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World’s leading tax controversy advisers revealed

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The third edition of International Tax Review’s Tax Controversy Leaders guide is out now. Find out who the top-rated disputes specialists are in your jurisdiction.

This year’s guide also contains articles authored by listed experts providing an insightful overview of developments in the audit and disputes environments of Australia, Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Portugal, Turkey, the UK and the US.

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Tax Controversy Leaders was launched in 2011 with the aim of helping taxpayers to identify controversy specialists in their jurisdiction who possessed the broad skill set required to help them cope with the range of challenges they were facing from revenue authorities.

Practitioners in the guide have experience in all stages of tax controversy, including pre-audit, audit, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), administrative appeals, litigation and competent authority negotiations, among others.

It is important to include such a diverse array of professionals because the approach to tax controversy is evolving – and in some cases being drastically re-evaluated – in many countries worldwide.

At least 24 countries have now implemented, or are moving to, a model of cooperative compliance, a new concept to describe the ideal working relationship between large taxpayers and revenue authorities.

Collaborative working can save revenue authorities time, resources and money, while incentivising multinationals to be more transparent about their tax affairs and providing a more certain tax environment for companies.

Enhanced taxpayer-tax authority relationships are paving the way for new methods of settling tax controversies such as ADR. While working with revenue authorities in real-time, and attempting to resolve issues as they crop up, means that disputes-savvy advisers are now invaluable during the audit stages.

And with the advent of such mechanisms, taxpayers require a new and broader skill set from disputes lawyers and advisers. The ability to mediate, for instance, is highly valuable in the ADR process.

But litigation will not be supplanted by mechanisms such as ADR. The courts will always be required to decide on issues where there is serious disagreement between tax authority and taxpayer on a point of law, especially where there are significant amounts of money at stake.

And so the need for advice from professionals with expertise in tax controversy and dispute resolution is as pressing as ever. In the future, these professionals’ services could be in even greater demand, as taxpayers need to involve them at earlier and earlier stages in the dispute lifecycle.

The third edition of Tax Controversy Leaders includes a greater number than before of controversy specialists with proven soft skills such as mediation. That reflects developments in taxpayer-tax authority relationships which have occurred in a number of jurisdictions over the last 12 months.

Methodology

Inclusion in Tax Controversy Leaders is based on a minimum number of nominations received. Besides the required number of nominations, entrants into the guide must also possess (1) evidence of outstanding success in the last year; and (2) consistently positive feedback from peers and clients. Firms and individuals cannot pay to be recommended in Tax Controversy Leaders.

Click here to download Tax Controversy Leaders 2013

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