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Europe Guide

Tax — Latvia


BDO Law - Tax Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Stellar team with a robust international network, skilled in working on the full spectrum of tax issues. Specialises in corporate and individual tax planning and tax structuring mandates, including cross-border instructions. Advises on direct and indirect tax and handles transfer pricing and tax due diligence matters. Popular with regional clients.

Work highlights Assisted Lage Ko with an audit of its internal information system to evaluate potential tax risks and prepare justification to tax authorities.

Acted for PROKS on its tax application to the State Revenue Service and provided advice on tax compliance for VAT, CIT and transfer pricing issues.

Notable practitioners

Jānis Zelmenis is "a lawyer with global capabilities," reports one commentator. He holds over two decades of experience working on tax issues and maintains a track record which includes acting on tax audits and the tax aspects of M&A transactions. He advised Ubiquiti Networks Latvia on transfer pricing documentation covering transactions over a two-year period.

Vita Liberte's forte is in tax planning, advising clients on tax compliance and tax audits. In one work highlight, she assisted Novatours with transfer pricing documentation for its intragroup transactions.

About the Team (content provided by BDO Law)

Department profile not yet provided by BDO Law. Please see their firm profile.

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COBALT - Tax Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Renowned team noted for its wealth of experience acting for international and leading domestic companies. Excels in assisting with tax litigation, with notable expertise in VAT issues. Also provides tax planning and tax structuring advice as well as general tax consultancy.

Strengths The team garners praise from sources for its expertise in assisting with a wide array of tax issues. One client remarks: "Their strength is their broad coverage of all the relevant tax and legal aspects, and therefore they are able to deliver complete and full-scope analysis of the matter."

Work highlights Represented DNB līzings SIA at the Regional Administrative Court and Supreme Court in a dispute with the State Revenue Service relating to VAT and other tax issues arising from the acquisition of a leasing company.

Acted for Snap on the implementation of an equity incentive scheme, providing advice on tax exemption for stock option plans granted to employees.

Notable practitioners

Sandija Novicka is singled out by sources as a "very good tax counsel" with a wealth of knowledge in a wide variety of tax matters. Her work highlights include advising Tavex on the preparation of transfer pricing documents for transactions with investment gold and currency. One client notes: "Her experience and deep knowledge of tax and administrative laws help her to deal with complicated assignments in a remarkably efficient manner."

About the Team (content provided by COBALT)

One of most mature tax practice on Latvian market (team of 6 lawyers including two partners, and 4 senior associates, where one partner is in charge of the practice group while other lead particular cases in the areas of their expertise).

Our work is mainly related to tax litigation, consultations on various tax aspects related to envisaged transactions or changes in corporate structure, and consultations related to amendments to tax laws.

Our tax team has a record of successful representation of local and international clients before tax authorities and the courts. COBALT’s experts include certified tax consultants and attorneys who successfully mount defences based on EU law, administrative law and human rights. This allows us to successfully protect client interests in situations in  which tax law expertise alone would not be sufficient.

Along with expertise in tax laws, our attorneys are knowledgeable in other areas of law important for business. As a result, our team provides tax advice integrated into the broader legal context of transactions and vice versa - when advising on transactions, we also assess tax consequences.

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Sorainen - Tax Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Exceptional group with an outstanding reputation for broad tax expertise. Full-service offering covers transfer pricing and tax planning services, including pan-Baltic tax structuring. Also assists clients with tax investigations and disputes. Prominent client base includes international corporations and notable domestic names. Notable strengths in assisting clients with issues concerning the solidarity tax.

Strengths The department's robust bench is widely praised by sources.

Work highlights Advised Technochem-G on a complaint to the European Commission concerning the Latvian VAT law principles applied by the domestic courts.

Acted for Devbridge on developing a transfer pricing policy involving its parent company in the USA and its operations in Lithuania.

Notable practitioners

Jānis Taukačs holds extensive expertise in handling a broad spectrum of tax matters including transfer pricing and tax litigation. He assisted LatRosTrans with litigation against 16 municipalities and the State Land Services in a dispute concerning the recalculation of the real estate tax.

About the Team (content provided by Sorainen)

Department profile not yet provided by Sorainen. Please see their firm profile.

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Ellex Klavins - Tax Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Highly esteemed team advising a client base of global corporations, major domestic companies and private individuals on the full range of tax matters. Boasts strong tax structuring capabilities, often advising on the tax aspects of large-scale transactions. Also assists with tax issues related to employee and executive compensation. Tax disputes, including VAT cases, are an additional area of focus and the team frequently secures mandates to assist with internal investigations concerning tax fraud.

Work highlights Represented Mandatum Life Baltic in its merger with the Finnish parent company and advised on tax structuring for the transfer of assets between jurisdictions.

Acted for Goodyear Dunlop Tires Baltic on securing natural resource tax relief on the importation of tyres.

Notable practitioners

Zinta Jansons heads the team and is singled out for her prowess in tax structuring. Her recent highlights include acting for Nokia Alcatel-Lucent on the tax aspects concerning Alcatel-Lucent's integration with Nokia, including corporate income tax and VAT issues.

About the Team (content provided by Ellex Klavins)

  • Efficient, integrated tax advisory capabilities during the transaction process (addressing tax issues for real estate acquisitions, acquisition financing transactions, share purchases, asset purchases, start-ups, investment funds, alternative investment funds, etc.)
  • Long-term experience advising on cross-border transactions, foreign investments, financing transactions.
  • In depth knowledge and understanding of complex financial instruments and proven track record in assisting clients with the tax implications of legal aspects.
  • Innovative approach to addressing and resolving tax matters beyond standard market responses and solutions.
  • Long-term advisors to numerous multi-nationals on employee and executive compensation including stock and similar participation plans, employee transfers and secondments.​

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Eversheds Sutherland Bitans - Tax Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Notable tax team best known for advising international and domestic clients on a variety of complex tax disputes, including VAT and transfer pricing issues. Also handles tax planning mandates and assists with general tax matters. A diverse client base includes shipping companies, manufacturers and private individuals as well as financial institutions.

Work highlights Represented Samsung Electronics Baltics in a corporate income tax dispute with State Revenue Services at the administrative court. Also offered advice on other contentious issues concerning VAT, CIT and PIT.

Assisted LatRosTrans with filing a claim against the State Revenue Service to invalidate customs declarations.

Notable practitioners

Maris Vainovskis is a key point of contact.

About the Team (content provided by Eversheds Sutherland Bitans)

Department profile not yet provided by Eversheds Sutherland Bitans. Please see their firm profile.

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Kronbergs Čukste DERLING - Tax Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Well-regarded tax team advising major global names, domestic companies and high net worth individuals. Broad offering includes tax structuring, tax litigation and general tax advice. Also routinely advises on the optimisation of tax following real estate acquisitions.

Strengths The team is praised by sources for its ability to leverage its wealth of experience in advising clients on tax issues. One interviewee reports: "They are a good choice for tax and have worked with accounting firms for a very long time."

Work highlights Acted for 4finance on a major tax dispute relating to the corporate income tax reliefs pertaining to donations.

Represented SIA Latgard in tax litigation centring on the VAT applied to the export of goods to other EU countries.

Notable practitioners

Vineta Čukste-Jurjeva "understands tax very well" and is highly proficient in advising on tax structuring and tax litigation. Recently, she advised Latvenergo on an excise tax dispute with a fuel supplier.

About the Team (content provided by Kronbergs Čukste DERLING)

Department profile not yet provided by Kronbergs Čukste DERLING. Please see their firm profile.

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Primus, Attorneys at Law - Tax Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Active tax group representing domestic brands, international companies and private individuals. Boasts solid general advisory and regulatory expertise, advising on tax structuring, tax due diligence and the tax aspects of share options. Additional expertise in VAT and corporate income tax issues. Workload also includes acting on contentious tax matters.

Strengths The team's client-centred approach is praised by sources who note: "They were very good. They provided us with the opinion and explained all the doubts that arose thereafter."

Work highlights Assisted Bericom with the tax audit relating to an international VAT taxable transaction in which the company was compensated EUR250,000 for overpaid tax.

Advised Riga Airport Commercial Development and Unifree Latvia on tax aspects concerning the duty-free operations of businesses in Riga International Airport.

Notable practitioners

Ingūna Ābele is the main point of contact.

About the Team (content provided by Primus, Attorneys at Law)

Department profile not yet provided by Primus, Attorneys at Law. Please see their firm profile.

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TGS Baltic - Tax Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Assists clients with tax structuring and transactional tax matters, including offshore and cross-border issues. Covers corporate income tax and VAT as well as transfer pricing and tax due diligence services. Also handles tax investigations and disputes. Skilled in providing additional assistance with personal income and customs tax issues.

Work highlights Successfully represented Rīgas Dzirnavnieks in a dispute with State Revenue Services concerning corporate income tax and the alleged violation of transfer pricing principles pertaining to intragroup borrowing.

Advised Ceva Logistics Netherlands on the violation of customs regulations concerning the documents pertaining to the transit procedure of cargo entering Latvia.

Notable practitioners

Head of department Andra Rubene is the main point of contact.

About the Team (content provided by TGS Baltic)

Our Baltic tax practice provides tax advisory services in relation to mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and other financial transactions. We apply a multidisciplinary approach, combining the know-how of our tax, corporate, and other legal specialists and delivering integrated solutions. We advise on various tax structuring issues, e.g. from advising on how to set up a business in relevant circumstances to creating a company group structure.

During 2016 – 2017, TGS Baltic was especially demanded for:
•    tax litigation (Rīgas Dzirnavnieks, Cronimet Group, etc.),
•    structuring and supporting of cross-border and local transactions from all tax perspectives and various jurisdictions, including cross-border and local reorganisations, other restructurings and sales and acquisitions (Mars / Royal Canin, Benu Aptieka Latvija / Tamro / PHOENIX Baltics Holding, Aldaris / Carlsberg, King Coffee Service / Innocent coffee masters / Innocent PRO, ROCKET BEAN CAFE / ROCKET BEAN ROASTERY, My Fitness, etc.),
•    carrying out tax due diligences (Cēsu gaļas kombināts for Kiprijas, Hydrotec for Veolia, etc.),
•    structuring entrance in Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian markets from all tax and corporate law perspectives ([CONFIDENTIAL: Warbud SA], [CONFIDENTIAL: Cryogas M&T Poland S.A.], Hocem Oil Chemical GmbH, Pharm-Olam, JDC, etc.),
•    full spectrum of day to day tax advice, including related to customs (Graanul Invest group, Rīgas Dzirnavnieks, Rotho Blaas Baltic, etc.).

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Eminent Practitioner

BDO Law

From the Chambers Europe guide

Jānis Zelmenis is "a lawyer with global capabilities," reports one commentator. He holds over two decades of experience working on tax issues and maintains a track record which includes acting on tax audits and the tax aspects of M&A transactions. He advised Ubiquiti Networks Latvia on transfer pricing documentation covering transactions over a two-year period.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Supremia Attorneys at Law

From the Chambers Europe guide

Edgars Koškins of Supremia Attorneys at Law is praised by sources as "an excellent tax specialist." His forte is in tax structuring and he is also well versed in tax audits and transfer pricing mandates.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Sorainen

From the Chambers Europe guide

Jānis Taukačs holds extensive expertise in handling a broad spectrum of tax matters including transfer pricing and tax litigation. He assisted LatRosTrans with litigation against 16 municipalities and the State Land Services in a dispute concerning the recalculation of the real estate tax.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Vineta Čukste–Jurjeva

Kronbergs Čukste DERLING

From the Chambers Europe guide

Vineta Čukste-Jurjeva "understands tax very well" and is highly proficient in advising on tax structuring and tax litigation. Recently, she advised Latvenergo on an excise tax dispute with a fuel supplier.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Ellex Klavins

From the Chambers Europe guide

Zinta Jansons heads the team and is singled out for her prowess in tax structuring. Her recent highlights include acting for Nokia Alcatel-Lucent on the tax aspects concerning Alcatel-Lucent's integration with Nokia, including corporate income tax and VAT issues.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

BDO Law

From the Chambers Europe guide

Vita Liberte's forte is in tax planning, advising clients on tax compliance and tax audits. In one work highlight, she assisted Novatours with transfer pricing documentation for its intragroup transactions.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

COBALT

From the Chambers Europe guide

Sandija Novicka is singled out by sources as a "very good tax counsel" with a wealth of knowledge in a wide variety of tax matters. Her work highlights include advising Tavex on the preparation of transfer pricing documents for transactions with investment gold and currency. One client notes: "Her experience and deep knowledge of tax and administrative laws help her to deal with complicated assignments in a remarkably efficient manner."

^ See whole ranking table