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Demystifying China’s Top Tax Law Firms——Lawyer Liu Tianyong, Director of China Tax Law Firm

Nov. 13, 2023, 4:23 p.m.
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Recently, "Legal Daily" interviewed Lawyer Liu Tianyong, director of Beijing Hwuason Law Firm, on issues such as the construction of national financial and taxation law and the development of the tax lawyer industry, and published it in "Legal Daily" on March 25, 2019. The interview transcript is reproduced below to share with readers.

To say that Liu Tianyong is the number one tax lawyer in China, no one in the industry would object.

More than ten years ago, when there were few lawyers practicing under the title of “tax lawyer” in my country, Liu Tianyong became “the first person to try something”. In 2006, he founded my country's first professional tax law firm, Hwuason Law Firm.

Today, Liu Tianyong is the director of the Financial and Taxation Law Professional Committee of the National Lawyers Association, and serves as a tax law consultant for many well-known enterprises such as Fortune 500 companies and listed companies. China Tax Law Firm has also developed into a leader in my country's tax lawyer industry and has been rated as the "Best China Tax Law Firm" by international legal rating agencies such as Chambers and ALB for many consecutive years.

Recently, standing in front of the large floor-to-ceiling windows of the Hua Taxation Office on the 20th floor of a modern commercial building in Beijing, looking at the bustling Third Ring Road, Liu Tianyong lamented that the development of himself and the Hua Taxation Office has benefited from the progress of the country's tax law. , the strong support of industry associations and the awakening of the awareness of every citizen and taxpayer. "When facing tax disputes, more and more taxpayers have the courage to take up legal weapons to protect their legitimate rights. This is a vivid manifestation of the progress of the rule of law."

Pioneer

In 2003, Liu Tianyong, a young man from Shandong Province who came to Beijing to "make a career in the world", was prompted by a foreign lawyer friend to become a tax lawyer when his career was at a loss. For Liu Tianyong, who has a major in finance and taxation and holds a certified public accountant and tax accountant certificate, business ability is not a problem, but being accepted by the market is a big problem.

For a long time, my country's tax service market, especially the high-end service market, has been occupied by the four major international accounting firms. Coupled with the fact that the tax rule of law was not yet complete at that time, it was not easy for latecomers to open up a new battlefield.

"What is a tax lawyer?" "We have certified public accountants and tax accountants, why do we need to find a tax lawyer?" The society's lack of understanding and recognition of tax lawyers was beyond Liu Tianyong's expectations.

Pioneering requires ability and courage, as well as persistence and perseverance.

While recommending himself, Liu Tianyong knew that only by being more professional can he win the trust of clients and seize opportunities. For this reason, this student who once studied law for only two months and passed the judicial examination (now the National Legal Qualification Examination) Not only did he keep the rapidly updated new tax-related regulations in mind, he was also admitted to the China University of Political Science and Law for a doctorate in economic law.

Opportunities always come to those who are prepared. Once, a company was preparing to sell a real estate project. The accounting department calculated that the tax to be paid was more than one-third of the transaction value. With the attitude of giving it a try, the company invited Liu Tianyong. He assists enterprises to reasonably determine transaction methods, calculate and deduct reasonable costs, and apply for tax incentives, achieving good results. Liu Tianyong also successfully became the company's perennial tax law consultant.

After working as a tax lawyer for more than two years, Liu Tianyong discovered that compared with certified public accountants and tax accountants, the business advantage of tax lawyers lies in the resolution of tax-related disputes. He secretly made up his mind to become the best tax lawyer in China and took the lead in establishing the Hua Tax Law Firm.

Over the past 12 years, China Taxation Office has represented more than 1,200 difficult tax dispute cases. In 2017, Liu Tianyong represented a well-known Japanese automobile company in applying for a reconsideration from the State Administration of Taxation, saving the company's economic losses of 800 million yuan. In 2018, he successfully defended a petrochemical company in Anhui on suspicion of false invoicing.

Expand

From real estate to the energy industry, from the steel industry to the electronic technology industry...Liu Tianyong and Hua Taxation Office have always kept up with the pulse of the times and continuously expanded their service areas.

Recently, the China Taxation Office has taken aim at the waste material recycling industry chain involving trillions of yuan. The cancellation of the preferential VAT exemption policy has had a huge impact on this industry, and there have even been many cases of false VAT invoices involving billions of yuan. On the one hand, the Hua Tax Office represents cases and strives to clarify legal policies and defend innocence. On the other hand, it extends legal services forward and isolates risks through planning compliance, bill management, etc.

Not only that, Liu Tianyong and Huashan, who once tried hard to distinguish themselves from certified public accountants and tax accountants, soon extended their business to the fields of accountant and tax accountant services. In 2008, in response to the request of some customers who "hoped to provide some basic services such as tax declarations," Liu Tianyong founded Hwuason Tax Agents and later established Hwuason Group.

Nowadays, he is engaged in the "Hundred Cities, Hundred Firms" plan, which is to recruit high-quality tax accounting firms from all over the country to join the Hwuason Group and establish the Hwuason College. Through the "online + offline" interactive teaching and exchange platform, he is committed to " "Hwuason" has become the leading comprehensive tax law service brand in China. At present, more than half of the number of franchises has been completed.

Of course, rapid development is inseparable from an important factor: Liu Tianyong’s diligent pursuit of specialization.

Walking into the conference room of the China Taxation Institute, one wall of bookcases is filled with professional books, many of which are Liu Tianyong's works. He took out three books and gave them to reporters: "China Tax Lawyers Review (Volume 5)", "China Tax Lawyers' Practice in Solving Difficult Cases (Third Edition)" and "China's Tax Lawyers' Practice (Third Edition)". He held each copy in his hand. It's heavy.

Expand career

One flower blooming alone is not spring, but a hundred flowers blooming together fills the garden.

In order to promote the development of tax legal talents in China, since 2010, China Tax Law Firm has begun to hold tax law forums and tax lawyer seminars, inviting experts to conduct discussions on promoting the improvement of the national financial and tax legal system and the development of tax lawyers.

In 2012, with Liu Tianyong’s strong appeal and promotion, the All-China Lawyers Association established a professional committee on fiscal and taxation law, and he served as the deputy director and secretary-general of the committee. Since then, the annual tax law forum has been upgraded to be hosted by the All-China Lawyers Association and hosted by the China Tax Law Firm. The forum size ranges from 500 to 800 people.

Two years after the establishment of the special committee, Liu Tianyong promoted the establishment of a summer training class for tax lawyers, which was co-organized by the All-China Lawyers Association and the China Association of Certified Tax Agents. It recruited no more than 200 students and organized well-known university professors, tax department officials, and senior tax lawyers. Waiting for teaching.

"More and more people are signing up, but the number of places is limited. I don't know how many people I have offended because of this." Liu Tianyong smiled and recounted this happy trouble.

Nowadays, Hua Tax Firm has become a place where many law firms and young people who want to become tax lawyers come to observe and learn. Liu Tianyong has also become a teacher - serving as a part-time professor at Peking University, China University of Political Science and Law, Central University of Finance and Economics and other universities, offering practical courses on tax law.

"Why not stand out?" Many people have asked Liu Tianyong.

He answered this way: "From the perspective of promoting the construction of the national fiscal and taxation legal system, prosperous fiscal and taxation law practice is the basis for the theoretical development of fiscal and taxation law and even the improvement of legislation; from the perspective of the masses' demand for the rule of law, with the introduction of the property tax and tax collection management law, The public needs more tax legal services; starting from the long-term development of the industry, it is difficult for a small number of people to develop sustainably and healthily."

"More people must understand tax-related legal services. Even fierce competition is a good thing." Liu Tianyong said.

Future

After more than ten years of development, the number of tax lawyers in my country has increased year by year. In 2014, there were only about 400 lawyers engaged in tax-related business in my country, and now the number has increased to about 2,000, of which about 1,000 are professional tax lawyers whose main business is tax-related business.

"But in general, the number of tax lawyers in my country, the scale of services, and the overall income level of the industry are far behind those of developed countries in the world, and they do not match the level of my country's economic and social development." Liu Tianyong gave an example that among the more than 1.2 million lawyers currently registered in the United States, , there are approximately 150,000 to 200,000 people directly or indirectly engaged in tax-related legal services.

He believes that in addition to the late start of the development of tax lawyers in our country, the reason for the gap lies in the imperfection of our country's tax laws. The role of tax policy in tax collection and administration practice is far greater than that of law, or even beyond the law; tax lawyers are compound talents. There are still deficiencies in one's own abilities.

He is full of expectations and confidence for the future. He said: "The implementation of statutory tax principles will be accelerated in 2019. The implementation of the Personal Income Tax Law at the beginning of the year and the information released during the National Two Sessions to promote the introduction of the real estate tax law have greatly boosted the tax lawyer industry."

"At present, the lawyers' associations of most provinces have established special committees on finance and taxation law, and we will actively promote full coverage." Liu Tianyong said that according to the National People's Congress legislative plan, about 10 tax-related regulations will be upgraded to law in the past two years. Tax lawyers We should take active actions and provide suggestions for legislation.

Liu Tianyong noticed that currently few colleges and universities regard tax law as a required course. To be a tax lawyer, legal and financial and taxation expertise are indispensable. I hope more colleges and universities will offer tax law courses as a required course.

"In two or three years, there will be 5,000 tax lawyers in China." He is convinced.

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Copyright@2019 Aequity.ALL rights reserved京CP备17073992号-1