Tax in Latvia
Tax is a cornerstone practice of BDO Law, which has expertise across the board in both contentious and non-contentious matters. For advisory work, the team is well versed in handling direct and indirect tax, tax structuring due diligence and transfer pricing matters. On the contentious side, the team regularly acts for clients before the courts and arbitral tribunals in cases against the tax authorities. Founding partner Vita Liberte is a certified tax consultant and attorney-at-law and excels in international tax planning and M&A. Fellow founder Jānis Zelmenis shares a similar skillset but is also notably adept in handling restructuring deals. Jelena Bartule is a prominent name in the market for major tax audits for corporate clients and is also highly skilled in international tax planning.
Vita Liberte; Jānis Zelmenis
Other key lawyers:
‘Very flexible and creative in searching for ways of solving problems.’
‘Easily reachable, high success rate.’
Getliņi EKO, SIA
Samsung SDS Global SCL Baltics
- Advised solid waste landfill manager Getliņi EKO on corporate income tax matters.
- Advised OTK Group in a dispute with the State Revenue Service challenging an audit decision.
- Prepared tax risk management processes and documentation for submission to the tax administrator for Robert Bosch.
The ‘very professional and efficient’ Cobalt has a broad skillset covering both contentious and non-contentious matters, with big names such as AbbVie and Harley Davidson on the client roster. As a leading corporate firm, the team is highly skilled in advising on the tax aspects of corporate transactions, both in Latvia and in other Baltic countries. Tax litigation is another cornerstone of the practice, which has handled cases in both the Supreme Court and administrative courts. Sandija Novicka leads the team and particularly excels in cross-border issues across tax planning and tax litigation. Senior associate Elīna Ločmele, who is an expert in tax advice and restructuring, is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Elīna Ločmele; Sabīne Vuškāne
‘Very professional and efficient. Capable of managing complex and novel matters.’
‘Well-coordinated and experienced experts.’
‘Sandija Novicka combines both excellent legal and tax skills and a high level of business thinking. Easily reachable and responsive.’
‘Cobalt is extremely experienced and knowledgeable. What makes Cobalt different from some other peers in the field is a good combination of knowledge in legal and tax fields. Such a combination for a law firm is not very common.’
‘Sandija Novicka is a highly qualified legal counsel with good knowledge of tax legislation. Extremely organised, deadline oriented, sees the big picture and the substance of the question raised simultaneously, with a good eye for details.’
‘Elīna Ločmele is clear in communication, deadline oriented and submits high-quality advice and documents that do not need any further review and adjustments. Understands the client’s business needs and does not provide excessive general information that has no added value for the client.’
Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Olympic Entertainment Group AS
- Represented Baltijas Sporta Auto in a VAT-related dispute with the State Revenue Service.
- Advised Whimsical Inc regarding the implementation of an equity incentive plan in Latvia.
- Advised Barclays, J.P. Morgan and Société Générale on the tax aspects of two consecutive Eurobond issuances by the Republic of Latvia.
Ellex’s tax team has attracted major corporate clients such as L'Oréal, Coca-Cola and Accenture, with a diverse workload including advising on the tax structuring of M&A, market entries, tax disputes and related employment issues. Zinta Jansons leads the practice and is a respected name in tax structuring and restructurings. She is supported by Ivars Pommers, who stands out for his expertise in tax issues surrounding real estate and restructuring, and associate Eduards Dzintars, who is experienced in VAT and tax disputes.
Other key lawyers:
Ivars Pommers; Eduards Dzintars; Irina Kostina
‘The team is very responsive. I also appreciate that they propose alternative recommendations. I found them open to listening to client’s concerns.’
‘We appreciate particularly working with Eduards Dzintars. He is accurate, very professional and right to the point.’
- Advised Consolis on the tax structuring of its acquisition of TMB Group and the subsequent merger.
- Advising L’Oréal on the tax elements of the implementation of its employee participation plan across the Baltics.
- Advised a client with respect to the payment of a customs guarantee to the State Revenue Service in relation to transit and export procedures.
Sorainen’s team is equipped to handle tax and customs disputes at Supreme Court level, combined with a strong tax advisory offering in transactions, structurings and financings. The team is led by Jānis Taukačs, who has defended clients before the Lithuanian courts as well as the European Court of Justice, particularly in customs-related cases. He is supported by senior associates Aija Lasmane, who focuses on M&A and tax planning; indirect tax specialist Dace Everte; and Alisa Leškoviča, who focuses on tax fraud and negligence.
Other key lawyers:
Aija Lasmane; Dace Everte; Alisa Leškoviča
Vienna Insurance Group (VIG)
Latvian Ministry of Finance
- Advised VPH on the tax aspects of a major land acqusition.
- Advising Vienna Insurance Group on the tax elements of the cross-border merger of Lithuanian non-life insurer Compensa.
- Assisted Bitė Group with the tax aspects of a major refinancing transaction.
TGS Baltic has ‘in-depth knowledge throughout the whole tax team’, which stands out for its ‘pan-Baltic presence’ and ability to draw on the expertise of its teams in Estonia and Lithuania. Andra Rubene is one of three practice heads, noted for her expertise in advising large corporates such as GlaxoSmithKline and Philip Morris. Nauris Grigals handles the litigation side of the practice, and is notably adept in handling transfer pricing issues. Associate Rūdolfs Vilsons is a certified tax consultant and advises clients on corporate tax and compliance.
Andra Rubene; Nauris Grigals; Rūdolfs Vilsons
‘TGS Baltic has in-depth knowledge throughout the whole tax team. Their strength compared to other firms is their pan-Baltic presence, as they are always able to involve other tax advisers and lawyers from Lithuania and Estonia, if needed. TGS Baltic always comes to mind when thinking of legal service providers and their network is brilliant, so they are able to provide the best service.’
‘Rudolfs Vilsons is our main contact in TGS Baltic. His knowledge of tax law along with his competence in business structuring matters has helped our business operations. He always acts with promptness and is highly competent.’
‘The lawyers work as a team. We received comprehensive advice on tax, corporate and inheritance issues under Latvian law and were satisfied with the quality of the services provided. They quickly answered all our questions, which required a fairly quick solution, and were always happy to help us.’
AB “Ignitis Grupė” (Ignitis Group) (formerly Lietuvos Energia UAB)
Gunvor Group / Gunvor SA
Netflix Worldwide Entertainment, LLC
Cirque du Soleil America Inc.
SIA Schwenk Latvia
Aldaris AS / Carlsberg Group
Philip Morris Latvia SIA
Abakhan Fabrics Eesti Latvian branch
City Bee Solutions
- Advised CityBee Latvija, SIA on the application of VAT to its car/scooter rental services.
- Advised AS Aldaris on the tax aspects of a new agreement with distributors.
- Advised Netflix on matters related to the taxation of employees, authors, and service providers.
An ‘extremely professional firm’ that is ‘highly regarded in the industry’, Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns has advised on the tax aspects of corporate transactions, as well as handling tax disputes, for local and international clients. Dainis Vodolagins leads the team and is an expert in M&A and international tax planning. Contentious issues are handled by Ilze Kramiņa, who is particularly strong in tax issues concerning audit results and construction projects. Senior partner Māris Vainovskis is also experienced in corporate tax matters.
Other key lawyers:
Ilze Kramiņa; Māris Vainovskis
‘An extremely professional firm. The team always strive for excellence and they encourage staff to develop skills. Highly regarded in the industry.’
‘Very reliable partners, excellent specialists and wonderful and helpful people. Excellent knowledge of tax law. Very hardworking and disciplined team.’
HCC DIVERSIFICACIÓN Y SOLUCIONES, S.L
LATVIJAS ZAĻAIS ELEKTRONS, JSC
Nordic Recycling, LLC
- Advised HCC Diversificacion y Soluciones Sl on its acquisition of Baltcom LLC.
- Represented Latvijas Zaļais Elektrons in a dispute against the tax authorities over unpaid natural resources tax.
- Represented LatRosTrans in the administrative courts in a tax dispute.
Kronbergs Cukste Levin
Kronbergs Čukste Levin commands a steady stream of tax litigation and advisory work, with Fiat, DHL and Microsoft among its clientele. Vineta Čukste-Jurjeva has extensive experience in tax litigation, most recently involving VAT, income tax relief and the tax structuring of M&A deals. Valters Kronbergs handles the advisory component of the practice and has been active in advising on tax optimisations, corporate transactions and employment matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘My meeting with the team gave me great confidence in their knowledge and connections. They had good connections with the banks and knew about the economic situation in Latvia.’
AS Smiltenes Piens
Kingsblue Publishing Limited
Tenax and its subsidiaries
Walless law firm of Lithuania
- Representing 4finance in major tax litigation regarding the application of corporate income tax relief on donations.
- Advising Avesco on the tax planning for an equipment rental business and on the sale of the business.
- Advising Fiat on general tax issues.
Rödl & Partner
Rödl & Partner advises clients on the tax aspects of transactions, reorganisations and company law, as well as general compliance. Practice head Elīna Putniņa is a certified tax consultant and former tax principal at the State Revenue Service. Outside the tax practice, the team also leverages its association with a major tax and auditing consultancy, as well as the strength of its other offices across Europe. Associate Jūlija Jokste assists Putniņa with most matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘They provide you with 24-hour support and reply as soon as possible. In addition, they are ready to explain their solutions in detail and in a simple way. They also provide transparency and collaboration in pricing, and offer flat fees.’
‘Jūlija Jokste and Elīna Putniņa are reliable and trustworthy lawyers, who fulfil their obligations in time and are experienced in their fields of specialism.’
‘In general, the approach of Rödl & Partner’s tax team was very supportive and collaborative. They really knew what we needed and provided us with all the necessary guidance.’
‘We worked most with Jūlija Jokste and Elīna Putniņa. They both demonstrated great care for us as a client. Their reaction to questions was prompt and in cases where more time was needed we were informed of the approximate timing of their delivery of answers. We value such cooperation, especially when operating from a foreign country.’
Color Expert-Storch LV SIA
Lufthansa Cargo AG
Lufthansa German Airlines
3M Latvija SIA
SCHUCO LATVIJA SIA
VAN GRAAF GmbH (Peek & Cloppenburg)
VAN GRAAF Latvia SIA
HSH Chemie GmbH
Festool LV SIA
TTS Tooltechnik Systems Beteiligungen GmbH
WALLESS (former Primus Derling)
WALLESS (former Primus Derling) has ‘the ability to resolve complex tax issues and ensure that even in the most complicated transactions the client operates in accordance with tax laws’. Practice head Ingūna Ābele is a certified tax consultant and former accountant, whose extensive experience allows her and her team to handle a range of issues including the tax structuring of corporate transactions, tax disputes before the State Revenue Service and general day-to-day tax assistance.
Ingūna Ābele; Konstantīns Teļakovs
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is very competent and experienced and has advised us on number of tax issues. The team has the ability to resolve complex tax issues and ensure that even in the most complicated transactions the client operates in accordance with tax laws.’
‘The team provides the full spectrum of tax services, is very knowledgeable and identifies different nuances that need to be taken into account and provides in-depth tax assistance.’
AJ Power Group
BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS
DEPO DIY SIA
Graanul Invest AS
KOOL Latvija SIA
LSEZ Dan Store SIA
Ministry of Culture of Republic of Latvia
Novira Capital OU
Orlen Latvija SIA
Pilsētas torņi, SIA
Pipelife Latvia SIA
Plieņciema centrs SIA
Regula Baltija SIA
Santa Monica Networks
TAV Airport group companies, Havas group
Uctam Baltics SIA
- Carried out a study of digital services tax implementation options in Latvia for the Ministry of Culture of Republic of Latvia.
- Advised Orlen Latvija SIA with regards to successfully initiating amendments in excise tax regulation.
- Advised Bonus Holdings on the cross-border restructuring of its Dutch subsidiary.
ZAB Deloitte Legal
ZAB Deloitte Legal’s association with the global tax consultancy means it is well placed to handle international tax matters. The team is also known to handle VAT, income tax and real estate tax issues. Practice head Maris Liguts is experienced in contentious matters, and has acted for clients in tax litigation as well as international arbitration.
AS “TUKUMA STRAUME”
SIA “BALTĀ BURA”
Valeo Autoklimatizace k.s.
SIA “X Infotech”
SIA “Delfi Holding”
Law office Deloitte Legal
- Assisted Tukuma Straume in a dispute against the State Revenue Service over the interpretation of VAT.
- Advised Baltā Bura in a dispute against the Lithuanian tax authorities concerning VAT.
- Represented Valeo Autoklimatizace in a VAT-related dispute against the State Revenue Service.
Magnusson regularly represents clients in disputes against the State Revenue Service and is also skilled in handling tax structuring issues and property tax matters. Litigator Matīss Rostoks leads the practice, having previously worked for one of the Big Four accounting firms, and is supported by senior associate Anna Bogdanova.
Other key lawyers:
Tied to the Big Four consultancy, PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal is particularly strong in due diligence and tax audits, as well as contentious matters. Janis Lagzdins is one of two practice heads and focuses on tax advisory work, with particular strengths in the tax aspects of corporate transactions. Senior associate Natalja Purina also leads the team and focuses on contentious matters, primarily tax litigation.