GAON LAW GROUP’s Tax Group provides comprehensive tax services to businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals with respect to a wide spectrum of substantive tax issues, including national taxes, local taxes, customs duties, and other government levies. The Tax Group engages in both tax advisory and planning, as well as tax controversy involving tax audit defense, tax appeals and litigation. The Tax Group practices before all levels of the tax authorities, including the District and Regional Tax Offices as well as the National Tax Service, the various administrative appellate bodies, including the Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea, the Administrative Appeals Commissions, the Customs Appeal Committee, and the Tax Tribunal, and all levels of the judiciary, including the Administrative/District Courts, the Courts of Appeal, and the Supreme Court.
Tax Advisory and Planning Services
Investment, M&A, Reorganizations, and Cross-Border Dealings
From initial investments, conversions of sole proprietorships into corporate structures, company reorganizations and M&A deals of considerable size, the Tax Group works with clients to achieve their strategic objectives in the most tax efficient manner by carefully reviewing tax reduction strategies and identifying risks in advance. In addition, the Tax Group assists clients with ongoing operational issues to ensure compliance with tax laws. The Tax Group also works closely with the Corporate Group to comprehensively address relevant legal issues that may arise.
· Tax review of Company F’s preemptive rights in a corporate restructuring
· Advised on the structuring of M Media Company’s investment in a cable channel and disposition of equity in MBN
· Tax review on S Life Insurance Company’s gains from stock listing
· Advised on N1 Game Company’s establishment of a holding company in Europe
· Advised on S Trading Company’s Singapore consortium deal structuring
· Tax review of iHQ’s holding company establishment
· Tax review of special treatment of N2 Game Company’s stock option
· Tax review of S Food Company’s holding company structure
· Advised on N Holding Company’s acquisition of an European Internet company
· Advised on S Game Company’s Singapore holding company establishment and deal structure (transfer pricing)
· International tax review for sports stars A, C, R, and S
· Tax review of J Liquor Company’s conversion into a holding company
· Tax review of N Game Company’s grant of stock options prior to stock listing
· Advised on improvement of P Company’s transaction structures in respect of customs duties and the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act
Private Wealth/Inheritance and Gift Tax /Public-Benefit Corporations
The Tax Group is a leader in assisting clients in addressing individual tax issues, from increased reporting requirements for overseas/global assets to minimizing taxation on cross-border and/or inter-generational transfers of wealth.
Inheritance and Gift Tax rules can be bewildering and full of traps for the unadvised. This is even more so when cross border transfers are involved. The Tax Group has extensive experience in guiding clients navigate the myriad of rules, helping them to minimize taxes to the extent lawfully possible, whether purely domestic or involving international transactions. The Tax Group also works with an extensive network of foreign firms to ensure that tax issues of all relevant countries are comprehensively addressed.
The Tax Group also is very well versed with the tax issues related to public-benefit corporations and private foundations, and has assisted a number of clients to establish and/or operate them.
In addition to client engagements, the Tax Group actively participates in policy discussions in the inheritance and gift tax law area through tax-related scholarly associations, such as the Tax Law Association and the Special Litigation Practice Research Association. Also, the Tax Group continuously conducts research on estate planning involving trusts, such as an inter-vivos trust, a still nascent area in Korean tax law. Finally, Mr. Namkyu Kang, Managing Partner of the GAON LAW GROUP, has been a member of the Inheritance and Gift Tax Assessment and Review Committee of the National Tax Service since 2013 and has advised the National Tax Service on comprehensive gift taxation issues.
· Advised on personal cross-border devise and bequest structuring
· Assisted individual taxpayer with the late filing of his overseas financial accounts report and consequential follow-up
· Advised on the inheritance tax and estate planning for a closely held company (family business succession and other estate planning)
· Engaged as on-going legal advisor to public-benefit corporations (e.g., cultural/scholarship foundations)
· Advised real estate lease companies, equipment companies and other various companies on recovery of stocks under another’s name
· Advised on establishment of a public-benefit corporation for operation of a nursing home with inherited property
· Handled cross-border estate planning involving domestic and US tax laws for Korean individual with US citizen children
The Tax Group assists clients get tax certainty on specific issues by obtaining tax rulings to address ambiguities in the tax law itself or ambiguity in the application of the law to a specific set of facts.
· Obtained a ruling on confirmation of a domestic non-resident status in connection with the application of the tie-breaker rule under the Korea-U.S. tax treaty
· Obtained a ruling on the deemed gift issue concerning gains from stock listing in connection with a stock transfer between prior and current officers of D Game Company
· Obtained a ruling on the deemed gift issue concerning gains from stock listing in connection with S Game Company’s majority stockholder and capital increase
The Tax Group assists clients in addressing technical tax issues targeted by the tax authorities in preparation for, or arising from, tax audits. Audit defense may be performed on our own or through collaboration with other tax, accounting or law firms. Our trusted and respected reputation for integrity held by the members of the National Tax Service and the district and regional tax offices allows us to engage forthrightly and effectively in advocating for our clients.
· Assisted various clients in defense of corporate income tax audits
· Assisted in defense of several tax audits designated for potential conversion to criminal tax investigations
· Assisted Individual J in a comprehensive income tax (business tax) audit
· Assisted a venture company and its founder in a personal gift tax audit
· Assisted Company B, a regional distribution company, in a value-added tax return audit
Tax Appeal and Tax Litigation
The Tax Group has a proven record for successfully appealing and/or litigating tax assessments at all levels of administrative or judicial proceedings. In particular, Mr. Namkyu Kang, Managing Partner of the GAON LAW GROUP, has long been acknowledged for his successful representation in tax appeal and tax litigation cases on behalf of clients.
· Decision of no suspicion in a tax evasion criminal complaint case against a regional construction company’s representative (Prosecution)
· Revocation of imposition of customs duties on M Steel Company (Tax Tribunal)
· Revocation of a higher rate acquisition tax for purchase of K Group owner’s private house (Tax litigation)
· Revocation of a higher rate acquisition tax for converting A Group owner’s spouse’s private house into a gallery (Tax litigation)
· Revocation of inheritance tax for inheritance of land at the Yongsan redevelopment site (Tax litigation)
· Revocation of comprehensive gift tax on H1 Group owner stockholder (Tax litigation)
· Revocation of gift tax on H2 Metal majority stockholder’s family and officers (Tax Tribunal)
· Revocation of corporate tax and value-added tax on H3 Company (Tax litigation)
· Revocation of customs duties for H Importer’s importation of agricultural products imposed after denial of the claimed import price (Tax Tribunal)
· Revocation of value-added tax for H Distribution Group’s awards program (Tax Tribunal and tax litigation)
· Revocation of value-added tax for W Distribution Group home shopping’s awards program (Tax litigation)
· Revocation of KRW 28 billion corporate tax on E Distribution Group (Tax Tribunal)
· Revocation of gift tax on I Venture Company’s founder in relation to the exercise of preemptive rights (Tax litigation)
· Revocation of gift tax on J Venture Company’s founder for a rights issue at a high price (Tax Tribunal)
· Revocation of global income tax and value-added tax on D Chain’s representative (Tax Tribunal and tax litigation)
· Pre-assessment review of acquisition tax on P Development Company (Seoul Administrative Appeals Commission)
· Revocation of corporate tax on O Engineering Company in relation to refusal of unfair tax accounting (Tax litigation)
· Revocation of additional imposition of a reduced/exempt portion of acquisition tax on D Construction Company in relation to an industrial complex (Tax Tribunal)