With a company history that dates back to 1946, SyCip, Gorres, Velayo & Co. (SGV & Co.), has long been considered as the Philippines’ largest multidisciplinary professional services firm with exceptional expertise in providing integrated solutions that draw on diverse and deep competencies in assurance, tax, transaction, and advisory services. 

Having been in operation for over 71 years, the Firm currently has eight offices across the country, with a multidisciplinary team of nearly 6,000 professionals from various disciplines. Leveraging on their highly competent staff, culture of upholding the highest standards of quality, and the breadth and scope of its international network, SGV & Co.’s vision is to give value-added services to clients, and become a partner in the region’s development.

As a multidisciplinary service firm, SGV’s tax services have remained one of the core competencies of the firm. According to SGV Head of Tax Services Atty. Luis Jose Ferrer, the Firm sets itself apart from its competitors through possessing deep, technical knowledge; maintaining professional dialogue with the regulators; and its absolute adherence to ethical tax practice.

“Tax is a major service line of the company, second to assurance (audit) services in terms of number of people and revenue,” Atty. Ferrer told BusinessWorld in an e-mail.

Atty. Ferrer related that their tax experts are chosen for their technical skills, network, and above all, for their trustworthiness. He also explained that the ideal qualifications for a tax expert should include, among others, knowledge in accounting and/or law; effective communication skills; a natural ability to deal with people; deep patience; and most importantly, unshakeable integrity.

“We have a strong culture of continuous learning. Our tax professionals, including partners, are required to attend regular formal training provided by the firm, both in house and overseas training programs, as well as on-the-job training under the close supervision of their manager and partner-in-charge. Our company also offers online, Web-based training programs,” Atty. Ferrer said. “Given how tax laws, regulations and their interpretation and enforcement change frequently, it is vital for a tax practitioner to always stay abreast of the latest changes in tax laws and regulations in order to help our clients remain tax compliant and keep up with said changes.”

“The most common tax problem faced by our clients is the tax audit/investigation and the resulting tax assessments,” Atty. Ferrer shared. “The Firm helps our client by keeping them informed and updated on the changes in tax laws and regulations; advising them on the tax implications on their business transactions/operations; assisting them in complying with the tax requirements, and defending them in case of tax audits/investigation and assessments.”

In the midst of the recently implemented Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, now more than ever, SGV & Co.’s expertise on this matter becomes more relevant.

“We keep track of the proposed changes in the tax laws and regulations way before they become law. We actively participate in the discussions and provide our views. We proactively assess their impact on our business as well as that of our clients. By the time the law become effective and implemented, we have already developed strategies and processes to ensure compliance,” Atty. Ferrer clarified.

He added: “In like manner, we are closely following the proposed changes in the TRAIN Package 2 so that we can help our clients prepare for whatever changes may potentially impact their business.”

As part of its thought leadership efforts, SGV & Co. prepares a monthly Tax Bulletin, which share the latest developments in tax, government issuances and court rulings with SGV’s huge client base. The SGV Tax Bulletin has been a regular company publication since 1954.

In addition, SGV & Co. also sends their clients the SGV Tax Calendar annually. The Tax Calendar contains all the deadlines and other information needed to help their clients prepare for their reportorial requirements.