Tax in Malaysia

Shearn Delamore & Co

The three-partner tax team at Shearn Delamore & Co, led by Anand Raj is a popular choice for tax litigation, audit and investigation matters. Raj handles tax and transfer pricing disputes and litigation which the firm had seen particular growth in recent years, and is supported by Irene Yong and Foong Pui Chi who are also instructed on advisory work, tax structuring, planning and audit. The firm has grown outside of its traditional client base in the oil and gas industry to include clients in the electronics, telecoms, consumer products and transport sectors. Associate Abhilaash Subramaniam is also recommended. Goh Ka Im has retired.

Practice head(s):

Anand Raj

Testimonials

‘Highly informative and efficient. The team not only managed to explain to us the situation and potential strategy to our best understanding, but also guided us step by step in order to resolve it.’

‘Irene Yong is extremely efficient and well informed of the topic at hand. Highly dependable and was a great support in resolving our tax issue.’

‘Excellent understanding of the business, offers intelligence advice and practical strategy.’

‘Responsive and strategic; cared to explore solutions and advised when to push, when to wait and which state to file an appeal.’

Key clients

CIMB Bank Berhad

Diebold Nixdorf Sdn Bhd (formerly known as Wincor Nixdorf (M) Sdn Bhd)

United Malacca Berhad

Maximum Vista Sdn Bhd

Altera Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd

ExxonMobil Malaysia Sdn Bhd

Shell Refining Company (FOM) Berhad

Petronas Penapisan (Terengganu) Sdn Bhd

Boston Consulting Group Sdn Bhd

United Plantations Berhad

Malaysia LNG Sdn Bhd

Vijaya Lakshmi Devi d/o Nadchatiram

Kompleks Tanjong Malim Sdn Bhd

Bridgestone Chemical Products (M) Sdn Bhd

Agro-Mod Industries Sdn Bhd

Shell People Services Asia Sdn Bhd

Seaport Worldwide Sdn Bhd

Wong & Partners

Wong & Partners’s tax practice offers 'seamless' advice on tax aspects of M&A transactions, local and international tax planning, wealth management, global structuring and transfer pricing as well as tax disputes. Adeline Wong’s primary focus is tax audits, tax controversies and corporate tax planning, whilst Jason Liang leads the tax controversy group, appearing in national courts and tax tribunals. Yvonne Beh advises clients on double tax treaties, withholding tax and real property gains tax.  Krystal NG leads the transfer pricing sub-group and focuses on issues arising in relation to cross-border transactions and post M&A transactions. Istee Cheah counts high net worth individuals as her main clients.

Practice head(s):

Adeline Wong

Testimonials

‘The team is very responsive and worked seamlessly across different practice groups. They have a deep understanding of the relevant technical issues, and are able to highlight areas of uncertainty or risk. We appreciated that the team is able to meet time-critical and urgent deadlines and is always available to discuss any issues that arises’.

‘Their ability to manage a complex and time-sensitive engagement and hit critical deadlines is highly valued.’

Key clients

UNIQLO Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.

Primary Goldennet Sdn. Bhd.

Work highlights

  • Represented UNIQLO Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. in a successful appeal to the Court of Appeal against the High Court’s dismissal of its application for judicial review related to a Special Refund Application.
  • Represented Primary Goldennet Sdn. Bhd. before the High Court against the decision of the Director General of Customs and Excise to disallow the Taxpayer’s exceptional claim for input tax for a large sum of GST.

Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill

Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill’s tax practice advises on audits, transfer pricing cases and tax disputes. Co-team lead Nitin Nadkarni and Jason Tan Jia Xin jointly lead the team; the latter is also a trade and customs specialist. The team continues to be instructed in tax appeals at the SCIT, and for judicial review applications at the High Court, and its recent highlights include successfully representing Tower REIT in a real property gains tax appeal.

Practice head(s):

Nitin Nadkarni ; Jason Tan Jia Xin

Testimonials

‘The lawyers in the firm’s tax practice are helpful, and importantly, accessible. The tax team also provides commercial sound and practical tax advice, deep, practical knowledge of tax laws and are able to provide practical recommendations’.

‘Tax partners Nitin Nadkarni and Jason Tan always find time to join us on briefing calls and meetings despite their busy practice, which gives us the assurance we need that our tax briefs are in capable hands.

‘The LHAG team is very responsive and has a good depth of subject matter expertise.’

‘The team has smart tax lawyers, namely Jason and Chris, who work hard to provide clients with practical recommendations.’

‘We have worked with Jason Tan and his team for a number of years in particular on the amicable settlement of disputes with Customs which had a favourable outcome. The team is always responsive and understands our business and requirements well’.

Key clients

NS Bluescope Malaysia Sdn Bhd

Tower Real Estate Investment Trust

Sandakan Edible Oils Sdn Bhd

Classic Japan (M) Sdn Bhd

Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers’ Association Foundation

Cash Band (M) BerhadSaujana Triangle Sdn Bhd

Mycron Steel Berhad

Semangkuk Berhad

SAP Malaysia Sdn Bhd

Work highlights

  • Acted for NS Bluescope Malaysia Sdn Bhd  in filing a petition and questionnaire on behalf of the domestic steel industry to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry for anti-dumping duties to be imposed on the importation of steel products from China, Korea and Vietnam.
  • Represented Tower REIT Investment Trust, a Malaysia-based REIT listed on Bursa Malaysia and part of the Hong Leong group in a tax appeal at the SCIT against the IRB, whereby the SCIT discharged the tax assessments raised.
  • Represented Sandakan Edible Oils Sdn Bhd in a transfer pricing appeal at the Special Commissioners of Income Tax.

Raja, Darryl & Loh

Raja, Darryl & Loh‘s broad tax offering includes litigation and structuring;  its advisory work spans income tax, real property gains tax, sales and service tax and customs duties. practice head Vijey Krishnan regularly handles both contentious and non-contentious work, including significant cases in the real estate, infrastructure and technology sectors. William Wong assists with tax advice in relation to business structures and e-commerce platforms, as well as appearing in court. It has focused on advisory work recently for new clients from a range of sectors, such as food, insurance, energy, education and banking, as the courts recover capacity restricted during the pandemic.

Practice head(s):

Vijey Krishnan 

Other key lawyers:

William Wong

Testimonials

‘Vijey R. Mohana Krishnan is a complex problem solver. He is able to read and interpret legislation in a way that provides grounds to support our position. Accessible and available for consultation.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a property development company in an appeal to the High Court from the Special Commissioners of Income Tax, securing a decision that payments made by the client as a developer to the Lembaga Perumahan dan Hartanah Selangor to reduce the Bumiputera sales quota are tax-deductible.
  • Secured the dismissal of an appeal to the Court of Appeal for a subsidiary of a public-listed company that a bill of demand from the Director General of Customs to collect goods and services tax (GST) on service that was zero-rated was unlawful.
  • Acted in an appeal for a public-listed infrastructure company to the Customs Appeal Tribunal against a decision of the Director General of Customs disallowing the zero-rating of the client’s services for the Light Rail Transit system for the purposes of GST.

Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership

Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership entered into the ranking this year with the hire of D.P. Naban and S. Saravana Kumar who now jointly lead the team; both joined from Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill in February 2020. The practice advises Malaysian government-linked companies, multinational corporations, local and foreign companies and high net worth individuals on general tax matters as well as tax issues arising from cross-border M&A transactions. In addition, it represented clients in tax disputes in any level of courts and has a track record of successfully resolving tax disputes with regulatory authorities through negotiation.

Practice head(s):

Datuk Naban; Saravana Kumar

Testimonials

‘The firm sets the standards on how lawyers should provide legal services to their clients. Very professional, good knowledge on the law, timely advice and the partners are always available to assist the company with the issues. Our preferred tax lawyers.’

‘We are very happy with the excellent support provided to the company.’

‘The tax team is always connected to its clients, diligent and very responsive to clients. Keeps clients updated on the latest developments with its frequent webinars and well researched articles.’

‘Saravana Kumar is an outstanding tax lawyer with an impeccable track record. His arguments and strategies are courageous and groundbreaking. He is not only knowledgeable and up to date but also humble and polite. Highly recommended tax lawyer.’

‘Experience on the ground and in court, and able to deliver results.’

Key clients

Tenaga Nasional Berhad

Petroliam Nasional Berhad

Setia Fontaines Sdn Bhd

AEON Credit Service

Hong Leong Yamaha Motor Sdn Bhd

GCH Retail (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Sdn Bhd

Malayan Banking Berhad

Petron Oil (M) Sdn Bhd

Cal-Sub F&B Sdn Bhd

Tan Chong Motor Assemblies Sdn Bhd

Thomson Reuters Malaysia Sdn Bhd

Wira Swire Sdn Bhd

Lendlease Development Sdn Bhd

Panasonic Homes Malaysia Sdn Bhd

Hitachi Sunway Information System Sdn Bhd

Flexys Chemicals (M) Sdn Bhd

Man Truck & Bus (M) Sdn Bhd

Work highlights

  • Representing Tenaga Nasional Berhad, the Malaysian multinational electricity company in a judicial review application before the High Court, whereby TNB successfully submitted that it is in the business of manufacturing electricity, thereby affecting its tax treatment.  
  • Representing Petroliam Nasional Berhad, a global energy and solutions company and a government-linked company on an allegation of tax avoidance.
  • Representing Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Sdn Bhd in an import duty exemption dispute.

Skrine

Skrine represents clients in court and before the relevant tribunals on tax matters and assists with tax planning, audits and investigations. Litigator Preetha Pillai heads the tax and revenue practice and specialises in representing clients in disputes with the tax authorities. The team regularly supports the corporate, employment and intellectual property teams on the tax aspects of transactions, and works closely with Koon Huan Lim’s customs and trade remedies team and Vijay Raj’s rates and assessment team. Senior associate Manshan Singh is also recommended for contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Preetha Pillai

Testimonials

‘Preetha and Desmond have been helpful and make themselves available at short notice to discuss tax legal issues with us.’

Key clients

Maruichi Sun Steel Joint Stock Company Vina One Steel Manufacturing and Trading Co. Ltd Tay Nam Steel Manufacturing and Trading Co. Ltd.

Natsteel Holdings Pte Ltd Easteel Services (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd

PT IMR ARC

Unistar Industries Sdn Bhd

Guan Chong Berhad

JB Cocoa Sdn Bhd

Work highlights