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Business As Usual

LMA Law lawyer stresses importance of paying taxes

Philstar.com
LMA Law lawyer stresses importance of paying taxes
When Atty. Ma. Louella "Peaches" Aranas established LMA Law in 2015, she made sure it would focus on taxation and corporate law.

For lawyer Ma. Louella "Peaches" Aranas, the best way to contribute to nation-building as a Filipino is to pay proper taxes. The 54-year-old law practitioner makes it her personal advocacy to “change one tax payer at a time” to help the national economy. 

Thus, when Atty. Peaches established LMA Law in 2015, she made sure it would focus on taxation and corporate law. The law firm, where she is now a managing partner, has gathered a team of individuals who are equally passionate, creative and qualified advocates in offering solutions to issues pertaining to taxes and corporate practices. 

“I intend to contribute to the country by encouraging people to pay the right taxes, which I believe is every Filipino’s duty not an obligation,” Atty. Peaches shares. 

Tax and corporate expertise 

As a faculty member of the Lyceum of the Philippines University College of Law, Atty. Peaches aims to mentor her students about tax laws. “Taxation is important and should be taught as something integral to life and not just a subject in law school,” she says, with the conviction that helping people put up the right attitude towards this patriotic duty would help make a difference.

A graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University, where she completed her Bachelor of Laws and Juris Doctor degree, Atty. Peaches has accumulated more than 20 years of experience in corporate and private tax practice — over 10 years in leadership roles in SGV & Co and about 2 years in KPMG Laya Mananghaya & Co. 

Atty. Peaches’ key areas of expertise include the design and implementation of unique and legitimate tax avoidance and corporate tax planning schemes. She is also the lawyer of choice of high net worth families who seek effective estate planning, ensuring that the heirs will have nothing to fight about. She has a reputation of handling and closing BIR audit examinations or tax refunds expediently but can take this to the Court of Tax Appeals, if needed.

Other advocacies 

Through the years, Atty. Peaches has pursued other advocacies. In 2007, she co-founded ACCESS with the goal of changing how practicing lawyers in the country usually view mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE). “Before ACCESS, many lawyers think MCLE is just a waste of time. By making it more interesting and convenient, we aim to make them look at it as an opportunity for continued learning and professional growth,” she says.

Thus, the learning center has not just pioneered innovations but also pushed for digitalization of MCLE in the Philippines, which the Supreme Court approved months before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. ACCESS has since become the leader in online MCLE for Filipino lawyers. 

In 2018, Atty. Peaches launched The Sandy Project, a dengue awareness and prevention campaign among school-aged children. This personal advocacy does not touch on the practice of law, unlike her other causes, but it is definitely one that is closest to her heart after losing a daughter to the disease. Despite her hectic schedule, she has gone to various schools in the metro as well as in Bulacan, the Bicol region and even to as far as Negros Occidental for the initiative. 

With all these advocacies, Atty. Peaches hopes to leave various forms of legacy. Changing people’s attitude towards the obligation to pay taxes, developing the right mindset among lawyers about continuous education, and helping make communities safer against preventable diseases are the cards on her table. Atty. Peaches is an advocate for a better Philippines.

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MA. LOUELLA ARANAS

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