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Tax Advice for Businesses

Why should I take tax advice?

As a foreigner running a business in another country you are faced with a substantial challenge but enormous opportunities.

The challenge is that you will be running a business overseas where you do not have the same level of familiarity with the basic tax, cultural and business systems that you would have if you were running the same business in your own country. The opportunities arise because the local tax and other systems may well be much less demanding than those in your own country, because you may well (as a foreign investor) be eligible for all sorts of tax breaks and other incentives and because the creative - but entirely legal - use of the tax rules in the country where you are doing business and in your own country can result in the minimisation of your tax liabilities in both countries.

This is not simple.

The tax system in other countries will not mesh quietly and efficiently with the tax system in your country. This is not a Rolls Royce gearbox! The way the systems interact tends to resemble, rather more, a piece of 100 year old farm machinery. It works but it is not elegant.

Taking advantage of the interaction between these two systems and making sure that, to the greatest extent possible, you get the best out of both of them requires great skill and knowledge.

Generally, the process also involves quite a lot of compromise. You cannot, in most cases, get the absolute best in both locations but you can, usually, avoid all the biggest potholes and come up with a solution that, overall, gives you the best balance between your tax obligations in the two countries.

How do we deliver the advice?

We normally recommend that our member in the country where you are doing business - familiar with the rules and possibilities inherent in the local tax system - should discuss the options with your main business' accountants or tax advisors. We, at The International Law Partnership Ltd, will often chair that discussion to use our considerable experience to guide the parties through the main issues that need to be addressed. The two specialists will then, fairly rapidly, elimiate many of the theoretical possibilites that will simply not work and refine the remaining possibilites to produce a shortlist of 'workable' options.

Arranging your business tax affairs overseas requires a detailed knowledge of local law, local customs, local taxes and local business methods as well as the same level of knowledge about the law and tax systems in your own country. We cannot stress enough that it is the interaction - and sometimes conflict - between the two systems that creates most of the potential problems and many of the best potential opportunities for saving you time, trouble and money. The savings and improvements in business performance can be huge!

Next steps

Please look at the Legal Guides, videos, MP3 seminars and other materials set out to the right of this page.

If you would like us to help you, please complete our Client Pack and send it back to us. We will contact you to clarify your requirements and then introduce you to the person most appropriate to deal with your case.

If you do not find the information that you need, please send us an email explaining your problem and we will contact you.

© The International Law Partnership Ltd. Page last revised 8th February 2010.