Tax in Latvia

BDO Law

BDO Law's practice advises on direct and indirect tax, due diligence and tax disputes. The team is jointly led by tax manager Jelena Bartule and Janis Zelmenis. Bartule assists clients with tax risk and planning matters, while Zelmenis' recent work includes advising Novatours on the preparation of transfer pricing documentation for a range of intra-group transactions. Founding partner Vita Liberte  has experience in a range of matters, including international tax planning and tax structuring. Associate and assistant manager Valts Sturmanis has notable strength in tax litigation.

Practice head(s):

Jelena Bartule; Janis Zelmenis

Key clients

Chocolette Confectionary

Elvim

Novatours

Ourea

Inchcape Motors Latvia

Work highlights

  • Advised on the preparation of a transfer pricing local file and the accompanying transaction files for Inchcape Motors Latvia.
  • Represented Ourea Baltic in a tax audit.
  • Prepared a restructuring plan for Elvim, providing advice on tax matters and due diligence.

Cobalt

The principal areas of focus for Cobalt's team are cross-border tax structures, tax litigation and financing transactions. Sandija Novicka is the head of the team and advised airBaltic in relation to the issuance of €200m 6.75% five-year bonds and the taxation of income from the bonds. Specialist counsel Sabīne Vuškāne is experienced in assessing tax risks and advising on tax planning and auditing. Senior associate Elīna Ločmele is an expert in tax structuring.

Practice head(s):

Sandija Novicka

Key clients

Philip Morris Latvia

Polipaks

Linstow

Pfizer

Abbott Laboratories

Work highlights

  • Advised Luminor Bank on various tax issues related to the cross-border merger of Luminor banks in the Baltics.
  • Represented Lielzeltini in a dispute with the State Revenue Service in connection with VAT.
  • Providing day-to-day advice to Polipaks on various tax issues related to its operations, including VAT, customs duties, corporate income tax and payroll taxes.

Ellex

Ellex's tax group advises on foreign investments and financing transactions. Practice co-head Zinta Jansons is a 'great communicator' who 'works tirelessly'; she recently advised the Latvian Forest Company on the tax structuring of a complex forestry asset sale transaction on a cross-border basis. Valters Diure also co-leads the team. Ivars Pommers advises on tax structuring issues; Irina Kostina is noted for her strength in tax disputes; and associate Eduards Dzintars acts on a broad range of cross-border transactions, restructuring, tax disputes and VAT matters.

Practice head(s):

Zinta Jansons; Valters Diure

Testimonials

‘We could depend on Ellex to ensure we safely and properly negotiated the complications of the Latvian legal system and that the requirements of English law were also understood.’

‘Zinta Jansons worked tirelessly to ensure we achieved our goal. Zinta is an excellent communicator, provided the appropriate options on which to base our decisions, and ensured that we fully understood the consequences of any decisions we made. Nothing ever seemed to be a problem and our confidence was never misplaced.’

Key clients

Accenture

Intel

Danone

Henkel

Airbnb

Work highlights

  • Advised Consolis on the tax structuring of the complex acquisition of TMB Group and subsequent merger.
  • Advised Saint-Gobain on the implementation of an employee stock participation plan in Latvia. Due to changes in Latvian tax system advice was provided about continued implementation of the plan in Latvia.
  • Advised Whirlpool on the implementation of its transfer pricing policy in Latvia.

Sorainen

Sorainen's practice acts on customs matters, transfer pricing compliance issues and tax planning. Jānis Taukačs, who is experienced in tax and customs law, heads the team. He has acted on tax matters in multiple sectors, including IT, manufacturing and retail. Senior associate Aija Lasmane has broad tax experience, advising on transfer pricing and tax rulings and assisting with the tax aspects of M&A transactions. Senior associate Alisa Leškoviča is an expert in taxation and customs issues and has represented clients in court. Senior associate Dace Everte acts principally on indirect tax projects.

Practice head(s):

Jānis Taukačs

Key clients

Autobrava

Global VAT Compliance B.V.

Hansen Protection

Playtech Software Limited

Oribalt Rīga

Work highlights

  • Prepared tax ruling requests for two Eco Baltica group companies, which were filed with the Latvian Revenue Service.
  • Acted as Latvian law advisers  for joint lead managers JP Morgan and SEB bankas on the on the tax aspects of the issue by Air Baltic Corporation of €200m five-year bonds.

TGS Baltic

TGS Baltic's 'organised team of tax specialists' acts on transactional and contentious tax issues. Andra Rubene, Nauris Grigals and associate Rūdolfs Vilsons jointly head the practice. In a recent highlight, Rubene advised Mars and Royal Canin on VAT, corporate income tax and social security tax issues. Grigals is 'indispensable' in tax litigation and represented Rīgas Dzirnavnieks in a case against the Latvian State Revenue Service related to the adoption of transfer pricing principles on intra-group borrowings and the application of VAT in transactions with third parties. The 'proficient' Vilsons is a certified tax adviser and handles corporate tax and compliance matters.

Practice head(s):

Andra Rubene; Nauris Grigals; Rudolf Vilsons

Testimonials

‘TGS Baltic has the most organised tax team of specialists of all possible types of seniority and specialisation. The team works incredibly fast and efficiently. The splendid strategic leadership and management of the TGS Baltic team ensures prompt, diligent, proficient and well suited advice.’

‘Andra Rubene has experience in the tax and regulatory aspects of transactional work including tax due diligence, structuring deals, and so on and ensures transactions are tax effective.’

‘Rudolfs Vilsons is very proficient and knowable senior tax adviser. Rudolfs’ strength is in the interpretation of the applicable tax laws and unique ability to calculate the best solution.’

‘When it comes litigation Nauris Grigals is indispensable. His advice and representation in relation to tax matters and tax litigation is really reliable and efficient.’

Key clients

MyFitness

King Coffee Service Group

Netflix

GlaxoSmithKline

Credit Value Investments

Work highlights

  • Represented Credit Value Investments and its funds during an investment procedure in bonds of Civinity. The team advised on the tax aspects related to the investment procedure.
  • Assisted MyFitness with the tax aspects of the engagement of certain service providers on the basis of the service contract, as well as supporting the client in an inspection performed by the State Revenue Service.
  • Assisted Philip Morris International and PMI Latvia with the evaluation of excise tax regulations for a newly implemented product, as well as assisting the client with various taxation matters on a daily basis.

Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns

Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns' tax practice is headed by specialist counsel Dainis Vodolagins, who joined the firm from Puzzle Finance in July 2019. He specialises in international tax planning and cross-border tax matters. Senior partner Māris Vainovskis is noted for advising on tax planning. Ilze Kramiņa is known for her expertise in tax disputes.

Practice head(s):

Dainis Vodolagins

Key clients

Nordic Recycling

Latvijas Zalais Elektrons

Work highlights

  • Represented Nordic Recycling in disputes with the State Environmental Service.Advising the client in three court proceedings with the SES that involve issues related to correct application of the Natural Resources Tax Law (NRT).
  • Represented Latvijas Zalais Elektrons in disputes with the State Environmental Service. Advising before the administrative courts of Latvia in two prcoeedings that involve the application of the Natural Resource Tax Law.

Kronbergs Cukste Levin

Kronbergs Čukste Levin's practice possesses 'considerable expertise' in providing tax advice on M&A transactions and offshore structuring and representing clients in tax litigation. Vineta Cukste-Jurjeva leads the team and has experience in several sectors, including energy; in a recent highlight, she represented Latvenergo in an excise tax dispute with the fuel supplier for cogeneration facilities. Valters Kronbergs advised Real Property Group on tax optimisation in relation to a real estate acquisition.

Practice head(s):

Vineta Cukste-Jurjeva

Testimonials

‘This practice has considerable in-house expertise but its ability to reach out quickly to its network of leading experts is a real strength.’

‘Valters Kronbergs always makes himself available and keeps himself up to date with the various cases and projects. His team are very responsive and always deliver on time.’

Key clients

Stonebush Wine

Panasonic

DHL

Riwal Latvia

Amman Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Stonebush Wines on tax optimisation for the cross-border financing of a winery start-up.
  • Advised Bridgestone on tax optimisation in several jurisdictions.
  • Representing 4finance in tax litigation regarding the reapplication of corporate income tax reliefs on donations.

Primus Derling

Primus Derling's broad tax practice covers transfer pricing matters, disputes and the tax aspects of corporate restructurings. Ingūna Ābele heads up the team. In a recent highlight, she provided advice to the Latvian Olympic Committee on donations after the adoption of Latvia's new corporate income tax law in 2018. Associate Konstantīns Teļakovs assists the team on the disputes side.

Practice head(s):

Ingūna Ābele

Key clients

DEPO DIY

TAV Airport Group

Bonus Holdings

ALD Automotive

LSEZ Dan Store

Rödl & Partner

Rödl & Partner's practice consists of 'highly experienced professionals'. The team advises on tax regulations and tax solutions in regard to investments. Practice head Elīna Putniņa, who stands out for her 'combination of great expertise and in-depth practical experience'focuses on general tax law and international tax planning. Associate Jūlija Jokste assisted Putniņa in advising Van Graaf on the tax aspects of opening its first retail store in the Baltics, including assisting with compliance and tax registrations.

Practice head(s):

Elīna Putniņa

Testimonials

‘Rodl & Partner’s tax team consists of highly experienced professionals, who are always ready to provide us with all the necessary assistance.’

‘Elina Putnina has accumulated vast experience in the tax field. Her background puts her in a unique position in terms of co-operating with the local tax authorities, where practical experience is often more essential than theoretical knowledge. This combination of great expertise and in-depth practical experience is the key feature which allows her to provide clear and practical services.’

Key clients

Interdom B.V.

Lufthansa Cargo

HSH Chemie

Paroc Group

VFS Services

Work highlights

  • Advising HSH Chemie on the tax aspects of the liquidation of the company’s representative office and establishment of a full-scale enterprise in Latvia.
  • Providing day-to-day tax compliance assistance to Sirowa Group, especially related to special VAT treatment for pharmaceutical goods and transfer pricing matters for the group of companies.
  • Advising Paroc Group on tax issues including employment and payroll taxes, cross-border services and withholding tax, transfer pricing issues and the application of VAT.

Deloitte Legal in Latvia

Deloitte Legal in Latvia's practice focuses on VAT disputes and advice on income and real estate tax. The firm also assists with tax due diligence. Maris Liguts acted for Delfi Holding in a dispute with the Latvian State Revenue Service regarding transfer pricing. Senior associate Skaidrite Folmane, who joined the firm in February 2019, is experienced in tax disputes, while assistant attorney-at-law Arturs Sevcuks advises clients on VAT and custom fees matters.

Practice head(s):

Maris Liguts; Skaidrite Folmane; Arturs Sevcuks

Key clients

Charlot

Delfi Holding

X Infotech

Balta Bura

Work highlights

  • Assisting Tukuma Straume in a dispute with the State Revenue Service over the interpretation of VAT rules.
  • Assisted Balta Bura in an administrative case against the State Revenue Service.
  • Assisted Valeo Autoklimatizace in an administrative case against the State Revenue Service.

Magnusson

Magnusson's practice advises on corporate income tax, VAT and compliance matters. Matīss Rostoks, who joined the firm in February 2019 from ZAB Deloitte Legal, heads the team and is assisting RG Trans in disputes with the State Revenue Service, including in administrative litigation seeking the abolition of decisions adopted by the service. Senior associate Anna Bogdanova is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Matīss Rostoks

Key clients

Riga Architecture Institute

AR Control

VZN Holdings

Vaderstad

Kvinto GR

Work highlights

  • Assisting VZN Holdings in day-to-day tax matters, as well as in disputes with the Latvian State Revenue Service regarding the application of VAT.
  • Advising Riga Architecture Institute on tax planning for the building of the Latvian Expo exhibition in Dubai in 2020.
  • Assisting Kvinto in a dispute with the State Revenue Service.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal

PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal's 'professional and knowledgeable' practice advises on tax due diligence, audit management and tax disputes. Team co-head Janis Lagzdins provided advice to the International School of Latvia on the interpretation of an agreement between the Latvian and US governments concerning the status of the private educational institution and the correct application of tax incentives. Team co-head and senior associate Natalja Purina is noted for her experience representing clients in disputes with the State Revenue Service.

Practice head(s):

Janis Lagzdins; Natalja Purina

Testimonials

‘Team members are professional and knowledgable.’ 

‘Kind, professional and reachable, which is most important.’ 

Key clients

The International School of Latvia

Adugs Production

TM Capital

Trading 4

Jāzeps Zukuls

Work highlights

  • Advised Jāzeps Zukuls, the chairman and owner of a food manufacturing company, on appealing the results of an audit by the State Revenue Service.
  • Advised Aldeko on an audit by the State Revenue Service.
  • Defending Serviss Jums’ position on the State Revenue Service’s right to demand payment of tax after the statutory limitation period has expired.

VILGERTS

VILGERTS' practice advises on tax structuring and optimisation and acts for clients in litigation against the Latvian tax authorities. The team also works closely with the firm's M&A practice, with Gints Vilgerts heading both departments. Viktorija Kristholde-Lūse is experienced in representing clients in disputes with the State Revenue Service and the Ministry of Finance. She also advises on tax due diligence and payroll tax structuring.

Practice head(s):

Gints Vilgerts