Assisting our clients with tax controversies is an area that is directly connected to one of our firm’s foundational goals, namely, contributing to the realization of the rule of law. In the past, tax controversies were not an area of practice that business law firms such as ourselves would deal with in Japan. However, after the two giant landmark cases, the Tokyo & Osaka proforma tax lawsuits (banking business tax lawsuits) and the IBJ tax lawsuit, Japanese tax controversies have dramatically changed. In Japan, it is now very difficult to prevail in tax lawsuits against the tax authorities, which is exemplified by the fact that the prevailing success rate for taxpayers is, even including a partially favorable decision, approximately 5-10 percent. Even under such circumstances, our firm has achieved tremendous results in many tax litigations. Consequently, our firm is regarded as a leading firm in the area of tax litigation.
In addition to tax litigation, we have prevailed in reversing tax assessments at the National Tax Tribunal, and have also been successful in reversing tax assessments in objection proceedings.
Further, the treatment of the tax audit process by tax offices has traditionally been handled by licensed tax accountants in Japan. However, the number of cases where lawyers deal with the process has been increasing. In this process, there have been many cases where we have submitted legal opinions, and convinced the tax authorities to withdraw a suggestion of a tax assessment.
We cooperate with several licensed tax accountants who previously worked at the tax authorities and are experienced in tax controversies, and our lawyers work closely with them to achieve the best results for our clients.