Siong Sie is a partner in the Tax and Revenue practice. Apart from his legal qualifications, he is also a Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant and an Associate Member of the Chartered Tax Institute of Malaysia. He acts for taxpayers on all aspects of tax and revenue law including advisory and planning, audit and investigation, dispute resolution and litigation. Prior to joining Skrine, he was a treasury manager cum in-house counsel for Tesco Malaysia. He also has four years of experience with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Kuala Lumpur and two years of tax practice with a local tax firm in Ipoh, Perak.
Siong Sie employs his negotiation and people skills to achieve pragmatic and economical solutions to amicably resolve disputes between clients and the tax authorities. He has a strong business acumen and when advising clients, brings his skill sets gleaned from his extensive and varied experience to the table.
Key Practice Areas
- Tax Litigation, Audits and Investigations
- Tax and Customs Advisory
- Rates, Assessment and Valuations
- Anti-Dumping and Trade Remedies
- Acted for a group of companies in the business of property investment and housing project development in strategising and attending to queries raised by the tax authority’s investigation team. Successfully reduced the tax exposure of the group from more than RM10million to RM1million.
- Retained by a leading global digital currency company operating across the world to assist in negotiations and dealing with the tax authority to lift the freeze on bank accounts and resolving the tax investigation.
Acted successfully for a Singapore investment holding company in negotiating a full and final settlement with the tax authority for outstanding taxes spanning across 37 years of assessments. The tax authority waived all penalties and lifted a travel ban on the directors.
Advised a major cement producer regarding the deductibility of obsolete inventory or spares written off which were disallowed by the IRB during tax audit.
Acted as co-counsel successfully for a subsidiary of a multinational corporation that designs and manufactures shoes, clothing and accessories in a judicial review against the Director General of Customs to claim special refund of sales tax in excess of RM2.5million and obtained the full refund.
Advised and represented a subsidiary of a Singapore company specialising in sales and rental of tower cranes in an audit by the Customs Department, leading to the immediate unfreezing of the company’s bank accounts. Successfully reduced the initial audit findings of RM1.1million to RM0.3million as the final audit outcome.
Instructed by a global chemical company to appeal to the Customs Appeal Tribunal against customs rulings made against three of its chemical products.
Acted as co-counsel for a British Virgin Islands company in relation to a challenge of the Stamp Office’s refusal to allow a stamp duty exemption to apply to the company’s transaction in Labuan.
Acted as co-counsel for a listed entity engaged in the provision of engineering contract works to challenge the Stamp Office’s refusal to apply stamp duty exemption for the entity’s financing transactions.
- Advising and representing a power plant to claim exceptional GST input tax of RM47million and input tax credit in excess of RM310million incurred during the construction period of the power plant.
- Advised and represented a subsidiary of a global chemical and specialty materials company investing in Malaysia and successfully obtained approval for an exceptional GST input tax claim of RM12million.
- Instructed by a global leading manufacturer of buses to address the various issues encountered by its Malaysian subsidiary in relation to the various schemes for suspension of GST.
- Advised one of the largest petroleum refineries in Malaysia on real property gains tax (RPGT) and stamp duty issues arising from an internal organisational restructuring.
- Advised the individual shareholders of an entity providing integrated healthcare services on the potential RPGT issues in light of their proposed restructuring plan especially on the risk of the entity being regarded as a real property company.
- Advised a foreign oil and gas company operating in Malaysia on the record keeping requirements under the Petroleum Income Tax Act (PITA), Income Tax Act (ITA) and Goods and Services Tax Act (GSTA).
- Advised a local oil and gas company on the requirement to demonstrate sufficient efforts for collection of bad debts in order to enjoy bad debt relief under GSTA.
- Advised various renowned hotel management groups on the tax implications arising from the various types of agreement entered into between the hotel management group and owner of the hotel.
- Advised one of the largest Internet companies in the world on the GST impact on the launching of its music streaming application, music streaming service and the music licensing arrangements with licensors when executing deals with various record labels in relation to music distribution rights in Malaysia.
- Advised one of the world's leading providers of camera systems and filming equipment on expanding their equipment leasing business in Malaysia, including tax incentives opportunities in Iskandar Malaysia.
- Advised a leading German bank in relation to matters of Malaysian sales and service tax, goods and services tax and customs duties pertaining to the storage and trading of London Metal Exchange (LME) Metal in an LME approved warehouse.
- Advised a school in the United Kingdom from a Malaysian perspective on fundraising from a group of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals in Malaysia in a tax-efficient manner.
- Instructed by an entity listed on the Italian Stock Exchange to apply for stamp duty relief for the group reorganisation exercise. The stamp duty relief was granted for the transfer of shares of a Malaysian subsidiary valued at RM120million.
- Advised clients from various industries on performing preliminary assessment on the potential impact of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement on their businesses.
- Advised one of the largest petroleum refineries in Malaysia in a challenge on the imposition of assessment rates by the local authority and assisted in facilitating their negotiation for settlement.
- Instructed by one of the largest petroleum refineries in Malaysia to challenge the assessment rates imposed by the local authority in court. The matter was successfully settled, and the parties recorded a consent judgment.
- Assisted in representing a consortium of Japanese steel mills and a trade association in the Malaysian Safeguards Hearing on hot rolled plates. Safeguards duty was not imposed on the consortium of Japanese steel mills.
- Assisted in representing a major Korean steel company in the Malaysian Anti-Dumping Investigation on hot rolled coils. A negative final determination was issued in favour of the Korean steel company.
- Assisted in representing a group of importers and a foreign exporter in the Malaysian Anti-Dumping Investigation on certain cold rolled steel products. The investigation was terminated due to a negative preliminary determination.
- Assisted in representing a consortium of Chinese steel mills in the Malaysian Anti-Dumping Investigation on rebars. The investigation was terminated due to a negative preliminary determination.
- Advocate and Solicitor, High Court of Malaya (2014)
- Certificate of Legal Practice (2013)
- LL.B (Hons), University of Liverpool (2012)
- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (2004)
- Associate Member, Chartered Tax Institute of Malaysia (2017)
- Fellow, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (2013)
Presented the following talks:
- Co-presenter, “90 Minutes with Skrine - Tax & Customs: Insight into the New SST”, August 2018
- Speaker, an online seminar on "Doing Business in Malaysia", organised by Miyakezaka Sogo Law Offices, May 2018
- Speaker, “BEPS and Tax & Customs Efficient Supply Chain Management”, IPBA Annual Conference 2018, Manila, the Philippines, March 2018
- Co-presenter, “90 Minutes with Skrine - Navigating Tax Audits & Investigations”, January 2018
- Speaker, “NEW COMPANIES ACT 2016: Impact and Compliance of New Laws & Regulations under the Companies Act 2016 in Malaysia”, organised by Legal Logic, August 2017
Authored the following articles:
- Author, Five Legal Issues on GST at 0%, The Malaysian Lawyer, May 2018
- Author, Five Tax Implications Arising From Companies Act 2016, Skrine’s Legal Insights and The Malaysian Lawyer, June and July 2017
- Listed as “Recognised Practitioner” in Tax practice area by Chambers Asia-Pacific 2019.