Sim Ho began his tax law career with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore where he advised the Authority principally on Corporate Income Tax, Goods and Services Tax, and tax treaty negotiations.
Sim Ho is dual-qualified as a lawyer and Chartered Accountant. He is a barrister of England and Wales, called by Lincoln’s Inn, and an Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore. He is a Fellow Chartered Accountant in Singapore, member of the Singapore Institute of Directors, an Accredited Tax Advisor for Income Tax and GST of the Singapore Institute of Accredited Tax Professionals, an Alumni Advisory Board member at the Nanyang Business School, NTU, and a member of the Valuation Review Board. Sim Ho also sits on the boards of AIA Singapore Pte Ltd.
Sim Ho’s forte lies in the truly multi-disciplinary approach that he brings to his cases. His approach incorporates legal, finance, risk governance, and accounting perspectives. Sim Ho is also well recognised by clients and peers for his critical and rigorous legal analysis and conceptual thinking towards problem solving. During the past 20 years, he has built a substantive practice-focus in tax litigation and dispute resolution. He also has expertise in oil and gas matters. Clients appreciate his willingness to make judgment calls when it comes to grey areas, as well as his extensive industry experience and commercial perspective.
Sim Ho is regularly approached for his counsel opinion and representation in the more complex and unique capital allowances disputes with the IRAS. He has led the following cases:
- Capital allowance claims by an international hotel group for a unique structure that the IRAS claimed was part of the buildings whereas a case was made after detailed engineering analysis that the structure was in fact ornamental and formed part of the plant of the hotel business.
- A novel point of law arose in a case concerning balancing charge in the context of whether a real estate investment trust is controlled by its sponsors.
- A multi-hundred million claim in respect of new generation maritime structures as plant for the purposes of complex shipbuilding and repair businesses.
- The potential liability for balancing charges arising from the decommissioning and sale of gas production plants.
Chambers Asia Pacific
Tax 2019 – Leading lawyer for 9 years
Ong Sim Ho wins a lot of praise for his flexible approach and depth of knowledge in the tax area, with one client emphasising: “The most important thing is his technical understanding and how creative he is. No one in Singapore can cut through the issues like him. He is very, very strong.”
He is regarded as the leading expert for tax dispute cases and is frequently instructed on high stake litigations.
He has a reputation for being a smart and effective litigator. As one source noted, “he was technically sound, and offered strategic advice on a complex tax matter.”
He is praised for coming up with “very constructive ideas.” Sources also note that “his wealth of knowledge on precedents allows him to give an immediate response to any kind of question.”
Asia Pacific Legal 500
Tax 2019 – Leading Individual for 10 years
A “tax lynchpin” at the Singapore tax bar.
Ong Sim Ho is recommended for his “critical thinking” and “analytic skills”.
He is also commended for his “truly superior knowledge”.
Asialaw Leading Lawyers
Taxation 2018 – Sole Leading lawyer
International Tax Review
Tax Controversy Leaders 2018 – Leading individual for 6 years
“Ong Sim Ho has demonstrated very good knowledge and in-depth understanding of the Singapore income tax regulations and has provided very concise and comprehensive analysis of our tax issue.”
The Tax Director’s Handbook
Leading lawyer 2015 for 2 consecutive years