex tax, succession and private wealth management matters. The tax team mainly focuses on tax litigation, corporate tax advisory, enterprise tax risk management and private wealth planning. It provides services across various industries, including charities, construction and materials, consumer product manufacturing, government, media, private clients, real estate finance, real estate, retail, sports and travel and leisure. The main area of its expertise is tax litigation. The team represents clients before the tax tribunals and the Supreme Court. The practice covers GST, property tax and stamp duties. Regarding private wealth planning, the team help clients deal with wealth succession and asset protection.

EY

Chung-Sim Siew Moon leads the tax practice at EY. It has more than 500 tax professionals, including approximately 40 partners. The firm provides tax services covering business tax, tax technology and transformation, global compliance and transformation, financial services tax, indirect tax, international tax, people advisory and transaction tax. The professionals work closely with the EY global team to service industries including real estate, resources, technology, media and entertainment, telecommunications, consumer products, life sciences and government and public sectors. It has a number of global tax desks in Singapore, delivering domestic technical skills with pan-regional business and industry knowledge to clients. These include India, Japan, Korea, the UK, and the US.

In the past year, the firm helped a client on a tax advisory project including restructuring and transactional tax. In the case, the firm provided a seamless integrated solution and delivered an integrated service through domestic expertise and global reach. It also assisted a client in developing its global tax risk management policy and operationalising the policy through the use of automation.

KPMG

Chiu Wu Hong is the head of the tax department at KPMG. The firm has the capability to offer high value-added tax consultancy services to help clients in all aspects of taxation. It also has a key role to deal with client’s tax compliance obligations. It has various divisions that handle tax issues in specific areas and industries, including tax development and solutions, tax technology and innovation, international tax, real estate investment tax, deal advisory, M&A, financial services and private equity tax service, R&D tax incentives, tax disputes, stamp duty and property tax advisory and global indirect tax. These services are led by various professionals. In addition, the firm has a close collaboration across its global network, including international tax centres of excellence in Europe and Asia. 

In 2017, KPMG hired a new partner, Agnes Lo, who joined the deal advisory, M&A tax practice division.

Ong Sim Ho

Ong Sim Ho is the head of the tax department at Ong Sim Ho. The team includes five fee earners. It provides services covering tax disputes, transactional advisory, investigations and audits and trust and private clients. The tax team is well-known for dealing with legal tax issues, especially in the tax dispute area. The main strength is that the tax group has a multi-disciplinary and innovative approach to handle complex tax issues. 

Ong Sim Ho, Joanne Khoo and Keith Lam led a tax controversy project for two high net-worth individuals. The team represented the clients in a dispute with the tax authority before the High Court. This project gained $3.2 million from the disposal of residential properties.

Client feedback

“Ong Sim Ho has demonstrated very good knowledge and in-depth understanding of the Singapore income tax regulations and has provided very concise and comprehensive analysis of our tax issue.”

Rajah & Tann

Vikna Rajah leads the tax practice at Rajah & Tann. He assists clients with cross-border tax issues, including the tax efficient restructuring of their regional and international businesses. The team is also supported by Teoh Lian Ee. It has been engaged by Fortune 100 companies, sovereign wealth funds, multinationals and big four accounting firms. It works closely with the firm’s M&A and banking and financial departments in cross-border transactions. In addition, the tax team also advises multinationals and ultra-high net worth individuals on income tax, GST, stamp duty and tax treatie regarding various transactions, involving tax efficient Singapore-based holding structures for the worldwide operating subsidiaries of multinationals.

The firm helped a client that operates an online retail business for luxury items on a tax litigation and dispute matter. It assisted the client in lowering of a charge under the Customs Act from one involving the fraudulent evasion of customs duty to one involving the failure to make a declaration of dutiable goods.

RSM

The tax department at RSM is manage by 10 tax partners and directors. The team includes approximately 70 tax professionals. It provides tax services including cross-border investments and tax planning, inbound investments, corporate group restructuring, tax incentive applications and advisory, structuring of funds and fund management companies, tax due diligence, tax investigation and audit, corporate tax compliance and personal tax services, transfer pricing and GST advisory. It services private companies, publicly listed companies, institutions of a public character and non-profit organisations. In addition, the firm’s practice also specialises in various industries, including financial services, private equity, real estate and construction, minerals, oil and gas, food and beverage, retail and consumer products, professional and business services, NPO practice, healthcare, logistics and transportation and industrial manufacturing.

In 2017, William Chua and Chua Hwee Theng helped a client on adopting a tax efficient business structure in Singapore. It also advised the client on the corporate tax implications arising from the possible options to operate in Singapore. 

In 2017, Albert Fong joined the firm as an associate director.

Withers KhattarWong

The firm has the capability to provide value-added tax guidance by integrating tax and corporate tax services. The team has strength in several industry sectors including funds and trusts, technology and blockchain, real estate and energy, natural resources and infrastructure. 

In 2017, the firm helped the Trustees of the Chew How Teck Foundation in relation to a case concerning stamp duty before the High Court. Elsewhere, Chua Yee Hoong is assisting Shenning Investments with a general tax issue. The matter concerns advisory and structuring of a fund investing into a large-scale luxury ski resort project in Japan. Eric Roose and Stephen Banfield lead a transactional tax matter involving global licensing and the restructuring of Solar Philippines. The firm continues to advise the client on their expansion into the Southeast Asia region.