ExpertiseTaxation

Highlights of our practice:

  • Two partners resident in Myanmar, both with strong, big-firm tax backgrounds
  • Assisted on the tax structuring of some of the most complex projects in Myanmar, including for a global leader in oilfield services with layers of subcontractors, of the manufacturing and distribution of alcoholic beverages for one of the world’s leading European beer brands, of the acquisition of a cigarette manufacturer for a Fortune 500 company, and of Myanmar PSCs for three oil and gas supermajors
  • Providing technical assistance to the Internal Revenue Department and the Customs Department
  • Untypically for a law firm, our scope of services includes tax compliance
  • Our affiliate, VDB Loi Accounting Ltd provides accounting services to multinational clients in Myanmar

The firm is renowned for its superior tax knowledge in Myanmar. Few firms are able to field a highly experienced tax advisory team in Myanmar, let alone with an engaged resident tax partner. At VDB Loi, both resident partners have strong backgrounds as highly accomplished tax specialists with global firms, which is a unique proposition. The firm provides technical assistance to tax and customs authorities in Myanmar and throughout the region.

Our clients often choose to work with us because we are able to offer specialized tax structuring advice as well as legal services. Everybody can give you general tax information, or the theory, but we focus on the reality of the tax assessments. What profit margins will the tax authorities expect? How will they determine which service fee is acceptable for a tax deduction? How do the officials apply the tax exemption rules in practice?

For example, we assisted a European multinational construction company with its plan to build 1,200 apartment units in the Yangon region. Early on in the engagement, we identified that although legally sound, the contractual structure created an expensive Commercial Tax inefficiency. We proposed and implemented a solution, saving a significant amount of unnecessary taxes.

Another good example of how our tax skills bring value to our clients can be found in our representation of beverage manufacturers, cigarette manufacturers and downstream oil and gas distributors. Because of the indirect taxes on these products, an incorrect corporate structure will trigger prohibitive tax inefficiencies. We have advised leading US and EU multinationals in these industries to navigate such challenges on their investments in Myanmar.

Resident partners Jean Loi and Edwin Vanderbruggen both have strong backgrounds in taxation. Jean was a tax partner with PwC for many years in Southeast Asia and is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants. Edwin, formerly with renowned tax law firm Loyens & Loeff, has over 20 years of experience in international taxation, and has lectured at leading universities in Europe and Asia and authored seven treatises on taxation and investment law.

Our affiliate, VDB Loi Accounting Ltd, provides the highest quality accounting services to a multinational clientele in Myanmar. A seamless cooperation between the legal and the accounting teams ensures that clients work with one point of contact, maximizing responsiveness and clear communication.

Our credentials on international taxation are unique in the region – we have extensive experience with regional tax structuring for corporations and other international tax issues. We offer:

  • Corporate tax structuring
  • Tax-efficient market entry advisory services
  • Real estate tax structuring
  • Oil, gas and mining tax services
  • Customs and excise advisory
  • Mergers & acquisitions and tax due diligence
  • International and regional tax optimization
  • Transfer pricing advisory
  • Taxation of banks and financial services
  • Controversy

Corporate tax

Corporate taxation in Myanmar can be a complex and dynamic situation as both legal theory and the practice of the authorities must be taken into account. VDB Loi is uniquely placed to advise on corporate taxation through our strong local relationships, experienced local tax professionals and international expertise. Clients often seek out our partners for their ability to find a solution rather than to describe what the rules say or what cannot be done.

Customs duties advisory

In close cooperation with our international trade team, we are often asked by clients to secure import tax exemptions, advice on customs duty tariffs and valuation, and to assist in resolving disputes with the Customs Department.

Tax compliance

In seamless cooperation with VDB Loi Accounting Ltd, our team is often asked by multinational clients to prepare and lodge a full range of tax returns including Corporate Income Tax, Commercial Tax, taxes on salaries, withholding tax and capital gains.

Tax due diligence

Clients seek assistance from our team of tax advisers, accountants and lawyers in connection with transactions. We are well placed to offer an integrated solution to clients, saving precious time and resources. We have extensive experience in carrying out due diligence assignments on targets for acquisitions.

Controversy

Our tax professionals are frequently asked to assist in tax audits or disputes with tax authorities. Our team is often recommended for its pragmatic approach and its ability to deliver results. Our accounting professionals bring analytical skill to tax audits, while our tax lawyers will drive any litigation.

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