2011 will mark my 20th anniversary as a global VAT expert, and after almost 10 years in the U.S. I felt that it was time to build my own business. Not as a 'start-up', but as a 'follow-on'.
The consultancy business is a people's business.
I am offering the experience, track-record and global network of a Big 4 professional, with the personal approach of a boutique firm.
Even though the U.S. does not have a VAT there is plenty of work to do here. Every U.S. company that ventures outside of the U.S. will be confronted with VAT sooner or later.
Only a handful of the Fortune Top 100 companies have an established VAT strategy - most just seem to wing it and address VAT issues when and where they arise. More often than not, they miss out on important VAT savings opportunities. Sometimes, mis-management of VAT - the average rate is 20% in Europe - turns a comfortably profitable operation in a
But even so, my interest is in the mid-size multinationals. VAT is often the first tax issue they face in developing international business, and their accountants or tax advisers may not immediately have a practical approach available.
An initial meeting with the finance and operational teams, in front of a white-board, typically leads to a fruitful exchange of options and alternatives.
A solution is generally found, and a strategy developed to avoid pitfalls, improve compliance and cash-flow.
I enjoy teaching - it is part of the support I provide to U.S. businesses and I got plenty experience in doing that. Seminars, Youtube videos, webcasts – I even did a iTunes podcast! And back in the Netherlands I taught almost 100 seminars on new VAT rules for used-car dealers.
Besides teaching, I also publish articles on VAT - from VAT '101' to more technical as well as academic articles. And I co-authored the first book about tax on online sales.
A new essay on VAT in the U.S. is scheduled to be published by the end of 2010.