Alston & Bird’s tax practice is comprised of approximately 80 lawyers, making it one of the largest law firm-based tax practices in the country. Organized into seven practice areas — Federal Income Tax, International Tax, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, State and Local Tax, ERISA Litigation, Exempt Organizations and Wealth Planning — we advise clients in a wide array of industries, both domestic and international.
Our Experience with Japanese Companies
The Tax Group is an integral part of our Japanese Business Team, providing U.S. tax advice and representation before tax authorities to Japanese companies from the largest to mid-size and to high net worth individuals with ties to the United States.
A major part of our work is in transfer pricing, making sure that our Japan-based clients do not suffer double taxation because of conflicts in the application of the transfer pricing rules of Japan and the Unites States. In many cases, we secure a binational advance pricing agreement from the United States and Japanese tax authorities, the effect of which is a transfer pricing methodology that is accepted by both authorities and which meets the needs of our client. In other cases, we deal with proposed adjustments by the Internal Revenue Service, securing a reduction to the extent the adjustments are excessive and a corresponding adjustment in Japan for the remainder. For these purposes, we utilize both domestic procedures and the procedures provided in the income tax treaty between Japan and the United States.
Beyond transfer pricing, we assist our Japanese clients with the full range of federal, state and local tax issues that impact their businesses. This assistance ranges from developing tax efficient strategies for acquisitions, reorganizations and divestures to structuring financial transactions in various currencies to dealing with the property taxes imposed by local governments.
Our Japanese-based tax clients include those in the electronic, automobile and heavy equipment industries. Other Japanese clients include trading companies, companies investing in United States real estate, companies distributing consumer products, and companies serving as distributors to or suppliers of major manufacturers.
We advised a U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese purchaser on U.S. tax issues in $10.4 billion acquisition of a Dutch corporation.
We advised a Japanese seller on U.S. tax issues in the structure for the sale of a controlling interest in a $5 billion US corporation to a Canadian purchaser.
We have obtained and renewed advance pricing agreements between the tax authorities of Japan and the United States (and, in some cases, additional countries as well) for several of the ten largest Japanese corporations. These agreements have provided each of these corporations transfer pricing protection for over 10 years and, in some case, nearly 20 years.