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Paul Sokolowski

About Paul

Paul Sokolowski is the practice leader of the taxation practice and advises a range of clients, including high-net-worth individuals, some of Australia's largest family groups and public corporations. With many years' experience in taxation law and administration, Paul has an enviable reputation for advising on, and managing, ATO compliance activity, rulings and tax dispute resolution, and providing technically astute, commercially sound and understandable taxation advice.

“He has a high level of attention to detail, a strong client focus and impressive ability to discern quickly what clients want to achieve.”

Client quotes, Chambers Asia Pacific

Regularly acting in high profile and complex tax audits and disputes, Paul has extensive experience in dealing with the ATO on large and complex matters.  Prior to joining Arnold Bloch Leibler, Paul held various positions with the ATO, the last of which was as a senior officer, in what is now the Public Groups and International division, of the ATO dealing with large tax matters.

Paul is recognised in the area of taxation in a number of prominent international guides to law firms. He is ranked among the leading taxation lawyers in Australia by Chambers Asia Pacific where he is recognised for his terrific tax knowledge and good commercial awareness”. The Legal 500 Asia Pacific  has noted that he is “highly regarded for his ‘technical strength’ and ‘commercial approach’”. Paul has been highlighted in successive editions of the Tax Directors Handbook, commenting that his “high technical standards are well balanced by his general commercial acumen”. Most recently, Paul was ranked by Doyle’s Guide as ‘pre-eminent’ in the category of ‘Leading Tax Lawyers – Victoria, 2016’ and ‘Leading Tax Lawyers – Victoria, 2017’.

Paul is a sought after writer and speaker on tax issues, having presented papers at conferences and seminars for tax professionals, and at in-house tax and GST seminars for clients, accounting firms and umbrella organisations. He has taught the Taxation of Trusts for Monash University’s Masters of Law program, and also makes representations to Government and the ATO on income tax and GST policy, legislation and rulings.

Paul holds a Bachelor of Commerce from The University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Laws with first class honours from Deakin University, where he was awarded the Supreme Court Prize. Paul is a member of the Deakin Law School Advisory Board, is a member of the Executive Committee of the Australian Branch of the International Fiscal Association, and a Chartered Tax Advisor of the Tax Institute of Australia. Paul became a partner of Arnold Bloch Leibler in 2001.

Practice focus

Paul’s practice focuses on the following areas:
  • ATO audits: advising clients on, and managing, all stages of ATO audits and reviews of clients’ income tax and GST affairs (mainly in relation to large business, high wealth and SME audits) and negotiating resolutions with the ATO in relation to the outcomes of the audits and reviews;
  • income tax advice: advising on the operation of, and the ATO’s practice in applying, income tax (and capital gains tax) laws to transactions or corporate and family group restructuring, including the implications of recent legislative and ATO policy initiatives;
  • GST advice: advising on the GST implications of transactions and dealings, in particular: investment in, and development of, property; non-resident entities investing in, or supplying, goods and services to Australia; Australian residents investing in, or providing, goods and services offshore; restructuring or sale of businesses; and settlements and litigation of disputes;
  • tax risk management: assessing and advising on tax risks and how those risks can be managed;
  • income tax and GST rulings: advising on, and obtaining, private rulings from the ATO in relation to income tax and GST matters; and
  • taxation alternative dispute resolution and litigation: resolving disputes with the ATO with respect to tax and administrative issues.

Directorships & memberships

Paul, a Chartered Tax Adviser of the Tax Institute and a member of the Taxation Committee of the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, continues to make an impact on developing and understanding tax law through those memberships. He also actively contributes to legislative, technical and policy debate.

Experience

Paul has advised clients on a range of taxation planning, structuring and litigation matters. He has extensive experience dealing with the ATO, settling large audits and resolving related disputes.

Recognition & publications

Take a look at Insights & News articles referencing Paul Sokolowski.