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Tax Controversy

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Tax Controversy

Taxpayers are facing ever-increasing scrutiny of their tax affairs, as tax authorities seek to bolster revenues, identify and prevent avoidance.  This has resulted in a rise in tax investigations and disputes.   

Matheson’s Tax Controversy Group assists clients in resolving high value and complex tax controversies.  The group is comprised of experienced lawyers with excellent credentials in the area of tax law and who are recognised as leaders in their area.  We closely collaborate with our colleagues in other practice areas to combine knowledge and experience from our award-winning corporate, tax and dispute resolution practices to provide high quality comprehensive and solution-orientated advice in the representation of our clients.  As each case presents its own unique challenges we are committed to advising and developing a strategy to your specific needs.  As each case presents its own unique challenges, we have the ability to leverage advanced digital technology and agile processes to deliver on complex, large scale legal solutions. Our Digital Services Group’s experience of managing one of the largest eDiscovery projects in the history of the State enables our firm to provide enhanced legal process and data management efficiency. By using our existing software to carefully coordinate documentation, in particular, documents of a privileged nature, Matheson’s Tax Controversy Group is positioned to develop a strategy and offer succinct advice, bespoke to our clients specific needs.

Our expert lawyers represent clients at all stages of disputes, from advice on information requests, dawn raids and audits to the Tax Appeals Commission, Irish and EU courts and alternative dispute resolution proceedings.  We have played a leading role in some of the most significant and high profile tax cases in Ireland and Europe.   

The majority of our successes, however, are achieved without publicity and our experienced lawyers consistently successfully resolve complex tax controversies with the Irish Revenue Commissioners without public disclosure.  We also have extensive experience in representing clients in negotiations with the Irish Competent Authority. 

Our experience covers corporate tax, transfer pricing, VAT and indirect taxes, employment taxes, capital gains tax, income tax, state aid and administrative law / judicial review. 


Our Team

Experience Highlights

As tax is a sensitive and confidential topic for many clients, in many cases we are unable to give specific details of particular projects we have undertaken.  However, matters on which we have advised include, in broad terms:

Cross-Border Tax Controversy

  • Advising a leading US multinational on the Irish tax aspects of a state aid procedure initiated by the European Commission, including its successful appeal to the European General Court.

  • Representing a number of clients in respect of customs duty classification disputes before the Tax Appeals Commission, including an application before the European General Court seeking annulment of a European Commission regulation.

  • Advising several multinational clients on bi-lateral advance pricing agreements involving several jurisdictions.

  • Advising various US multinationals on the implications of the Xilinx case before the US Ninth Circuit (judgment subsequently reversed by the US Ninth Circuit) and more recently the Altera case.

  • Advising a number of Fortune 100 companies on obtaining relief from double taxation, through domestic and MAP procedures.

  • Managing pan-EU VAT disclosures for several clients concerning VAT on electronically supplied services and coordinating a network of EU VAT advisors.

  • Advising a number of leading multinationals on the deductibility of foreign withholding tax, including representation before the Tax Appeals Commission.

  • Advising a number of leading multinationals on transfer pricing investigations by the Irish Revenue Commissioners, including representation before the Tax Appeals Commission and related settlement negotiations.

Domestic Tax Controversy

  • Representing Vieira Limited in judicial review proceedings regarding the right of the Irish Revenue Commissioners to issue an assessment and the level of knowledge thereby required for such assessment to be validly issued, including an appeal before the Supreme Court.

  • Representing Hagemeyer Ireland plc in its successful judicial review proceedings before the High Court overturning the previous Irish Revenue Commissioners’ practice in relation to the VAT treatment of invoice discounting and factoring operations.

  • Advising a leading global retailer on customs issues raised by the Irish Revenue Commissioners with respect to royalty payments, including a successful appeal to the Tax Appeals Commission.

  • Representing individuals in relation to Ireland’s domicile levy, including a successful appeal to the Tax Appeals Commission.

  • Representing a number of individuals and corporates in relation to disputes involving specific anti-avoidance provisions or Ireland’s general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR), including before the Tax Appeals Commission.

  • Representing a client in relation to the application of Ireland’s share-for-share relief for capital gains tax purposes, including a successful appeal to the Tax Appeals Commission.

  • Advising and representing individuals on disputes in relation to their tax residence status, including before the Tax Appeals Commission.

  • Advising and representing corporates and individuals on disputes in relation to employee benefit trusts, including before the Tax Appeals Commission.

  • Advising and representing a financial institution on the ability to offset its corporation tax losses against receivership income on which it was taxable, including before the Tax Appeals Commission.

  • Advising various corporates on disputes in relation to the potential employment status of contractors.

  • Representing National Irish Bank in its challenge to the Irish Revenue Commissioners on obtaining information held by its Isle of Man branch.

  • Advising leading investment banks in respect of stamp duty investigations initiated by the Irish Revenue Commissioners.

  • Advising companies on investigations and disputes with the Irish Revenue Commissioners arising on legislative changes.