UNRAVELLING THE TAX TANGLE
The amount of money required to pay for public services is determined by the multicoloured spectrum of political parties based on society’s needs and wishes at the time. This money is raised via a capricious collection of legislation and it is the duty of the Tax and Customs Administration (Dutch: Belastingdienst) to sort it all out. Consistency of policy and enforcement is practically impossible, and as a result, the Tax and Customs Administration is constantly playing catch-up. You and your business are expected to navigate this tangled web of rules, regulations and red tape and it’s down to you to identify your obligations and opportunities.
There are two university courses that explore all of the facets of tax policy and its execution, one of which I completed during my studies. My career so far has been dedicated to unravelling this tax tangle, which has taught me where to find the loose threads and given me a sixth sense for what they are caught on. I know which strings I need to pull and which need to be left alone, which enables me to give tailor-made advice. However to do this, the working environment has to be right.
Experience has taught me that successful and satisfactory advice has to be based on three key elements: efficiency, effectivity and transparency. If any of these are absent, then the advice can get as tangled as the tax system.
I studied tax law at Tilburg University and have continually enriched my expertise ever since by participating in all kinds of fiscal and financial seminars and courses. After graduation, I spent several years working as a tax inspector at the Tax and Customs Administration. After a few years of working for the government, my entrepreneurial spirit drove me to switch sides and work for a renowned regional firm. Later, I accepted a job at one of the ‘big four’ tax firms in the Netherlands, although after a couple of years, I realised I missed being around entrepreneurs and moved on to an SME firm with an extensive network of offices. I was slowly growing tired of the hypercompetitive atmosphere of the big firms, with their endless meetings, unproductive progress reviews, quibbles about what can and can’t be charged to expenses and constant evaluations all the way up the ladder to partnership, with the sole purpose of making more and more money. I got tired of this ‘promotion bureaucracy’ and decided to get out. It was a big decision: a drastic and permanent step, but one I had to make: I was determined to do things my way. Initially, I worked as part of a collective of independent business advisors who would work together, bounce ideas off each other and help one another. It was a different concept, but with the same pitfalls. So I decided to break away once more and fully focus on what I’m passionate about and what I trained for.
I now solely focus on tax consultancy. I have a wealth of experience at both the national and international level and I can now devote almost all of my time to my clients. I’m no longer distracted or hindered by all the unnecessary bureaucracy and office politics that only detract from the quality of the advice. I know what I’m good at, what skills I have and where my limits are. If your business interests require different expertise, I will tell you right away and call upon a select group of experts. I refer to these specialists as my partners, as we work together really well. When choosing which specialist partner to engage, my sole interest is your interest. And if you already have the right kind of professionals in house, then I’ll be happy to be part of your team. I’ve found my place, my concept works and both I and my clients are very happy!