Tax in Malaysia

Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill

The tax team at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill is known for handling high-value tax disputes relating to transfer pricing, sales and services tax, capital allowance, withholding tax, tax incentives and customs valuation, and is particularly active in bringing tax appeals before the Special Commissioners of Income Tax. The group is also instructed in non-contentious and advisory matters. Two noted names in the practice include Aznam Mansor, who focuses on advising private clients,  and anti-money laundering and criminal tax investigation expert and civil tax recovery-focused partner Bahari Yeow. Rosli Dahlan, D.P. Naban and Saravana Kumar left the firm in February 2020 to form the Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership.

Other key lawyers:

Aznam Mansor; Bahari Yeow

Testimonials

Response time of the team is very quick. They are able to provide accurate and business-orientated solutions. The team also has very good knowledge of the law.

Key clients

Shell Business Service Centre Sdn Bhd

Genting Malaysia Berhad

Foxconn Technology Malaysia Sdn Bhd

Orange Rederiet Aps and Wira Swire Sdn Bhd

Subway

Magnum Holdings Sdn Bhd

Pantai Holdings Sdn Bhd

Aeon Credit Service (M) Berhad

Mass Rapid Transit

Bahru Stainless Sdn Bhd

Work highlights

  • Advised Shell Business Service Centre on its judicial review application to the High Court of Malaysia against the notice of assessment for the Year Assessment 2011 and notices of additional assessment for the YAs 2012 and 2013 raised by the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia.
  • Represented Genting Malaysia in judicial review proceedings against the Ministry of Finance’s decision to amend Genting’s 2014 Tax Incentive Approval.
  • Represented Foxconn Technology Malaysia in a case which discussed the scope of Section 127 (3A) of the Income Tax Act and the power of the Ministry of Finance in applying the said provision.
  • Acted for Magnum Holding Sdn Bhd and Magnum Berhad in judicial review proceedings and appeal to the Special Commissioners of Income Tax to challenge the notice notices of assessment/additional assessment for income tax raised by the Director-General of Inland Revenue.
  • Successfully represented Orange Rederiet Aps and Wira Swire Sdn Bhd in the judicial review proceedings against the Director-General of Inland Revenue in a dispute relating to whether payments by Wire Swire (a Malaysian company) to ORAPS (a Danish company) should be subject to withholding tax that Double Taxation Agreement between Denmark and Malaysia.

Shearn Delamore & Co

The tax and revenue practice at Shearn Delamore & Co attracts praise for its 'strong prowess as tax and legal practitioners in all aspects, whether legal, practical, procedural'. The group is instructed by a range of domestic, multinational and international companies, with particular expertise advising oil and gas sector clients. The team, which are 'all very hands-on' in their approach,  include practice head Goh Ka Im,  Anand Raj, and Irene Yong who all have experience handling a full range of contentious and non-contentious tax matters.

Practice head(s):

Goh Ka Im

Other key lawyers:

Anand Raj

Testimonials

The team has the immense ability to understand a lot of new information within a very short period of time related to a business they were previously not familiar with.

Anand Raj is able to present highly technical and complicated industry information to a lay-person in a manner that the lay-person can understand, while ensuring no loss to the accuracy of the facts.

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

Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco)

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented the directors of a company in a civil suit instituted by the Revenue against the directors.
  • Advised Scientex Packaging Film on Malaysian tax law implications of its acquisition of Klang Hock Plastic Industries Sdn Bhd, including real property gains tax issues.
  • Assisted Puma Energy with its disposal of 20% of its shares in Langsat Terminal (One) Sdn Bhd and Langsat Terminal (Two).

Wong & Partners

The 'strong and proficient' tax, trade and wealth management team at Wong & Partners attracts an impressive client roster of local and international corporates which it assists with a full range of tax matters. Adeline Wong, who is frequently instructed to advise large corporates on corporate tax planning, audits and foreign trade matters, heads up the team alongside Yvonne Beh, who has recently been particularly active in advising e-commerce, technology and digital economy clients on indirect tax matters. Other names to note include Krystal Ng and Jason Liang who are highlighted for transfer pricing advice and tax litigation respectively. Former senior associate Yi Lyn Tan took an in-house role at 500 Startups.

Practice head(s):

Adeline Wong; Yvonne Beh

Other key lawyers:

Krystal Ng; Jason Liang

Testimonials

They give practical advice and insights; they are also connected with industrial bodies and associations and are able to share insights on new developments.

The team knows how to match our business requirements/issues with their wide & deep knowledge.

They provide strong practical and comprehensive solutions to our challenges. They connected all the dots.

They understand our business and how we want to operate.

Adeline Wong is extremely knowledgeable, not just in local tax issues but also international developments. A trusted advisor who is able to deliver.

The team at Wong & Partners are responsive to our needs and queries and often meet deadlines provided. They are also well-versed in Malaysia tax knowledge, give practical advice and insights and are able/ willing to take positions on tax matters.

Adeline Wong and Yvonne Beh are particularly attentive to our needs and address our queries expeditiously. What I especially appreciate is the willingness and ability to take positions on tax matters and give practical advice.

The team is very strong and proficient in their subject matter expertise.

Adeline Wong stands out for her in-depth knowledge and hands-on approach to dealing with the client’s matters.

Key clients

Lazada Asia Limited

Western Digital

Microsemi Storage Solutions

McD APMEA Franchising Pte Ltd

Integrated Device Technology

Boston Scientific Corporation

Giesecke & Devrient Malaysia Sdn Bhd

Asian Development Bank

Starbucks

Work highlights

  • Reviewed and analysed the proposed global restructuring steps involving the Malaysian subsidiary of a multinational manufacturer of semiconductor and related and are advising on the relevant steps to achieve maximum tax efficiency, as well as assisting with multiple stamp duty relief applications for several transactions.
  • Assisted a European global luxury automobile manufacturer with a customs audit involving a claim of incorrect declaration for goods imported.
  • Advised a leading global tobacco manufacturer on the available structuring options for streamlining and amalgamating their Malaysian operations and represented the client in a successful application for a court merger from the High Court of Malaysia under Section 370 of the Companies Act 2016.
  • Advised a leading insurer in Malaysia on its eligibility in making deemed GST input tax claims on cash payments that are made by the client to insured persons under various different insurance policies.
  • Represented a global e-commerce travel services provider in an appeal filed with the Goods and Services Tax Tribunal.

Raja, Darryl & Loh

Raja, Darryl & Loh's tax practice group is highlighted for its tax litigation expertise. It has recently been particularly active in assisting clients with issues arising from the transition from Goods and Services Tax to Sales and Services Tax. Practice head Vijey Krishnan has a strong reputation for his representation of clients in the Courts and before the tax authorities, and is frequently assisted by senior associate William Wong.

Practice head(s):

Vijey Krishnan

Other key lawyers:

William Wong

Key clients

Petroliam Nasional Berhad

Heineken Malaysia Bhd

Halliburton

Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd

JTI Group

Shell Group Malaysia

Intel Malaysia

Dialog Group Berhad

Western Union Group

ExxonMobil

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Asia Energy Services successfully in appeal proceedings before the Special Commissioners of Income Tax as well as the High Court.
  • Representing Shell Timur in judicial review proceedings at the High Court against the decision of the Director-General of Inland Revenue to raise an additional assessment against the client after the lapse of the relevant time-bar period under the Income Tax Act, 1967.
  • Successfully represented Pengerang Independent Terminals, which is part of the Dialog Group, in an application before the High Court for judicial review.
  • Representing SKF Bearings Industries in an appeal to the Special Commissioners of Income Tax, challenging the right of the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) to depart from an Advance Ruling previously issued that confirmed that a sum received as compensation for the sale of intangible assets is not taxable.

Skrine

The tax and revenue practice at Skrine has the expertise to advise on a range of planning, litigation and regulatory matters spanning a variety of taxes. The group has been particularly active in assisting clients with challenges to rates and assessments. Commercial litigation and arbitration partner Preetha Pillai heads up the practice.

Practice head(s):

Preetha Pillai

Testimonials

They are knowledgeable about business tax issues and able to provide quick answers to queries.

Key clients

Antara Optima Sdn Bhd

Work highlights

  • Acted for PETRONAS Gas Berhad in several matters including in a judicial review against annual rates retrospectively imposed by local authorities on the client’s pipeline network.
  • Represented construction company Antara Optima in a dispute relating to a best judgment tax assessment raised by Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia.