Multinationals face more tax scrutiny as compliance landscape shifts

The tax compliance climate has changed radically in recent years – and this change  has led to greater scrutiny of whether multinational businesses are paying what taxes they should and where they should.

The perception of what is avoidance, what is the "right tax" - and what is not - has changed. Tax authorities often now pursue businesses for tax which would not have been pursued even a few years ago. In some cases, domestic governments have granted tax authorities significant new powers to demand information, collect tax even before it is shown to be due and require corporates to police other taxpayers.

International interest

Internationally, the taxation of multinationals has become a matter of public interest and the OECD BEPS project has changed the tax agenda. This change in climate has led to a corresponding increase in controversies and litigation with tax authorities across the globe.

Proven track record

The Osborne Clarke Tax Disputes team, which has specialists across all of the major European jurisdictions, has a formidable track record of resolving tax disputes. The team advises regularly on tax audits, information requests, settlement of tax claims and subsequent litigation, both at the local level and before international courts including participating in mutual agreement procedures, negotiating on advance pricing agreements and advising on transfer pricing disputes.

The Tax Disputes team can provide assistance and advice in all of the various stages of any tax dispute. When involved at an early stage, the team can advise on investigations, information requests and settlement of claims. Where litigation is necessary the team advises regularly on taking tax disputes to the Tax Tribunals and Courts.

Internationally, the taxation of multinationals has become a matter of public interest and the OECD BEPS project has changed the tax agenda."


Major international bank

Acting for a major international bank on settling a dispute as to the application of the relevant double tax treaty to UK group losses involving potential tax losses of over £100m and associated penalties.

Senior executive incentive scheme

Acting for a listed company on HMRC's investigation into a senior executive incentive scheme involving board level governance issues and enforcement of tax indemnities given by participants for the PAYE and National Insurance that would be payable.

Cross-border HMRC information requests

Acting for a digital services provider in connection with wide ranging cross-border HMRC information requests

Internal tax investigation

Acting for UK property group on an internal investigation into prior tax compliance history and potential VAT fraud

Healthcare corporation

Coordinated the tax investigations and audits of a publicly traded healthcare corporation, including competent authority settlement with consequences in Spain, US, France, Germany and Italy.

US-listed entity

Advised on an international tax arbitration before ICSID against a capital gains exit tax liability claimed by a local tax authority.

Multinational group

Advised on Advance Pricing Arrangements, covering patent box and cross-border transfer pricing global schemes, for a multinational group, specialised in fashion retail.

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