Joanna Yap

Managing Director, Sabara Law LLC

Joanna Yap

Joanna Yap specialises in Singapore revenue and private client matters. She has more than 18 years of experience in advising client on all aspects of Singapore revenue law with a particular focus on corporate restructuring, cross-border mergers and acquisition, as well as asset acquisition transactions. She also has a proven track record of successfully managing tax disputes for clients with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). In addition, Joanna advises individuals and families on their estate planning encompassing wills, philanthropy, establishment of trust, family office and private trust companies, probate and administration and immigration to Singapore.

Joanna joined Deloitte Singapore in September 2021. Prior to joining the firm, Joanna’s previous work experience included a stint with the IRAS where she, in her position of Senior Legal Specialist, advised the authority on complex and novel points of Singapore revenue law, and represented the authority in hearings before the tribunals and the Singapore courts. She also had a stint as a Partner with the Tax and Private Client Division with an established Singapore law firm.

Joanna is an avid writer and frequently conducts training and seminars on revenue law and private client matters.

Professional memberships

  • Accredited Tax Practitioner (Income Tax & Goods and Services Tax), Singapore Chartered Tax Professionals
  • Member, Singapore Academy of Law
  • Member, Law Society of Singapore

Notable reported cases

  • Zhao Hui Fang and others v Commissioner of Stamp Duties [2017] SGHC 105―successfully acted for the taxpayer in a landmark and first case on the applicability of additional buyer’s stamp duties on the purchase of a residential property
  • Comptroller of Income Tax v AQQ and another appeal [2014] SGCA 15―successfully acted for the Comptroller in a landmark and first case on the application of Singapore tax avoidance provision on a restructuring and financing arrangement
  • Chief Assessor v HSBC Institutional Trust (Singapore) Ltd [2012] 3 SLR 933―successfully acted for the Chief Assessor to overturn a previous High Court decision on the exclusion of certain items from annual value in the computation of property tax
  • ABB v Comptroller of Income Tax [2010] 2 SLR 837―successfully acted for the Comptroller on the taxability of gains from the exercise of employee stock options by a deceased employee’s estate


  • Mergers and Acquisitions, International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (2016 onwards)
  • Singapore Chapter, The Tax Disputes and Litigation Review (4th Edition and 5th Edition), Law Business Research Limited
  • Goods and Services Tax- The Law and Practice (2nd Edition, 2015) LexisNexis.
Joanna Yap