Tax in Venezuela

Baker & McKenzie, S.C.

Baker & McKenzie, S.C.‘s longstanding experience in tax law allows it to advise clients from the healthcare, energy and telecoms industries on a comprehensive range of contentious and non-contentious mandates. With a team led by Ronald Evans, work includes corporate taxation, wealth management and wider financial strategy planning. Litigation is another area of expertise, with the firm able to leverage a wide Latin American network of lawyers when necessary. Oscar Morean is a further key contact.

Practice head(s):

Ronald Evans

Other key lawyers:

Oscar Morean

D'Empaire

D’Empaire is ‘solution-focused‘ and ‘very agile in its responses’ for a client roster comprising of international companies, financial institutions and private equity funds. Alberto Benshimol and Humberto Romero-Muci co-head a team handling the tax implications of large-scale reorganisations and joint ventures, along with multimillion-dollar transfer pricing disputes and inheritance or business succession planning for Venezuelan high-net-worth families and individuals. José Valecillos offers corporate and real estate expertise, while the group also impresses with its strong wealth management practice.

Other key lawyers:

José Valecillos

Testimonials

‘The D’Empaire team is very agile in its responses, which are adapted to the client’s needs.’

‘When we need a thoughtful opinion we have it, but when we need a short, quick answer, this team is also able to deliver it.’

‘José Humberto Frías, Fulvio Italiani and Giancarlo Carrazza are brilliant and always solution-focused lawyers.’

Key clients

Bayer

Weatherford

NGK Cerâmica e Velas de Ignição NGK do Brasil Ltda

The Kraft Heinz Company

Mapfre

Colgate-Palmolive Venezuela

V6 Holdings

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Ubii Pagos

Tenaris

Work highlights

  • Ongoing tax advice to Bayer’s Venezuelan subsidiary in connection with the tax implications of its operations including VAT, customs and income tax matters.
  • Provided tax advice to Weatherford in connection with their activities in the Venezuelan energy sector.
  • We advised The Kraft Heinz Company in connection with the tax implication of certain transactions and restructuring of its Venezuelan subsidiary.

Leĝa Abogados

Clients appreciate ‘personalised attention‘ from the tax department at Leĝa Abogados, which is headed by planning expert Jesús Sol-Gil. His team – most active in the banking and finance, pharmaceuticals and construction sectors – advises on business restructurings, complex foreign investments and exchange-related matters, as well as on currency issues and the filing of any associated judicial remedies. Corporate and litigation specialist Elina Pou is recognised as ‘diligent, proactive and attentive‘, while other key practitioners include Nathalie Rodríguez-París, who is well-versed in international taxation, along with senior associate Rosa Caballero.

Practice head(s):

Jesús Sol-Gil

Testimonials

‘The firm provides personalised attention, strives to understand the business and obtains information directly from our key contacts. They become part of our organization as a great team.’

‘They compare positively with other firms, by virtue of the fact that they seek to establish viable alternatives, so as clients you can choose the best option.’

‘Elina Pou Ruan is diligent, proactive and attentive with excellent legal writing.’

‘Jesús Sol and Natalie Rodriguez are a strong team in this area, being accurate and confident with their opinions and recommendations. Historically, they offer a very good and professional service.’

Key clients

American Bureau Shipping (ABS)

Proyecto Esperanza (nonprofit entity) subsidiary of US Project Hope

Nestlé de Venezuela

EKA (Nouryon subsidiary) through Morrison Foerster LLP

EF Education First

Abaklin

Rolex de Venezuela

Constructora Andrade Gutiérrez

Port de Bras Active Wear

Mitsui de Venezuela

Work highlights

  • Assisting with tax assessment on delayed withholdings fillings; EF Education First filed and paid VAT withholdings on delay, due to the lack of bolivars and the difficulties and inconveniences of the company to convert foreign currency due to the OFAC sanctions applicable to the Venezuelan Central Bank.
  • Consulting for Rolex de Venezuela about the fiscal impact in Venezuela related to a termination of an agreement for distribution and sales.
  • Filing of a judicial remedy against the tax authorities’ refusal to acknowledge American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)’s right to income tax exemption, noting that the client is a non-profit association, the main purpose of which is to assess the conditions and seaworthiness of ships to guarantee and protect life and sea property.

Altum Abogados, S.C.

The tax practice at Altum Abogados, S.C. is ‘fast, efficient and stands out from other firms’ on structuring, compliance, transfer pricing, and global corporate or estate reorganisation-oriented advisory matters. ‘Extraordinary’ department head Jorge Jraige ‘combines technical-legal knowledge and empathy’, with experience in planning as well as direct and indirect tax consulting for a portfolio of international clients. Senior associate and ‘excellent professional’ Ximena Dugarte Rodríguez is another key contact offering strong support, particularly on the litigation and wealth management side.

Practice head(s):

Jorge Jraige

Testimonials

‘The firm has a team to handle the complexity of tax issues and even more, if we add a political component affecting the probability of success. It has knowledge allowing them to measure advantages and disadvantages of the possible strategies available, with a practical sense for business continuity from an economic point of view.’

‘Jorge Jraige is an excellent tax lawyer, and with a high knowledge of tax and financial matters; so far he has exceeded our expectations in the tax field. Ximena Dugarte is also an excellent professional who is part of our team.’

‘Altum’s tax team has solid technical knowledge, which it offers its clients through the understanding of their needs and the challenging environment.’

‘Jorge Jraige and Alfonso Porras are not only extraordinary tax lawyers, but also great people, who combine technical-legal knowledge with empathy, which facilitates their approach to complex issues and leads to excellent service.’

‘At Altum, they fully understand the difficult legal and political environment that currently exists and provide 100% support in the search for innovative solutions to benefit their clients.’

‘We have had the opportunity to work with different partners of the firm (Jorge Jraige, Mariana Roso) and several associated professionals (Ximena Dugarte and Maria Corina Domínguez), always receiving a quality service.’

‘They are fast, efficient and stand out from other firms. Updates are frequent and constant with a high level of detail. Impeccable communication and monitoring of ongoing activities. Direct calls to key personnel and easy access to the firm’s partners.’

Dentons

Following its absorption of the former Vallenilla, Escalante & Asociados tax and corporate boutique in April 2021, Dentons‘ working breadth and client pool has broadened significantly. The practice provides advisory services in direct and indirect, as well as fiscal and parafiscal, taxes following restructuring processes, the opening of new companies or liquidation of existing entities. Recent work has also involved cross-border business operations requiring the creation of tax-efficient structures for foreign investments. Department head Luis Fraga Pittaluga specialises in the financial services and oil and gas sectors.

Practice head(s):

Luis Fraga Pittaluga

Testimonials

‘The Dentons team is fully trained and up-to-date with regulations, laws and other legal instruments, which allows us to obtain appropriate advice that serves as the basis for decision-making in our organization. Compared to other firms, the Dentons Venezuela team is favorably among the first of any selection.’

‘What makes Dentons Venezuela stand out over other firms is the trust that they have managed to gain in our organization through the always accurate analysis and opinions, which, with full knowledge of our mission and purpose, has allowed them to align with the interests of our organization and collaborate to achieve the objectives we have set out.’

‘The firm’s lawyers complement each other in a natural way when requesting an opinion.’

‘Dentons vastly outperforms any other firm we have worked with. The personalized treatment and human qualities that they show in the process  makes a big difference.’

‘Dr. Ramón Alvins and Dr. Esther Cecilia Blondet channel great professionalism to obtain quick and accurate answers. Their teamwork is what supports us and helps us meet our objectives. They are attentive to every detail and permanently monitor everything that is in process in order to reach the conclusion of the matter.’

Key clients

Aggreko

Air France

Bank of Nova SCOTIA (Scotiabank)

Brinks (Servicio Panamericano deProtección)

China National Petroleum Corporation(CNPC)

Compañía General de Combustibles (CGC)

Equinor

Mead Johnson Nutrition

Pluspetrol

Toyo Engineering Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Compañía General de Combustibles on tax matters as part of our long-standing relationship to support its operations and activities in or related to Venezuela.

InterJuris Abogados

The InterJuris Abogados advisory workload ranges from business restructurings and transfer pricing rules to the tax implications of proposed transactions, as well as acting in disputes with financial authorities, regulators or municipalities. Miami-based María Leticia Perera handles international taxation and estate planning; she co-heads the team alongside Anadaniella Sucre de Pró-Rísquez, who specialises in planning and litigation instructions, with a client base including international names from the oil and gas and financial sectors. Associates Fernando Ríos Morillo and Eleana Salazar are further key contacts.

Key clients

Axalta Coating Systems de Venezuela

INPEX

CYBS

Sony

Vinccler

Caja Caracas Casa de Bolsa

HES Real Estate

Zoetis

Manaplas

Maria Margarita Machado

Work highlights

  • Representing Zoetis before the Tax Administration derived from the Tax Assessment Procedure conducted about income tax formalities from fiscal year 2019 and several value-added tax returns from fiscal year 2019.
  • Advising and implementing the re-structure of the ultimate beneficial owners’ holdings of Optica Caroni (the largest high-end retailer of corrective glasses in Venezuela).
  • Advising Manaplas on the restructuring of the ownership of the company’s assets.

Mendoza, Palacios, Acedo, Borjas, Paez Pumar & Cia.

At Mendoza, Palacios, Acedo, Borjas, Paez Pumar & Cia.Manuel Acedo Sucre and María Genoveva Páez Pumar lead a practice focusing predominantly on tax efficiencies and structures during complex domestic acquisitions, investigation audits, litigation or administrative procedures before the relevant authorities, and general financial planning. Its client roster features various subsidiaries of large international entities and well-established Venezuelan corporations. Diego Lepervanche is another key name, particularly on the M&A and private equity side.

Other key lawyers:

Diego Lepervanche

Key clients

The Coca-Cola Company / Coca-Cola Servicios de Venezuela / Coca-Cola Servicios

Corporación Grupo Químico, Venezolana de Pinturas, Química Industrial and other subsidiaries of the Colombian industrial conglomerate Grupo Orbis

Miranda Capital Partners

Grupo Perret, a major construction and real estate developer in Venezuela and Aruba

Formiconi

Aon Risk Group

Corporación Solsica (a former subsidiary of Emerson Electric, and currently its sole distributor in Venezuela)

MSD Farmacéutica (the Venezuelan Merck subsidiary)

Intervit, C.A.

Work highlights

  • Assisting Miranda Capitals Partners in the design and actualization of an efficient international master structure for the acquisition of companies in Venezuela.
  • Assisting local subsidiaries Coca-Cola Servicios de Venezuela, MSD Farmacéutica, Vicson, Corporación Grupo Químico and Venezolana de Pinturas, Corporación Solsica and Industria Venezolana de Transporte Operativo transnationals on their taxation issues in Venezuela, including tax planning, the review and compliance of their tax obligations, tax returns, reports and other fiscal incidences.
  • Advising Formiconi, C.A., Grupo Perret, Grupo Austral, Larasalud C.A. and Distribuidora Alcarin on tax and financial planning and specific fiscal issues, which include reviewing the general situation of each company or group, giving them comprehensive macro advice and follow-up with practical implementation of taxation policies, taking into account the international components of their activities or interests.

Palacios, Torres & Korody

Palacios, Torres & Korody handles domestic tax planning, advises on the effects of financing agreements and offers general corporate or M&A consulting services for clients in the food and beverage, tobacco and energy sectors. Name partners Leonardo PalaciosJosé Gregorio Torres and Juan Korody have significant experience in restructurings and litigation, with strong commercial and regulatory understanding which attracts notable private clients.

Testimonials

‘The team has shown it has the competencies and skills required to handle all cases presented to them.’

‘Customer service is better than other firms doing tax work.’

Key clients

Empresas Polar (Alimentos Polar, Cervecería Polar, Pepsi-Cola de Venezuela)

Cigarrera Bigott (British American Tobacco)

Diageo Venezuela

Huawei de Venezuela

Banesco Banco Universal

Schlumberger Venezuela

Perenco

Total Oil and Gas

Work highlights

  • Represented Schlumberger Venezuela before 15+ assessment procedures and other collection attempts by local tax authorities throughout Venezuela, for alleged deficiencies in the tens of millions.
  • Advised Cigarrera Bigott (British American Tobacco) on the fiscal implications of cross-border assignment of trademarks and other intellectual property, with emphasis on Venezuelan Income, Value Added and Wealth Tax.
  • Advised Empresas Polar (Cervecería Polar, Alimentos Polar, Helados Efe, Pepsicola de Venezuela) in connection with novel Wealth Tax and designed strategies for enhancing compliance, in light of valuations rules and impact on financial statements.

Torres, Plaz & Araujo

Torres, Plaz & Araujo attracts praise for its ‘quick and simple responses’ on issues pertaining to corporate income and M&A tax, as well as cross-border financial structuring and domestic optimisations. Key players Rodolfo Plaz AbreuJuan Carlos Garantón-BlancoValentina Cabrera Medina and Valmy Díaz Ibarra also assist with audits, double taxation avoidance schemes and the prevention of fiscal evasion, alongside various disputes. On the private client side, the team also has experience with wealth management and high-net-worth individual relocations.

Testimonials

‘Mastery of legislation and regulatory framework. Good contacts with key authorities at national, regional and municipal level.’

‘Quick and simple responses. Adequate advice and support to protect the interests and reputation of clients, as well as follow-up and permanent contact through the case.’

Key clients

AngloAmerican Group (Minera Loma de Níquel)

Petrosaudi Oil Services

Empresas Polar

BP Group

Pepsico Alimentos Venezuela

Rosneft

Shell Group

Ron Santa Teresa

Total Group

GMO

Ampelman

Productora de Sal (Produsal)

Industrias Cagua (Inca Oil)

Belcorp (cosmetic)

MOCASAENDAVA

Rodrigo Elias Medrano

Work highlights

  • Advising AngloAmerican Group on alternatives for dealing with Venezuela business, corporate and financing structures in light of its current standing (remediation works) and review of possible restructuring initiatives aligned with multiple jurisdictions involved.
  • Assisting FY Group (MMC) in its analysis of restructuring operations and financing, as well as the group long-term strategy.
  • Assisting Shell Group with the analysis of local taxation on operations of SVSA, as well as the exchanges with local authorities and principal for handling the exposure/settlement of a long-pending SVPSA court case.

Araquereyna

At Araquereyna, the tax team leave no stone unturned’ when assisting with planning and administrative assessments, while possessing ‘extensive knowledge of the national and international regulatory environment‘. Led by Gabriel Ruan Santos, it also handles disputes and judicial appeals; Santos is supported by María Carolina Cano and Ingrid García Pacheco, who advise on structuring mandates, and wealth and heritage tax planning, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Gabriel Ruan Santos

Testimonials

‘Extensive knowledge of the national and international tax regulatory environment associated with the organization’s business structure.’

‘The Araquereyna tax team is extraordinary. They respond on time, know our business and propose solutions in accordance with its realities.’

‘Carolina Cano and Gabriel Ruan are extraordinary; they have extensive experience in tax matters and their recommendations have been key in decision-making.’

‘The practice has a great ability to easily explain complex issues to our non-attorney leaders. Their deep knowledge of local tax laws and the effect of these laws when dealing with multinational companies makes them essential for anyone wishing to do business in Venezuela.’

‘Carolina Cano and Federica Mena are great negotiators, exceptional listeners and the best part: always available.’

‘The team always makes you feel that your contract or matter is the most important one and leave no stone unturned when reviewing details.’

Raffalli de Lemos Halvorssen Ortega y Ortiz

Raffalli de Lemos Halvorssen Ortega y Ortiz advises on estate planning, trusts and customs law, and provides support during the various tax aspects of domestic transactions. Key contact Andrés Luis Halvorssen has a strong track record in disputes relating to exports, while the practice also assists clients during financial audits.

Practice head(s):

Andrés Luis Halvorssen

Rodríguez & Mendoza

Rodríguez & Mendoza‘s team is led by the experienced Oswaldo Anzola and assists its clients with the tax implications of transactions, optimisations, the implementation of business structures and various contentious matters. Elvira Dupouy Mendoza offers support, particularly on municipal taxation issues.

Practice head(s):

Oswaldo Anzola

Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez

Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez provides opinions, counseling or consultations on general tax matters, along with strategic tax planning, and administrative and judicial remedies. Practice co-heads Alfredo Travieso and Juan Carlos Castillo Carvajal are the key practitioners, with decades of experience handling contentious and non-contentious instructions.

Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz

Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz handles a wide range of tax-related mandates, including due diligence on acquisitions, credit transfers and the negotiation, documentation or structuring aspects of transactions. Key names include Eduardo Travieso Uribe, Manuel Iturbe Alarcón and associate Andreína Lusinchi Martínez; the team is also experienced with administrative litigation.

Practice head(s):

Eduardo Travieso Uribe

Other key lawyers:

Manuel Iturbe Alarcón