Stefano Mariani

Partner | Corporate Commercial

stefano.mariani@deacons.com
+852 2825 9314
Download vCard
Download CV / Print CV

"Stefano Mariani’s grasp of Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department’s practice, attitudes and priorities is immensely helpful."

"Stefano Mariani is an excellent tax lawyer: highly knowledgeable, confident, clear in his advice and decisive."

"Stefano is able to provide advice about complex points of law. Stefano has both the academic knowledge and the ability to provide real-life solutions to legal issues."

"Stefano Mariani is considered a rising star in the tax space, offering advice on contentious and non-contentious matters. A client remarks: 'He is very knowledgeable and practical. He knows what the tax authority is looking for and how the rules and laws may be interpreted.'"

Stefano heads the tax and trusts practice at Deacons. He has a broad range of advisory and contentious tax experience, ranging from corporate taxation and group reconstructions to personal taxation and trusts and estate planning and management. He advises on all matters of Hong Kong and international tax law, including tax-efficient structuring and restructuring, and tax appeals before the Board of Review and the higher courts. His experience includes cross-border tax planning and Double Taxation Treaty driven tax structuring.

Stefano further advises on all areas of Hong Kong and international trusts, estate planning, and charities, including the drafting of trusts instruments, restructuring of trusts structures, and trusts dispute resolution.

Stefano is a solicitor advocate with higher rights of audience in civil proceedings before the High Court and Court of Final Appeal. He represents clients as an advocate at all stages of civil proceedings.

He is an Adjunct Associate Professor of the Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong and a regular contributor to legal and industry publications, notably including the Hong Kong Law Journal, the Asia-Pacific Journal of Taxation, and the Asia-Pacific Tax Bulletin.  He is a co-author of the seminal Encyclopaedia of Hong Kong Taxation, and the textbook Hong Kong Tax Law: Cases and Materials.

Recent Cases Argued:

Tax

Inland Revenue Board of Review D 11/19 35 IRBRD 416

Represented the taxpayer in an appeal against salaries tax assessments on terminal and post-employment payments.

Nomura Funds Ireland Plc v Collector of Stamp Revenue [2019] HKDC 406; [2019] HKDC 852; [2021] HKCA 1040

Represented the taxpayer in an appeal on the question of whether a merger involving the transfer by operation of Luxembourg law of securities listed in Hong Kong was chargeable with stamp duty.

Inland Revenue Board of Review Case 31/19

Represented the taxpayer in an appeal on whether profits arising from the sale, purchase, and leasing of certain industrial goods were chargeable to profits tax.

Heath Brian Zarin v CIR [2020] 2 HKLRD 229; [2020] HKCA 147; [2021] HKCFI 1846; [2022] HKCA 412

Represented the taxpayer in a complex, multi-stage appeal against salaries tax assessments on terminal and post-employment payments.

Inland Revenue Board of Review D9/21

Represented the taxpayer in an appeal on the question of whether a director’s fee was sourced in Hong Kong and so chargeable to salaries tax.

Inland Revenue Board of Review D 14/20 36 IRBRD 84

Represented the taxpayer in an ‘offshore claim’ litigation on the question of whether the taxpayer was chargeable to profits tax.

Tse Sum Ping v Collector of Stamp Revenue [2021] HKDC 379; [2021] HKDC 1250

Represented the duty-payer in an appeal against the denial of relief from Buyer’s Stamp Duty by the Collector of Stamp Revenue on the basis that the duty-payer was in his view not acting on her own behalf in the acquisition of multiple residential properties in Hong Kong.

John Wiley & Sons UK2 LLP & Anor v Collector of Stamp Revenue [2021] 5 HKLRD 20

Acted for the duty-payers on the procedural question of whether the High Court has jurisdiction to hear a stamp duty appeal.

Newfair Holdings Limited v Commissioner of Inland Revenue [2022] HKCFI 1133

Represented the taxpayer in an ‘offshore claim’ litigation on the question of whether the taxpayer was chargeable to profits tax.

Inland Revenue Board of Review D2/22

Acted for the taxpayer in contesting the Commissioner’s withdrawal of acknowledgment of its charitable status under s.88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance and, separately, on the question of whether deductions for building refurbishment under s.16F were allowable.

Inland Revenue Board of Review Case 7/21

Acted for the taxpayer in an appeal on the question of whether the taxpayer’s dual employment with a Hong Kong and a Macanese entity should be recognised for salaries tax purposes.

Inland Revenue Board of Review Case 8/21

Represented the taxpayer company in an appeal on the question of whether royalties derived from its licensing business were chargeable to profits tax and whether a lump sum received for the grant of an exclusive right to use certain intellectual property rights was a capital payment exempt from profits tax under s.14(1).

Besins Healthcare (Hong Kong) Limited v Commissioner of Inland Revenue [2022] HKCFI 1261; [2022] HKCFI 2932

Judicial review against the Commissioner challenging his decision to hold Tax Reserve Certificates of a greater value than the aggregate amount of tax actually in dispute.

Inland Revenue Board of Review D 14/22

Acted for the taxpayer in application to extend the time for filing a notice of appeal against the Commissioner’s determination and, separately, on the Commissioner’s rejection of the taxpayer’s ‘offshore claim’.

John Wiley & Sons UK2 LLP & Anor v Collector of Stamp Revenue [2022] HKDC 716

Acted for the duty-payers in an appeal on the question of whether an English limited liability partnership was capable of being an ‘associated body corporate’ for the purposes of s.45 intra-group relief from stamp duty notwithstanding not having issued share capital.

 

Trusts

Liam Gerard Curran v AZURETRUSTEES Limited HCMP 2632/2017 (unreported)

Represented the beneficiary of a trust in discharging a trustee that had become inactive as a result of the imprisonment of its ultimate beneficial owner for fraud in an application for the appointment of a judicial trustee.

Peter William Lord v Balzac Ltd [2019] HKCFI 1694

Represented the beneficiary of a trust in discharging a trustee that had become inactive as a result of the death of its ultimate beneficial owner in an application for the appointment of a judicial trustee.

Re Mattingley & Shenton [2020] 2 HKLRD 1153

Represented the trustees of a trust in securing their discharge and the payment into court of the fund of a trust whose terms and beneficiaries had become unascertainable.

Re Poon Po Hong Will Trust HCMP 1119/2020 (unreported)

Represented the beneficiary of a trust in applying for the discharge of a trustee that had ceased to exist as a result of a bank merger in the United States of America in an application to replace it with the executrix of the settlor’s estate.

Jeremy Gar Yin Ip & Ors v Secretary for Justice [2021] HKCFI 3215

Acted for the trustees of a charitable trust established to grant scholarships to certain meritorious pupils of King George V School to apply for a variation of its terms.

 

Other

Re Lehman Bush (HK) Ltd [2022] HKCFI 488

Acted for the creditor in a winding-up application.

 

Other Tax Dispute Resolution Experience

Advised on a successful application to compel the Commissioner of Inland Revenue to issue a determination after a delay of approximately four years from the date of the first disputed assessment.

Advised on a successful application to compel the Commission of Inland Revenue to issue a certificate of resident status to a company incorporated in Hong Kong for the purposes of the Hong Kong – Mainland China Double Taxation Agreement, notwithstanding an alleged lack of ‘economic substance’ of the applicant company in Hong Kong.

Negotiated a favourable settlement on behalf of the taxpayer of two disputes with the Inland Revenue Department on the chargeability to salaries tax of payments made in consideration for post-employment covenants.

Successfully resolved a dispute in favour of the taxpayer at the determination stage where the dispute turned on whether certain royalty payments made from Thailand and received by the Hong Kong branch of a Luxembourg company were taxable in Hong Kong.

Advised on multiple ‘offshore claim’ settlements with the Inland Revenue Department.

More about Stefano Mariani

  • Recognised as an Up and Coming lawyer for Tax: Hong Kong-based (International Firms) in Chambers Greater China Region (2022)
  • Recognised as an Up and Coming lawyer for Tax: Hong Kong Law (International Firms) (China) in Chambers Asia-Pacific (2021)
  • Recognised as Next Generation Partner for Domestic and International Corporate Tax in Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2020 – 2022)
  • Recommended Lawyer for Domestic and International Corporate Tax in Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2021-2022)

  • Department of Law of The University of Hong Kong – Adjunct Associate Professor
  • Hong Kong Trustees’ Association – Honorary Secretary
  • Lincoln’s Inn
  • Taxation Institute of Hong Kong
  • Asian Institute of International Financial Law – Honorary Fellow
  • Trust and Estate Practitioner (STEP)
  • Revenue Bar Association
  • International Fiscal Association (Hong Kong Branch)

Stefano has authored and co-authored a wide range of articles and books, notably:

Books

  • Hong Kong tax law: cases and materials (with Prof. Wilson Chow), LexisNexis Butterworths, ongoing: 2017 –
  • Encyclopaedia of Hong Kong Taxation (contributing author and editor, with Prof. Wilson Chow and Susan Leung), LexisNexis Butterworths, ongoing: 2016 –

Articles

  • ‘A critical assessment of the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department’s revised Departmental Interpretation and Practice Note No. 28 on the deductibility of foreign tax’ – Asia Pacific Journal of Taxation, 2019, Vol. 23, No. 2
  • ‘The Uneasy Relationship between Permanent Establishments and Section 14 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance’ – Asia Pacific Journal of Taxation, 2019, Vol. 23 No. 1
  • ‘On the source of interest in Hong Kong’ – Asia Pacific Tax Bulletin, forthcoming
  • ‘Source, residence, and the future of Hong Kong tax’ – Asia Pacific Journal of Taxation, 2017, Vol. 21, No. 2
  • ‘A critical analysis of the Hong Kong stamp duty implications of company amalgamations and the repurchase by a company of its own shares’ – Hong Kong Law Journal, 2017, Vol. 47, Part 2 (forthcoming)
  • ‘A critical assessment of the Inland Revenue Department’s revised and updated guidance on the tax consequences of company amalgamations’,  Asia Pacific Journal of Taxation, 2017, Vol. 21, No. 1 (forthcoming)
  • Ho Kwok Tai v Collector of Stamp Revenue [2016] 5 HKLRD 713 – analysis and implications’, Hong Kong Law Journal, 2017, Vol. 47, Part 1
  • ‘A critical and comparative assessment of the utilisation of losses in company amalgamations’, Asia Pacific Journal of Taxation, 2016, Vol. 20, No. 1
  • ‘On the source and taxation of royalties in Hong Kong’ – Asia Pacific Tax Bulletin, 2016, Vol.22, No.3
  • ‘Advance Rulings – Decline and Fall?’ – Tax Notes International, 2016, Vol. 81, No. 2
  • ‘The Taxation of Trusts in Hong Kong’ – Asia Pacific Tax Bulletin, 2015, Vol. 21, No. 6
  • ‘Hong Kong Stamp Duty Relief for Foreign Law Mergers’– Hong Kong Lawyer,October 2015
  • ‘The Taxation of Grants, Subsidies, and Similar Financial Assistance in Hong Kong’ – Asia Pacific Journal of Taxation, 2015, Vol. 18, No.2
  • ‘The Source of Dividends in Hong Kong Tax Law’ – Asia Pacific Tax Bulletin, 2015, Vol. 21, No. 3
  • ‘Traditional Chinese Religion trusts in Hong Kong’ – Trust & Trustees, June 2015, 21(5)
  • ‘Jersey and the Public International Law Dimensions of Sovereignty’ – The Jersey and Guernsey Law Review, 2013, Vol. 17 Issue 1

"Stefano Mariani’s grasp of Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department’s practice, attitudes and priorities is immensely helpful."

"Stefano Mariani is an excellent tax lawyer: highly knowledgeable, confident, clear in his advice and decisive."

"Stefano is able to provide advice about complex points of law. Stefano has both the academic knowledge and the ability to provide real-life solutions to legal issues."

"Stefano Mariani is considered a rising star in the tax space, offering advice on contentious and non-contentious matters. A client remarks: 'He is very knowledgeable and practical. He knows what the tax authority is looking for and how the rules and laws may be interpreted.'"

Languages

  • English
  • Italian
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish

Jurisdictions

  • Hong Kong
  • England and Wales
  • Solicitor Advocate

Portfolio Builder

Select the legal services that you would like to download or add to the portfolio

Download    Add to portfolio   
Portfolio
Title Type CV Email

Remove All

Download


Click here to share this shortlist.
(It will expire after 30 days.)