“With close to 20 years of experience in advising on indirect taxes, I still very much enjoy guiding my clients through the jungle that is tax law and regulations in this field. Even more so than is the case with direct taxes, it is absolutely crucial for a VAT advisor like myself to know exactly what my clients do.”
As an old Dutch saying goes: ‘to prevent is better than to cure.’ And that saying definitely applies to indirect taxation. I like to be involved from the start, from the very first ideas, in order to identify not only the risks, but also the opportunities.
VAT-legislation contains more exceptions than it does rules, and that makes it is easy to take a wrong turn along the way. Especially in the case of international transactions and business, that then leads to even more rules and exceptions applyting, for instance as a result of the often deviating local legislation that should then be taken into account.
Ever increasing automation and robotization has a big impact on how VAT is calculated and paid. And this development asks for a new approach to indirect tax advice: focus shifts from plain advice to advice-and-implementation. And the latter is exactly what I enjoy most. I like to stay involded with my clients after the advice has been drafted and the implementation phase starts, and even beyond then.
My experience has taught me that being a good advisor is not just about pure tax knowledge; the way you can tell the story is often even more important. This can require tactfulness and consideration, and I enjoy putting those to use in order to attain the best possible result for my clients.