Jason Liang is a partner in the Tax, Trade and Wealth Management Practice Group of Wong & Partners with over 10 years of experience. His focus is on tax disputes and controversies, with experience in handling all aspects of tax litigation. He regularly appears before the national courts and tax tribunals, representing clients on landmark tax disputes and precedent-setting cases.
He has been recognised by Chambers Asia Pacific as an Up and Coming individual for Tax in 2021. In the Chambers guide, clients commend him for having " good knowledge and insights on tax-related disputes in Malaysia" and that he is "very persistent in achieving results and is helpful for clients wanting to understand the pros and cons of the legal actions involved."
He regularly speaks at various international conferences and events in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Europe and the United States, and is often called upon to conduct trainings for various multinational clients on tax developments in emerging and growth-leading economies, transparency and information exchange on foreign tax audits and controversies, tax investigations and litigation considerations during an audit.
Jason advises and represents clients on a wide spectrum of issues ranging from anti-avoidance, transfer pricing, stamp duty, real property gains tax, customs duty, indirect taxes, deductibility of capital and income expenses, and withholding tax. He has a portfolio of clients from various industries, including pharmaceutical, logistics, manufacturing and oil and gas.
Jason's practice extends to advising on legal and regulatory issues affecting multinational corporations in Malaysia. He has acted for clients in corporate exercises which includes cross border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and establishing of new operations in Malaysia for clients from various industries including manufacturing, telecommunications, aviation and shipping, insurance, banking and wealth management.
Representative Legal Matters
- Representing the Labuan Malaysian entity of an international aviation leasing company in connection with a range of tax matters including income tax, withholding tax and stamp duty issues relating to its Labuan leasing entity in Malaysia that were under heavy scrutiny by the Malaysian tax authorities, the Malaysian Inland Revenue Board.
- Advised a major Japanese construction firm in connection on the preparation of their Transfer Pricing documentation for tax compliance and audit defence.
- Represented Muhibbah Engineering (M) Berhad, a Malaysian public listed company in the oil & gas sector, at both the Court of Appeal and Federal Court. Being the first case of its kind, the Federal Court established a precedent on the nature of negative pledges in the client's favour, making it the law of the land.
- Represented one of the client's subsidiaries in the business of supplying aviation support services, on a landmark case and one of the first successful GST disputes in favour of the taxpayer against the Director General of Customs ("DG") under the Goods and Services Tax Act 2014 at the GST Tribunal. This case set an excellent precedent in establishing a safeguard against any overreach in legal authority by the DG.
- Represented an American multinational manufacturer with diversified portfolios in connection to its sales tax refund claim by way of judicial review to the High Court of Malaysia. The client received a favourable decision by the High Court, making it the first case of its kind and represents a crucial Goods and Services Tax case, effectively setting a precedent that the DG is bound by the powers conferred within the four corners of the GST Act.
- Represented e-commerce and technology companies which have set precedents in Malaysia by pushing for a clearer definition of taxation laws on new service industries for such companies. The judicial review proceeding against the DG were in relation to a withholding tax subjected on payments made to non-resident companies to obtain various software, software development services, analytics results (i.e., data consumption patterns), and access codes to database websites.
- Represented the client in relation to three stamp duty appeals, which were filed at the High Court, against the revised notices of assessment issued by the IRB following our submission of the notices of objection against the IRB’s initial notices of assessment in respect of the three asset transfer agreements. The asset transfer agreements were entered into pursuant to a spin-off exercise led by our M&A practice.
- Successfully represented the Malaysian subsidiary of one of the world's largest offshore oil and gas well drilling company in pursuing a judicial review application to appeal against withholding taxes.
- Represented the Malaysian subsidiary of a US global courier delivery services company in two separate tax appeals against the Director-General of Inland Revenue in respect of transfer pricing assessments.
- Represented the client, one of the world's largest semi-conductor manufacturer with a dispute with the Inland Revenue Board before the Special Commission of Income Tax in relation to the extent and ambit of tax incentives.
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Malaysian Bar
- Bar of England & Wales
- The Honourable Society of Middle Temple
- England & Wales~United Kingdom (2011)
- Malaysia (2011)
- University of Cambridge (MA Law)