Areas of Practice

Tax & Tax Litigation, Customs & Excise

Our firm is considered among the most prominent players in tax law. We have consistently been highly ranked in global directories including Legal500 and Chambers and Partners. We offer clients, through long-lasting relationships, a full tax consultancy and litigation service.

Ioannis Stavropoulos, head of the tax team, is a leading tax lawyer with an impressive track record, awarded with the “Legal 500 Hall of Fame” distinction. He has been successfully representing taxpayers in courts, including the European Court of Justice, the Greek Administrative Courts and the Supreme Court, as well as in the tax authorities and administrative committees.

Our service portfolio covers the entire spectrum of tax subjects, including income tax, transfer pricing, double taxation treaties, VAT, excise duties and tax treatment in major mergers and acquisitions. We assist clients in tax audits and we prepare and defend transfer pricing files for intragroup activities.

Our firm also has a well-established and highly-regarded contentious tax practice. We have acted as tax attorneys in major tax disputes involving, inter alia, interpretation of EU tax law, state aid recovery, implementation of double taxation treaties, VAT refunds, transfer pricing, stamp duty and municipality tax, whereas a number of judgments on our cases constitute leading jurisprudence.

Well-regarded compact firm that is best known for its strong tax practice. Particularly respected for its strong tax litigation offering that includes representing clients before Greek courts and the ECJ. Also advices on tax planning and restructuring. Represents an impressive roster of clients comprising both international and Greek corporates.

CHAMBERS AND PARTNERS EUROPE 2017

Work Highlights

Direct taxation (Total Sum: 1 billion Euros approx.)

Successful court claim of unduly paid income tax

Our tax team successfully represented before the Administrative Courts, in a number of court cases, a Greek company (waste management industry) in claiming refund of unduly paid income tax and interest of nearly EUR 1 million. The Court upheld our argumentation and expressly recognized the application of general income tax provisions related to tax losses notwithstanding existence of a special untaxed reserve intended to set-off accounting losses

Successful Supreme Court challenge of state-aid recovery tax assessment

Our tax team represented a multinational company (food and beverage sector) in securing, before the Supreme Administrative Court final annulment of a EUR 4,2 million state-aid recovery assessment plus interest issued by the Greek tax authorities in 2015, alleging that aid granted under l. 3220/2004 in relation to investment expenditure incurred prior to the date when such law was put into force, was recoverable as lacking the required incentive effect.

The Supreme Administrative Court (in a 7-member composition) with decision no 2218/2018, by accepting in substance all our arguments, rejected the appeal of the Greek State and validated the Court of Appeals’ judgment on exemption from recovery of the aid since the latter was considered as compatible with another  authorized investment scheme (l. 2601/1998), which was still in force at the material time.

 

Annulment of income tax assessment (EUR 1,5 million)

Our tax team challenged before the Dispute Resolution Directorate and the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal a tax assessment, amounting to EUR 1,5 million of tax, issued against a tax payer for deemed income based on bank transfers and deposits. We succeeded in the  annulment of the  tax assessment by pleading erroneous application of the law and jurisprudence from the tax authorities

Successful multi-million euro reduction of advance CIT payment

Our tax team successfully advised and represented before the Greek Tax Authorities a leading company in the tobacco industry in a process for reduction of  advance CIT calculated originally on excessive CIT of previous year due to nonrecurring income. Further to our representations and argumentation the Tax Authorities accepted our claim to reduce dramatically the advance CIT by approximately EUR 60 million   in a well-timed fashion

Successful court challenge of excessive transfer pricing fines

The tax team successfully represented a high-profile international oil and gas operations company before the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal in a multimillion tax dispute related to imposition of excessive fines following a transfer pricing adjustment. By successfully pleading enforcement of the more favorable penalty principle the Court  eliminated the fines

Successful pursuit of annulment of multi-million income tax and transfer pricing tax assessments

Our tax litigation team successfully represented a leading pharmaceutical company before the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal and achieved an unprecedented win in a tens of millions income tax and transfer pricing challenge. The Court upheld our arguments on the tax productivity of various types of expenses, including expenses for medical events, while it annulled in total the transfer pricing adjustment and the corresponding transfer pricing fine and ordered refund of the unduly paid tax with interest

Successful representation in multimillion income tax refund claims

We successfully represented a multinational company (food and beverage industry) before the European Court of Justice and the Greek Administrative Courts and achieved refund plus interest of dividend income tax as contrary to the Parent/Subsidiary Directive

Successful tax litigation against multimillion tax assessments

We successfully represented a multinational company (food and beverage industry) before the Administrative Court of Appeal with regard to a multimillion tax assessment related to state aid recovery

Successful representation against multimillion tax assessments

We successfully represented a major Greek company (oil industry) in tax courts for annulment of tax assessment acts involving record-high amounts

Tax litigation against multimillion income tax assessments

We represented two leading Greek companies (food and beverage industry) in tax court proceedings against multimillion tax assessments in respect of direct taxation and transfer pricing issues – pending

Legal support in withholding tax refund claim

We obtained a favorable decision at administrative level on refund to a multinational (food and beverage industry) of withholding tax on management fees paid to EU-based affiliates in violation of respective double taxation treaty provisions

Legal advice and initiation of Arbitration Convention MAP proceedings

We initiated MAP proceedings under the Arbitration Convention in respect of a multimillion transfer pricing case involving an EU company and its Greek subsidiary (fashion industry)

Successful representation in income tax refund claims

Our firm successfully represented, in a number of tax court cases, a foreign tax resident and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Greek subsidiary of a multinational company in claiming refund of unduly paid tax on deemed income imputed in connection to company cars as contrary to the provisions of the applicable double taxation treaty

Successful administrative recourse related to tax refund claim on employment income

We successfully handled at administrative level a tax refund claim on employment income acquired by a foreign tax resident assigned to a foreign subsidiary by the Greek subsidiary of a multinational Group

Successful tax litigation against multimillion tax assessments

We successfully represented a major Greek multinational company (oil industry) in tax courts for annulment of tax assessment acts issued despite a “clean” tax certificate

Tax advice in loan restructuring

We provided our legal opinion in respect to restructuring of non-performing syndicated loans and sale and lease back agreements

Legal advice and court representation in withholding tax refund claim

We initiated court proceedings claiming refund of withholding tax on management fees paid to EU-based mother company in violation of respective double taxation treaty provisions (food and beverage industry) –pending

Legal advice and support against multimillion income tax assessments to high-net-worth individuals

We assisted and represented high-net-worth individuals in respect to multimillion income tax audits and cases achieving dramatic reductions in the amounts of taxes originally assessed

Tax advice on stock options

We advised individuals-foreign tax residents as well as multinational employers in relation to tax aspects of exercise of stock options associated to employment in Greece

Support and assistance in obtaining of tax rulings

We regularly provide advice, prepare relevant queries and support the issue of interpretative tax rulings by the Tax Administration

Tax advice on contractual agreements

We review and provide tax advice in relation to various types of agreements (trademark license, I/C loan agreements, commercial agreements etc.)

Tax advice in transfer pricing

We regularly provide tax advice on transfer pricing issues related to planning, compliance, documentation and dispute resolution

Support and representation in out-of-court settlement of income tax cases

We assisted a major JV (construction industry) and represented it before the tax authorities in reaching a very favorable settlement of open court cases

Successful administrative recourse related to tax assessments with regard to deemed income from real estate

We obtained a dramatic reduction (by 95%) of income tax imposed to a foreign company on deemed income related to real estate in Greece

Indirect taxation and Excise duties (Total Sum: 100 million Euros approx.)

Greek Supreme Administrative Court issues landmark decision in favor of taxpayers on case handled by our office (VAT Marinopoulos pilot case)

Our law office paved the way for the much anticipated decision of the Greek Supreme Administrative Court delivered on February 20th, by initiating court cases for a number of big companies and by representing the litigant party (a leading multinational company in the food and beverages industry) before the Supreme Administrative Court in this pilot case procedure. The decision secures recovery of VAT of a substantial amount related to the part (50%) of the total claim of the litigant which was written off in the framework of a restructuring agreement of a customer (Marinopoulos Group of Companies)

Successful representation in multimillion VAT refund claims

We successfully represented two multinationals (food and beverage industry) before the tax courts challenging the non-deduction of input VAT as being in violation of the EU VAT Directive and ensuring multimillion refunds plus interest to both companies

Successful representation related to VAT refund claim

We achieved favorable outcome on significant tax court cases in respect of VAT refund claims arising from input VAT on capital goods (HORECA sector)

Successful representation in municipality tax refund claim

We initiated proceedings, with currently positive outcome, in tax courts for the refund of municipality tax paid in violation of the EU legislation (food and beverage industry)

Initiation of court proceedings for refund of non-collected VAT on bad debts

We initiated court proceedings for a number of companies (food and beverage sector) claiming refund of non-collected VAT on bad debts incurred as a result of insolvency rehabilitation proceedings, on the basis of EU VAT Directive

Successful annulment of VAT audit assessment

We participated in the defense against a VAT assessment against a multinational company (car industry) resulting into annulment of the assessment following an administrative appeal

Successful challenging of VAT assessed by customs authorities

Our office handled successfully in tax courts a case against VAT assessments made by the customs authorities related to provision of quantitative discounts to customers

Advice on excise duty issues and related compliance

We advise and assist on a regular basis our clients engaged in alcohol, tobacco and coffee industries operating a licensed warehouse in respect to a wide range of issues related to excise tax and customs regulations

Initiation of court proceedings for refund of unduly paid excise-duty

We have initiated court proceedings on behalf of a multinational (food and beverage industry) claiming refund of excess paid excise duty in flavored beverage due to violation of domestic and EU legislation