With the new year of 2018, the new law introducing lots of changes to Ukrainian tax legislation came into force. Taking into account our practice the most important novelties for taxpayers were as follows.

    Transfer pricing: from 2018 transactions between non-resident and its permanent establishment became controlled if the total volume of such operations exceeds UAH 10 million for the reporting year.

    The VAT invoices blocking system was temporary suspended, which enabled many taxpayers to breath a sigh of relief at least for a certain period of time.

    The last point was the most troublesome, especially for the agriculture business, which resulted in numerous tax disputes with the State Fiscal Service. That was one of the main reasons for the introduction of the new VAT invoices blocking system in March 2018. It is worth mentioning that the new system is better as it takes into account a wider range of criteria. At the same time, there are still a lot of tax uncertainties in this connection.

    One positive step for developing the promotion of agriculture in Ukraine was adoption of changes to the Tax Code regarding the activity of family farms. Among other changes, individual entrepreneurs received the right to choose Group 4 of the single tax (special group for agricultural producers).

    For those who conduct business internationally, it’s worth noting that in July 2018 Ukraine signed the MLI convention, which forced business to start reviewing their activity, and was a significant step taken for implementation of BEPS, and countering the elimination of profits from taxation.

    Moreover, the long process of reorganization of the State Fiscal Service began in December 2018. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted a resolution which divided the SFS into the State Tax and State Customs Services. Only time will show how effective this process will be.

  • Volodymyr CHYZHYKOV|KPMG Ukraine

    Companies in Ukraine are sufficiently aware of new transfer pricing policies. However, these issues are still one of the top questions raised by the management of big to medium multinational companies who are looking to be transparent with their activities. But that is not the same for small local companies, as key statistics show that 95% of Ukrainian based companies do not have transfer pricing policies in place. For these small companies, typically the issues that arise are with loans from low tax jurisdiction locations due to low profitability in local agriculture manufacturing and due to export operations with intangible assets.

    In the meantime, the Ukrainian authorities have been working with the current volume of taxpayers, which is estimated at 2,000. Between 2015 and 2018 the authorities initiated more than 80 TP audits, half of which have been closed.

    With all the regulatory changes, we have seen increasing interest from clients seeking advice to reduce risks associated with transfer pricing, a leading tax controversy issue in Ukraine. Typically, our clients come to us for help in preparing their transfer pricing documentation and reports on controlled transactions. However, we also get requests to help with policies, country-by-country reports, audits and legal support in courts. Country-by-country reports are one of the biggest new trends, as this is one of the main BEPS rules to tackle the lack of corporate transparency.

    When it comes to risks, certainly the quality of the documentation that companies must disclose is a key factor. Many companies try to prepare transfer pricing documentation only at the request of the authorities so as to reduce cost. However, it is hard to prepare quality documentation in 30 days. The information has a high level of complexity, and clients are unlikely to have the time to complete this documentation. Such information involves deep economic analysis, various benchmark studies and complex calculations around pricing. Clients will need a professional source of information and databases that can be expensive to acquire.

    Automation and new technologies have played a significant role in our practice. These new automated solutions not only bring added efficiency and reduce the cost to the business service model, but also provide more accuracy and less human error.


KM Partners, member of WTS Alliance, has a highly-reputed tax advisory and litigation practice that was even extended in 2018. The sizeable team acted as a legal counsel in tax and customs audits, provided advice and recommendations on issues related to applying of double taxation treaties, represented the interests of clients in challenging issues regarding corporate profit tax, including issues of advance payments, provided tax due diligence on the activities of clients, etc. The firm is ­heavily involved in pre-trial procedures, consulting, post-audit, litigation with customs. The firm has also extensive practice in the field of transfer pricing (TP) regulation, where it provides full legal support, including support in TP analysis and documentation, as well as representation of clients in court proceedings. Ivan Shynkarenko is the key partner dedicated to TP issues. The firm provides its services to a wide range of clients, including major Ukrainian companies and local representations of international enterprises that specialize in the agricultural business, energy, retail and FMCG, logistics and others. Alexander Minin, senior partner, has a superb reputation on the market. Partner Alexander Shemiatkin, another significant practitioner, leads a notable part of the firm’s tax-related projects. Antonina Gorodetska, attorney at law, is endorsed during the poll for her active practice of representing clients in courts.

The Kyiv office of EY has a strong presence in tax and transfer pricing, with its broad network of long-lasting clients, which includes outstanding companies from banking and finance, telecommunications, IT, FMCG, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and other sectors. The tax team is preferred for tax support of investments, M&A and restructurings, financial transactions as well as representation in tax disputes. With high-end client names in its portfolio EY supports them in presenting and substantiating tax policy proposals to the government, as well as advising government bodies and business associations on tax issues. The team is customarily engaged in various projects anticipating technical support to government authorities in the area of CRS/FACTA and BEPS related initiatives. This “Big 4” firm contributes actively to the development of Ukrainian tax policy. This past year EY acted as a trusted tax advisor to Temania Enterprises Ltd, a holding company of the Rozetka group, during the merger with the EVO group of companies, providing buy-side tax due diligence and transactional tax support, as well as tax advice to Rozetka’s shareholders. Another highlight was acting as an independent administrator in preparation of the 3rd Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) report, contributing to strengthening the governance of extractive industries, accountability of the government’s management and upholding transparency and reforms in the sector. The practice of transfer pricing is led by partner Igor Chufarov, and receives a constant flow of instructions. Vladimir Kotenko is an outstanding tax advisor with a premier reputation on the market. Other partners on board are Olga Gorbanovskaya and Iryna Kalyta.

International law firm Baker McKenzie uses its advantage of cross-border capabilities to advise a roster of global clients as well as sound domestic names on their operations in Ukraine and abroad. The Kyiv office renders international and domestic tax planning, tax support for M&A, pre-spin-off, corporate restructuring, asset deals, implementation of commercial structures, etc. The practice group is also involved in tax disputes with Ukrainian tax authorities. The office provides its clients with transfer pricing services, including advice on transfer pricing compliance, assistance in preparation, filing of transfer pricing documentation, legal support during transfer pricing audits and development of comprehensive and operational transfer pricing models. Renowned partner Hennadiy Voytsitskyi leads the tax practice group. Recent arrivals include new counsel Yuriy Tsvetkov.

DLA Piper’s tax team has strong capacity in international tax, transfer pricing, tax controversies. Being a point of choice for global transactions in the market, the firm has a strong cross-border advisory domain. This past year the firm advised Citibank N.A. (New York) as a depositary and Citibank JSC (Ukraine) as a local custodian in relation to their USD-denominated global depositary notes program and the listing of these notes on the Euronext Dublin, where the firm advised on regulatory and tax framework of issues. Another notable project was giving tax advice to Mondelez Ukraine on charter capital increase and related regulatory issues and squeeze-out. The firm is a legal counsel of big companies like Adobe, Avon, Leroy Merlin, McDonald’s, Toshiba, Nike and many others. The Kyiv TP practice is an integral part of the firm’s global transfer pricing team, which has impressive clients in its portfolio (Alcatel Lucent, EPAM, Maersk, Omya, Sanofi, Studio Moderna). Illya Sverdlov, partner, leads the practice, and is well-regarded on the market. Other important team members are senior associates Dmytro Rylovnikov, Maryna Opirska and Lyudmyla Dzhurylyuk.

KPMG Law belongs to the KPMG network, and its main strength is tax, including international corporate tax, deal advisory, transfer pricing and tax litigation. In 2018 the team completed plenty of projects, including advising ib vogt GmbH on the tax structuring of acquisitions and further disposal of special purpose ventures from the perspective of Ukrainian legislation and relevant double taxation treaties. The practice team also provided China Machinery Engineering Corporation with comprehensive tax advice on cross-border provision of construction-related services, tax review of EPC contract, Ukrainian tax implications. Another outstanding project was preparation of global TP documentation for one of the leading wholesale retailers of FMCG products group in Ukraine. Partner Oksana Olekhova was promoted last year to head of the tax advisory group. Partner and head of tax and legal, Sergey Popov, is consistently referred as a prominent tax practitioner due to his experience and portfolio. Larysa Antoshchuk, senior manager, was one of the top recognized tax litigators this past year. Konstantin Karpushin, partner, heads TP and dispute resolution department. Mykola Mishin, former head of the Transfer Pricing Audit Unit of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine has joined as a head of the transfer pricing group. Volodymyr Chyzhykov, who has been promoted to director, is another key figure in TP.

Vasil Kisil & Partners is known as a firm with extensive experience in the tax practice area, especially widely endorsed for its performance in tax litigation. The practice team is supported by the white-collar crime practice, which acts in criminal proceedings resulting from tax disputes. This past year the team represented Imperial Tobacco Ukraine in a dispute with the tax authorities regarding the enforcement of financial sanctions imposed due to the ­alleged violation of licensing of the wholesale trade in tobacco products. The firm also advised Tchibo GmbH, a major German production and trading company on debt-to-equity swap possibilities and actually performed the same for their Ukrainian subsidiary in view of corporate, currency control and tax restrictions and observations. Other prominent clients of the firm are ROMAD Holding, Ave Lviv LLC, Melon Fashion Ukraine, Tetra Pak, Lacoste, DowDuPont, Thomson Reuters, Shell Exploration and Production Ukraine B.V and others. Andriy Stelmashchuk, managing partner, is known for his proficiency in tax litigation. Real estate partner Alexander Borodkin runs tax advising and structuring. Tetyana Berezhna, counsel, is another prominent performer in tax disputes.

Sayenko Kharenko addresses a full spectrum of international and domestic tax issues focused on providing sophisticated cross-border transactional tax advice and tax structuring, performing tax audits and representing clients in complex tax litigations. Its sizeable tax team provided services related to tax litigation, including defending clients in criminal proceedings related to alleged tax evasion, general corporate tax, legislation drafting and other related matters. The major highlight is representing Philip Morris Ukraine in one of the largest tax controversies in modern Ukraine and relates to one of the largest tax and customs assessments of approximately UAH 1 billion (USD 36.4 million). The firm represents one of the largest consumer goods companies in a number of tax disputes with the State Fiscal Service, where the subject-matter is cancelation of decisions of the tax authority on refusal to refund VAT, late payment interest for settlements in foreign currency after expiry of 90-day term, increase in corporate profit tax and VAT payment obligations. The firm’s client roster takes in Engelhart Commodities Trading Partners (ECTP) Ukraine, Kyivstar and some of the most influential international companies in their sectors. Svitlana Musienko, a recognized expert in Ukrainian tax law who joined the firm as a partner in November 2018, now heads the team (previously a partner at DLA Piper Ukraine). Vitaliy Odzhykovskyy, counsel, is noted for his extensive track record in tax ligation. The previous head of the team, partner Serhiy Verlanov, left the firm to become Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Finance, and was recently appointed Head of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine.

Being the only one Ukrainian firm with offices in Kyiv and Warsaw, EUCON Legal Group is known for its prominent practice in tax advisory, litigation and transfer pricing. The firm successfully represented the interests of Savik Shuster Studio in the Supreme Court on recognition of a judgment as illegal and cancellation of tax notifications-decisions. In 2018 the firm completed litigation where it had been representing PJSC Linyk in a resonant dispute that lasted for six years, on the appeal of the routine inspection results, where the lawyers proved the impossibility of taxation of waste in the technological oil refining process. The unique expertise of the advisory team is tax structuring of inbound and outbound investment flows between Ukraine and Poland. Furthermore, EUCON is a recognized counsel for transfer pricing issues, supporting a strong client roster (i.e. Zepter International Ukraine, Louis Dreyfus Commodities Ukraine, Ukrrichflot, Heraeus Electro-Nite, Pruszynski Ukraine and others). Managing partner Yarolav Romanchuk leads the practice, and is highly recognized for his involvement in various initiatives and strategic vision of the market. Volodymyr Bevza is active on the tax dispute front, while Yevhen Petrenko represents clients in criminal proceedings. Partner Larysa Vrublevska is the core transfer pricing expert, who manages a dedicated group of TP practitioners.

The tax practice team of Ukrainian law firm GOLAW is known for its comprehensive tax offering, with notable strength in tax litigation, and boasts further advisory practice comprising international tax planning alongside corporate and real estate transactions, wealth management instructions, and commercial agreements. The firm represented a range of domestic and international clients in large-scale disputes challenging corporate profit and VAT tax charges, tax credit formation, tax debt write off. The white-collar crime practice works alongside the tax team. The team makes use of industry-specific expertise in taxation, being especially preferred by clients from banks, energy, real estate and construction, retail and FMCG. Public clients of GOLAW include Česká exportní banka, a.s. (ČEB), GAP Ukraine, Medkom Marketing and sales, Marka Ukraine (Marks & Spencer), Astana Finance, Ubisoft Ukraine, Inditex Group, ­Aviareps, etc. The team is led by experienced Valentyn Gvozdiy, managing partner. Promoted partner Iryna Kalnytska received extensive market feedback for being concise and clear in her work.

ADER HABER is a rapidly-growing Ukrainian law firm with a well-versed diversified tax practice that includes legal support of tax consulting issues (calculation and optimization, audit and work with various tax risks, cross-border tax structuring, etc.) and tax disputes resolution. This past year the tax advisory team was busy with an increased number of incoming queries from the IT sector, namely tax structuring of established foreign structures. It is worth noting that the dispute team has been highly vivid across sophisticated large-scale cases. The firm represented the interests of Oil Industry LLC, a major Ukrainian supplier of petroleum products, in a tax dispute for recognizing illegal and cancellation of tax notifications-decisions imposing additional tax liabilities for income tax and VAT. The firm provides its services to such clients as local subsidiaries of Nestle, Alfa-Bank, Fudmerezha (ТМ Velyka Kyshenya), Inditex Group and others. Maryna Tomash, counsel, heads tax consulting and accounting services, while Tatiana Daniltseva, partner, leads the insurance and tax disputes practice.

AEQUO assists clients with tax matters related to transactions and corporate restructurings, being preferred for both domestic and cross-border assignments. The team also advises on tax investigations and has a stable track record of representations in tax disputes. In 2018 the firm ­advised the US online loan sale platform Debt X on tax matters arising in the course of a project on sale of distressed loan portfolios held by Ukrainian banks within liquidation proceedings. The team also advised Baltic International Bank on the tax implications of acquisition of Ukrainian real estate as a result of mortgage enforcement, including on tax registration, filing and payment requirements as well as mitigation of potential risks. Another outstanding project was advising RIA.com, a large Internet holding, on tax structuring of the group’s international business that included analysis of contractual relations within the operating structure of the client, matters of direct and indirect taxation and the application of double taxation avoidance rules. Other clients include Tornado Com, a leading regional real estate development company, VRenetic, a US-based company, developing tools for real-time virtual reality streaming, Mobichord, a US-based telecom and cloud management company, and others. Managing partner Denis Lysenko, a renowned general practitioner, heads the tax practice. Myroslava Savchuk, recently promoted to counsel, is involved in tax disputes. Vasyl Mishchenko, senior associate, focuses on customs regulations matters, amongst others.

Arzinger renders a full-fledged offering in the area of tax, including international tax structuring of clients’ businesses, tax rules applicable to commercial transactions and existing business practices both in Ukraine and in foreign jurisdictions. The firm is known for providing legal support during tax audits, appealing decisions issued by tax and customs authorities, as well as legal assistance for the officials of clients within criminal proceedings. The team represents Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), a subsidiary of a large international agricultural holding, in several tax disputes appealing tax notifications-decisions by which additional VAT tax liabilities were charged and the amount of budgetary VAT refund on a large scale was reduced. Arzinger is constantly preferred by sound international names from agriculture, food and beverages, automotive, pharmaceuticals, FMCG and retail. Pavlo Khodakovsky, partner, heads the tax advisory practice. Kateryna Gupalo, partner, is responsible for tax and customs litigation, as well as criminal proceedings. Dmytro Trut, senior associate, is another key performer in tax litigation.

Asters, the largest full-service Ukrainian law firm, possesses a one-stop shop approach with the firm’s wide legal advisory practice for transactions, restructuring, financing and broad range of business transactions. In addition to tax structuring and planning offering, the big practice team represented clients in courts in tax disputes with the Ukrainian tax authorities. This past year Asters acted as a legal partner of Open Banking Lab, an incubation program for start-ups developing open data based solutions for banks and financial organizations, where possible tax risks were analyzed relating to launch of the initiative and advised on tax issues related to dealing with start-ups. The firm also advised EuroChem on divestment of its Ukrainian assets and operations to local management, including assessing and mitigating tax risks, developing effective strategies for assets disposal. Major ­companies like Oschadbank, Ukrzaliznytsya, Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, Quinn Properties Ukraine, Wine Bureau (Goodwine) are among its public clients. Constantin Solyar and Alexey Khomyakov, both partners, co-lead the practice. Oleksandr Maydanyk, counsel and co-head of tax practice of EPAP Ukraine, joined the team’s ranks last year. His team specializes in tax disputes and criminal investigations on tax-related matters.

AVELLUM has a full-fledged tax practice, which includes tax planning and consultancy, dispute resolution and private wealth management. The firm is noted for its experience in implementing complex tax structures and specific instruments. As a market leading firm for capital markets and finance, as well as corporate transactions and restructurings, the tax team provides advisory on issues that arise. This past year tax lawyers were busy alongside the firm’s transactional workload. ­AVELLUM acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to state rail operator Ukrzaliznytsia in its collaboration with General Electric Company, where the tax team advised on the tax treatment of the transactions, as well as on the tax position and drafted relevant tax provisions of the cooperation agreement and lease agreement. The firm advised a privately-owned Ukrainian investment house on structuring of its operations and establishing a private equity fund. The tax team increased its dispute work muscles by representing the interests of Ferrexpo Yeristovo Mining in its dispute with Ukrainian tax authorities on the cancellation of an individual tax ruling. Transfer pricing is another area of rapid growth. The firm has a remarkable client roster that, among other things, incudes Metinvest, Deutsche Bank, Roshen, UBER and other major companies. Vadim Medvedev was promoted to the position of partner in 2019 and heads the firm’s tax practice.

Crowe LF Ukraine, a member of the Crowe Global accounting network, has its primary focus on tax issues. The firm provides a full scope support in the areas of tax and legal services, especially tax consulting, including international and domestic tax structuring, evaluation and mitigation of tax risks. The firm is experienced in tax disputes, and also advises clients on transfer pricing. Ukrainian Mining and Metallurgical Company, Podilsky Cement (CRH Group), Zaporozhkran (Konecranes), Telesens, Novus are among its clients. ­Managing partner Dmitriy Mikhailenko is the main contact. Associated partner Roustam Vakhitov is a well-known international taxation expert in the CIS space.

As a part of its global tax practice, the tax team of Dentons Kyiv office is strongly dedicated to tax advisory, supporting the firm’s corporate and regular cross-border mandates, transfer pricing issues, IP taxation. The tax practice demonstrates industry specific expertise including energy and natural resources, IT, banking and finance, pharma. The firm provided Ingenico Group S.A. with legal advice on transactional tax issues, and advised on the acquisition of a 100% shareholding in a Ukrainian company, which will own and operate all assets, operations and functions of a Point of Sales Terminals Business. The office advises the Join UP group of companies, one of the largest Ukrainian tour operators, and provides transactional tax advice in connection with corporate restructuring. Igor Davydenko is a lead partner. Tetiana Gryn is a notable member of the tax team.

The tax practice of EQUITY is focused on litigation, while its clients are mainly domestic firms, many of which are large taxpayers. The firm represents Azovmash in ongoing criminal proceeding based on tax evasion. Other notable projects include representations of such clients as Ferrexpo AG and Kremenchukmiaso PJSC in disputes on cancellation of notifications-decisions and other related issues. Serhiy Chuyev, partner, is head of tax.

Gramatskiy & Partners has a noticeable tax practice, advising on the blocking of VAT invoices, tax planning, taxation of commercial transactions, and efficient structuring for paying royalties to subsidiaries as non-residents, and a solid track record of tax disputes. This past year the firm completed a vast number of projects, such as full legal support of the scheduled tax inspection of economic activity of the company for three years, provided to LLC PROMKABEL-ELEKTRIKA; administrative appeal on behalf of Skywind Tech UA against the results of a tax audit and many others. The team also counseled Park Lane, a real estate and construction company, on the issue of tax planning and submission of a transfer pricing report. Ernest Gramatskiy, president of the firm, supervises TP-related projects, while Vitalii Tymchuk leads the tax practice.

This past year the tax practice of Ilyashev & Partners developed in two main directions, consulting of major enterprises on sector-specific issues and transactions, and tax litigation. One significant client was JV Poltava Petroleum Company, a joint Ukrainian-British venture that is a leader among non-state oil and gas producers in the country, in which the dedicated team provided legal support during a tax inspection and currently represents its interests in a tax litigation process on appeal against notice-decisions, tax debt collection and other related issues. The firm also represented ArcelorMittal in its dispute with the specialized tax authority on collecting a VAT debt. Another highlight was counseling Carlson Wagonlit Travel Ukraine on tax law issues. The firm has a wide range of eminent clients, such as SE Antonov, BTA Bank, FSC More, LeBoutique, COFCO Agri Ukraine, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and many others. Roman Marchenko is lead partner.

With a vivid position in corporate and M&A, investment structuring across different economic sectors, INTEGRITES has an increasingly busy tax advisory practice combined with an extensive dispute track record. In 2018 the firm led a number of complex transactions, including cross-border mandates, and successfully represented its clients in tax disputes. For example, the firm consults PepsiCo Ukraine on the issues related to an ongoing tax dispute. It is worth noting that the firm extended its profile with transfer pricing expertise and subsequent disputes. The tax team also advised Antonov State Company on issues related to application of Ukrainian transfer pricing rules, and regarding the viewpoint of the tax authorities on receipt of dividends as a controlled transaction. NBT, Rush, Vioil Group and Epiroc are notable clients. Viktoriya Fomenko, recently promoted partner, is endorsed for her deep professional knowledge and distinguished merit for developing the firm’s tax practice recently.

Major industrial heavyweights like ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih PJSC and CRH group subsidiaries are among the clients of the compact team at Lexwell & Partners. The firm advised Mykolaivcement on tax issues related to the stock purchase agreement on its purchase by CRH. The firm also represented Odessacement in a tax dispute on appeal of notifications-decisions. Andriy Kolupaev and Igor Nagai are the core practitioners.

MORIS GROUP has developed a comprehensive tax practice, representing the interests of both domestic and international companies, banks and other financial institutions, as well as trading and FMCG companies. The firm has an impressive portfolio of sophisticated tax disputes. For example, the dedicated team provided full legal support to Persha Pryvatna ­Brovarnia in an appeal against tax bills regarding the calculation of income tax and VAT. Significant clients include Bravoavia, Hyundai, Lukoil, Radomyshl Brewery, the Football Federation of Ukraine and others. Vasyl Andrusyak heads the tax practice. Artem Ustiuhov, lead associate, is another key figure.

Domestic law firm Sokolovskyi & Partners offers a great scope of legal services in its tax practice, which is one of its core competences. A sizeable team of lawyers provides consulting, drafting of procedural documents, tax and customs litigation and assistance to the officials of clients within criminal proceedings related to tax evasion, as well as other services. The firm has a broad client base that includes both international enterprises and outstanding Ukrainian companies. Natalia Kurilenko, senior counsel, is the head of practice and is specialized in tax consulting. Tetiana Lysovets, senior partner, is responsible for representing clients in criminal proceedings based on tax invasion. Vladyslav Sokolovskyi, managing partner, customarily oversees tax practice of the firm.

VB PARTNERS, a domestic boutique law firm focused on white-collar crime and dispute resolution, has a substantial share of tax litigation in its caseload. The team provides legal services at all stages of tax disputes, while its WCC team acted in a number of criminal cases against officials of firm’s clients suspected of tax evasion and forgery during the last 12 months. The firm advised Marwin Securities Limited, a British investor in real estate, on payment of land tax by individuals, appealing against tax notices-decisions and withdrawing a tax lien from a house in the historic center of Kyiv. The firm also protects the interests of the Mykolayiv Alumina Refinery, one of the largest non-ferrous metallurgy plants in Europe, in several proceedings. Volodymyr Vashchenko, partner, manages tax practice. Denys Shkarovsky, counselor, is considered by the firm as its rising practitioner.

СMS operates in Ukraine through two offices. CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang provides complex support on domestic and international transactions, cross-border trade and corporate restructuring, with distinguished focus on energy and technology sectors. In 2018 the firm advised Scatec Solar on the successfully completed acquisition of companies leasing land plots for the construction of solar plants, and provided full legal support for the acquisitions, including advising on tax aspects for structuring and implementation of the deal. Olexander Martinenko, senior partner, leads the practice. Tax litigation, as led by Anna Pogrebna, is a strong area of CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz. The office also acts on tax aspects in M&A and other multijurisdictional transactions, transfer pricing issues. This past year the team handled tax-related advice considering Ukrainian and Austrian rules on taxation of capital gains and loan assignment consideration in respect of the sale of the largest Class A business center in Zaporizhzhya by Conwert Group.

The tax practice of Eterna Law has substantial focus on tax structuring, deriving from projects supported by the firm, as well as representing clients in tax disputes. The tax team often works along corporate practice covering tax issues to do with acquisitions, asset structuring, and incorporation in Ukraine and abroad. The clients often turn to the firm for tax advisory related to conducting commercial activities in foreign jurisdictions. Oksana Kneychuk, partner, is head of the practice, focused on consulting, while Mikhail Ivanenko and Aleksandr Kravets, both counsels, are responsible for tax litigation.

EVRIS Law Firm provides services related to the application of tax laws, refund of overpaid taxes, efficient communications with the tax authorities, as well as resolution of tax controversies. The track record of tax disputes throughout the past year includes a number of high value litigations appealing against additional tax charges on corporate profit tax, VAT and excise duty. Its clients are major banks, companies from the agribusiness, financial and energy sectors. Andriy Reun, partner, leads the practice. He was observed actively representing clients in court during the past year.

Wolf Theiss is the choice for international companies that enter the Ukrainian market, while the strong CEE network ensures involvement in cross-border assignments. The dedicated team advised Uber Technologies on tax matters in connection with cash tender offer to the company’s existing shareholders and employees and assignment of rights by them under the share option and other similar contractual arrangements to acquiring investors. Another significant project from the past year was advising Federal-Mogul Motorparts, a seller and distributor of products under more than 20 brands in the global vehicle aftermarket, on Ukrainian tax implications and regulatory issues in connection with the company’s marketing event. Mykhailo Razuvaiev leads the practice.

Ante Law Firm provides legal support on taxation and customs issues to its clients in the aviation and pharmaceutical areas. Sanofi-Aventis Ukraine and Zdravo receive constant support with their import-export operations, which includes taxation and customs clearance advice, contracts drafting and regulatory. The firm provides full legal support to its notable client, Qatar Airways, on all the airline’s activities in Ukraine, including the complicated issue of taxation of revenue from Ukraine. Ante was also enlisted by certain “Big 4” companies for aviation law tax advice. Omega pharma Ukraine (Perrigo group), Lufthansa group, Alitalia, Technomedex group are among other clients. Andriy Guck, managing partner, leads the practice, while ­Kateryna Ishchenko and Roman Storonskiy, both senior associates, are key practitioners.

Axon Partners is a domestic IT focused law firm presenting full-fledged advice for the sector. Most recently the team was hired for tax planning and business structuring for R&D offices in Ukraine. The firm represented the interests of Data Intelligence Lab, an American start-up, in court on VAT liabilities; acted for AlexWood during inspections by the tax authorities. Oksana Kobzar, who joined the firm with the amalgamation of her Kharkiv-based office with Axon Partners, is the core tax practitioner.

A major part of tax-related legal services by Law Offices of OMP is provided to representatives of the pharmaceuticals and healthcare sectors. The firm advises on pharm marketing and provides comprehensive support in tax matters and disputes to significant market players. Its list of clients includes Sandoz (Novartis Group), Unipharm, Sona-farm Coloplast, MSD, Roche, Glenmark, Gedeon Richter ­Alpen pharm, Agro-region Group, APC Rassvet and many others. Mykola Orlov, Yaroslav Sverdlichenko, Valeriy Bitsyuk and Igor Ogorodniychuk are key practitioners specializing in tax matters.

Being highly specialized in litigation, LCF Law Group represents the interests of major banks, retail, energy companies in tax disputes. Having a rapidly-growing portfolio of bankruptcy cases, the firm regularly advises on related tax issues. Anna Ogrenchuk, managing partner, is the key figure.

In addition to its dispute resolution practice, Vdovychen & Partners also provides consulting and legal advice to its clients. This past year the firm advised on various tax matters, including income tax, VAT and gift tax. It provided legal support on taxation of economic operations of the sale of assets. The team traditionally represented clients in disputes appealing notifications-decisions. Oleg Vdovychen, managing partner, is the key contact.

SDM Partners provides a wide range of services, including, but not limited to legal tax due diligence, official individual tax consultations and tax-driven group restructuring advice. In 2018 the firm successfully completed tax litigation projects, provided a legal summary on tax structuring of a deal and advised on tax planning and VAT reimbursement from the state budget. Another highlight was advising one of the largest financial and industrial groups of Ukraine on establishing a brewery in the UK, including on the tax structuring involved in the deal. Mykola Melnyk, partner, leads the practice.

Poborezhnyuk & Partners is a law firm with a core specialization in tax disputes. Litigation focused team is preferred predominantly by domestic clients seeking cancelation of tax charges and fines. Larysa Poberezhnyuk, managing partner, is the head of the practice. Dmitriy Troiekurov, senior partner, is another key practitioner.

Synergy IP Law Agency is noted for its established niche expertise in IP tax. The firm provided consultancy on the tax consequences of trademark licensing with the payment of royalties to individuals for BKT Solutions (BAKOTECH). Another significant project was providing legal support to Konica Minolta Ukraine in tax issues of operations with software, drafting and support of contracts regarding software. Partner Anna Kravchuk leads tax-related projects.

EVERLEGAL develops its practice in tax disputes. The dedicated team of lawyers successfully represented the interests of its clients, mainly major Ukrainian companies, such as Svitland Development, Stolitsa Group, and First Ukrainian Expert Centre in disputes with the tax authorities. Andriy Porayko, head of the dispute resolution practice, is the key contact.

ESQUIRES keeps developing its tax practice, and renders complex legal support, including consulting, tax dispute resolution and litigation. Major clients on tax matters are Ukrainian fresh vegetables and salad producer Slavyanka, and Dialogue Diadnostics, a manufacturer of diagnostic equipment. Viktoria Kovalchuk, partner, is responsible for the tax practice.

Law firm Juscutum provides legal services on tax matters mainly to clients from the IT and telecommunications sectors. The dedicated team provides consultancy on issues of tax consequences and risks, as well as legal optimization of tax burden and representation in tax disputes. Natalia Radchenko was the lead partner1.

This past year Nobili completed several tax litigation projects related to appeal against actions by the tax authorities. Its client roster includes L’Oreal Ukraine, Final Cut Media, Ascania-Pack and other companies. Natalia Tyshchenko, managing partner, is the main contact.

The Kyiv office of Czech law firm Peterka & Partners covers the tax aspects of commercial activities of its clients in Ukraine. This past year the firm advised Nextiva, a leading provider of solutions for cloud-based unified communications, on complex issues related to the taxation of foreigners and changes to the charter of the company. Other clients include Nutreco, Fast Global Solution and TCCM. Taras Utiralov is the main contact.

WinnerLex provides tax advice in the main to domestic companies like San-Standart (notified certification body for products and management systems), ­Senor Dev Onli (IT company), Ahrotekhperspektyva and others. The practice is led by Yuliia Yarotska.

Dmytro Donets, partner and head of the dispute resolution practice in PwC Legal, is named in the poll as an active tax player on the market.


Regional Counsels

ANK Law Office, based in Odesa, traditionally represents clients in appealing against the tax notifications-decisions through courts and tax audit. In 2019 the firm advised agricultural traders who export grain commodities on currency regulations and control, VAT refund, as well as transfer pricing issues. The firm’s clients are, in the main, regional companies, including Agro-Reni (a subsidiary of Rusagro-Prim SRL), Brooklyn-Kiev and Vector Oil Trade. The practice is led by Elena Pushchenskaya.

Jurline, which is also based in Odesa, provides both advisory and dispute-related services, including tax planning, tax due diligence and advice on tax matters. The firm is mostly known for its track record in disputes with the tax and customs authorities. In 2018 the firm represented the interests of the TIS-Grain terminal in the port of Yuzhniy on appealing against the tax calculation of VAT and penalties regarding the pricing of transshipment services in administrative and judicial proceedings. Other notable clients are ­TIS-Grain, TIS-Mindobryva, Illichivsk Grain Terminal. Partner Vitaliy Cherkes is the practice head, while Maxim Kapelist, partner, is another core team member.

Legrant, the Odesa-based law firm, is a point of choice for traders and exporters, port operators, shipping companies (e.g., Black Sea Commodities, Vernon Shipping, Vtormetexport). The tax portfolio is centered on tax litigation, challenging sizeable sums of tax charges in courts. Tatyana Titarenko is the firm’s main rainmaker.

The Kharkiv-based law firm Shkrebets & Partners is known for its expertise in tax litigation. This past year the firm represented its consistent client PJSC Kharkiv CHP-5 in a dispute against the Large Taxpayers Office of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine on the refunding of income tax overpayment. Industrial enterprises of Kharkiv Region and Eastern Ukraine make up the firm’s clientele. Kharkiv Battery Plant VLADAR and ­Research and Production Enterprise Zarya are also among the firm’s clients. Eugene Shkrebets, managing partner, leads the projects.

Krolevetskyi & Partners, a law firm based in Kharkiv with a branch in Kyiv, revealed its client portfolio comprising prominent industrial enterprises of Kharkiv Region. In addition to support in disputes with the tax authorities the firm renders advisory services. One of the most significant clients of 2018 was State Enterprise Kharkiv Armored Plant, which it represented in tax litigation. Kyrylo Krolevetskyi is the managing partner.

Sheverdin & Partners, based in Kharkiv, is a choice for domestic regional clients. Being experienced in litigation, the firm represents their interests in tax disputes, especially based on notifications-decisions from the tax authorities. Maksym Sheverdin is the key contact.

Dynasty Law Firm, represented with two offices in Dnipro and Kyiv, provides consulting services on taxation, as well as tax litigation. In 2018 the tax practice worked on client queries on international tax structuring involving several jurisdictions. The firm also protects its clients in criminal proceedings based on tax evasion and other tax-related issues. Denys Myrgorodskiy and Antonina Selivanova are the core practitioners.

With its proximity to Western borders, the Lviv-based legal counsel Advice Group, acquired experience in tax and customs disputes. Its team accomplished representation of the client-manufacturer of the textile industry in a dispute with the Customs and Tax authority and consultancy in relation to the customs clearance of imported raw materials. The group is active on the tax advisory front, especially on the tax aspects of commercial contracts and real estate transactions. In particular, it handled the tax structuring of a lease contract for non-residential premises. Anton Podilchak, managing partner, is the main contact.

Matviyiv and Partners, a Lviv-based law firm with a branch in Kyiv, is in good standing as one of the key litigation firms based in Western Ukraine. The firm has a streamlined tax litigation workload. Its core clients are regional companies from the manufacturing, infrastructure and construction sectors. Other major clients include construction and investment companies Rubicon Group and Teplo Bud Ekspert Corporation KRT in a dispute resolution procedure on abolition of tax notifications-decisions. Managing partner Serhiy Matviyiv leads the firm’s practice.


Regional Counsels
Listed in alphabetical order