Denis Kozhevnikov
Denis Kozhevnikov Denis Kozhevnikov

Denis Kozhevnikov

Industries

Energy, Transport, Retail

Qualifications

Head of Tax Compliance and Dispute Resolution Practice

Biography

Denis Kozhevnikov graduated from the O.E. Kutafin Moscow State Law Academy with a major in Financial Law and a master's degree in Tax Law of Russia and Foreign Countries.

The lawyer began his professional career in the Legal Department of the Interregional Inspectorate for Major Taxpayers. Four years later Denis Kozhevnikov moved to Vegas Lex, one of the leading Russian law firms involved in major investment and infrastructure projects. He subsequently gained extensive experience working with leading international companies in the Russian division of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.

In more than eight years of practice, Denis Kozhevnikov managed to win numerous tax disputes, including:

- a dispute over the reclamation of an invoice for one of the largest oil producers (the amount of VAT over 3 billion rubles);

- a dispute over the exclusion of production buildings of a major Russian energy company from the list of immovable property in respect of which the tax base is determined as the cadastral value

- a dispute on retrospective application of the results of cadastral value revision in the interests of one of the largest generating companies in Russia, as a result of which the additional charge of 40 million rubles was disputed;

- Dispute on accounting of compensation payments in connection with the termination of employment contracts as expenses for corporate income tax purposes, which resulted in contesting an additional tax charge of 15 million rubles.

Denis has also implemented numerous consulting projects in the field of taxation for both Russian and international clients, which allows him to work with tax authorities' claims on a wide range of issues at both the court and pre-trial stages with maximum efficiency.

Cases

2,5 bn ₽
Court settlement of tax disputes

Representing an IT-company, a subsidiary of the largest telecom operator and IT-solutions developer of the Southern and North Caucasian Federal Districts, in a dispute with the tax inspectorate

This was the first case of a tax dispute over whether transactions with counterparties in traffic transfer services were real. For the first time, a decision was made in favor of the taxpayer.

  • Industry

    Information technology

  • Process description

    The client appealed to the arbitration court with a claim to the tax authority to invalidate the decision made on the basis of the field tax audit. The basis for the accrual of additional taxes, penalties and fines served as the basis for the conclusions of the tax authority that the Client received a tax benefit in the relationship with several counterparties, which, as telecommunications operators, could not provide services for traffic transit in connection with the fact that they had signs of organizations that do not perform real financial and economic activities. A particular difficulty in proving the case lies in the fact that the "traffic service" is not tangible and can not be visualized, so it was very difficult to collect evidence of the reality of transmitting traffic. As the result of legal efforts and well-designed defense strategy the court of the first instance partially rendered a judgment in favor of the Client. In this case the court saw an opportunity to interpret the concept of "due diligence" in favor of telecom companies. This approach (if supported by higher courts) can be used by other recipients of similar services (in particular, telecommunications companies), both at the stage of selecting counterparties, and when defending against claims of tax authorities.

  • Result

    Tax Compliance team managed to defend around 50% of additional tax charges (in terms of corporate income tax, the client's claims were recognized as legitimate). This dispute is unique and constitutes positive arbitration practice for the entire telecommunications industry.

  • Employees involved

    Mikhail Begunov, Denis Kozhevnikov, Andrey Solomyany

3,191 bn ₽
Court settlement of tax disputes

Legal defense of Russia's largest distributor of household chemicals, personal care products, perfumes, decorative cosmetics and other consumer goods.

Tax Compliance lawyers successfully defended the interests of the client in a dispute with the tax inspectorate and prevented the company from debiting its accounts.

  • Industry

    Retail

  • Process description

    The Client petitioned the court to suspend the tax authorities' decision based on the results of an on-site tax audit according to which the tax authorities had charged substantial amounts of additional tax and VAT as well as penalties and fines totaling over 3 billion rubles. Most of the claims were related to expenses for logistics services because the tax authority suspected that they were of a fictitious nature. The lawyers worked out a legal position on the expediency of suspension of the tax authority's decision. As part of the litigation we provided documents confirming the movement of goods from the Client's suppliers to the end buyer with the participation of logistics companies, as well as with the help of experts, confirmed the market value of services. Cash write-offs from company accounts were converted, allowing the Client to continue business operations and avoid significant financial losses.

  • Result

    Thanks to position developed by lawyers and provided evidence, the court took interim measures and actually suspended the tax authorities' decision. An important precedent was created and positive arbitration practice on cancellation of tax authorities' decisions was formed. Judicial practice has developed an approach according to which a taxpayer should not be held liable for the actions of third parties. According to independent experts, the case may be of importance for the practice of application of Article 54.1 of the Tax Code (interaction with technical participants in transactions solely for the purpose of reducing tax liabilities) in general and, in particular, for large taxpayers who make extensive use of the services of third-party transportation and logistics companies, such as in the FMCG industry.

  • Employees involved

    Mikhail Begunov, Denis Kozhevnikov

Successfully
Court settlement of tax disputes

Representing a major distributor in court on the issue of interim measures and suspension of the tax authority's decision

It has been proven that the adoption of interim measures will not upset the balance of public and private interests and will allow the client to continue to conduct its business.

  • Industry

    FMCG

  • Process description

    The client, with the support of Tax Compliance, applied to court for suspension of the tax authority's decision based on the results of an on-site tax audit. Enforcement of that decision could have caused considerable damage to the company and paralyzed its activity, taking into consideration the substantial amount of tax charges that could have been critical for the client's business.

  • Result

    We managed to work out a convincing legal position, based on which the court took interim measures. Representatives of the tax authority appealed the interim measures, but thanks to the efforts of our lawyers the court ruling was upheld, despite the fact that according to statistics less than 37% of applications for interim measures are satisfied by the courts.

  • Employees involved

    Mikhail Begunov, Denis Kozhevnikov

Publications