Tax controversy and dispute resolution: The tax controversy life cycle

How our Tax Controversy and Dispute Resolution network adds value. 

We have successfully assisted clients in each phase of the tax controversy life cycle:

Pre-audit prevention phase

We can work with you during the pre-audit prevention phase to achieve successful results by:

  • building "defence strategies" into the structure and operations of an enterprise;
  • negotiating pre-filing rulings, including unilateral agreements, Advance Pricing Agreements, and accelerated Competent Authority / Mutual Agreement Procedure negotiations;
  • pro-actively negotiating with the tax authorities at the pre-audit stage to gain earlier certainty and achieve penalty protection;
  • coordinating "course of conduct" reviews to ensure that post-structuring operations align with initial implementation plans;
  • assisting in transactional due-diligence to identify tax audit and controversy risks and exposures; and
  • once risks are identified, develop and implement other option to the current business model to mitigate your company's risk profile.

Audit / examination phase

We can help you in managing and responding to investigations, audits, and examinations initiated by revenue authorities worldwide. This includes routine and complex audit management related to information requests, large document production, informal and formal interviews and depositions of company personnel, and orchestrating plant and facility tours. In addition, we assist in audit level presentations, negotiations, and settlement discussions in order to resolve disputes efficiently and favourably.

Post-audit settlement / resolution phase

If your tax dispute is not resolved, we can provide you with a full range of dispute resolution options. Depending on the country involved, these options might include:

  • presentations and negotiations in the administrative appeals process;
  • mediation;
  • arbitration, including both bilateral negotiations under tax treaties, as well as direct arbitration between you and the tax administrators;
  • Advance Pricing Agreement negotiations using "roll-back" features to resolve pre-existing disputes;
  • Competent Authority and Mutual Agreement Proceedings and negotiations (when available);
  • litigation and litigation support in administrative tribunals and courts, where allowed, including expert witness testimony; and
  • Amici curiae briefs (friend of the court) and other filings in courts to support taxpayer positions on issues of critical importance to a large number of clients.