UK and Dutch Brexit Teams Preparing for Kick-Off
By Toon Hasselman, EJP Accountants & Adviseurs
Whilst writing this, it is 36 degrees outside, and inside, I just saw that Boris Johnson won the Conservative leadership contest and should become the UK’s new prime minister tomorrow (24 July 2019). Boris is a hard-line Brexiteer who has vowed to take the UK out of the EU by 31 October, with or without a deal and at any cost. However, the UK Parliament is not so sure it wishes to leave with the currently tabled deal nor without any deal, and the EU has indicated that it will not renegotiate the deal. With Boris as Prime Minister, a no-deal scenario has become more likely and it was exactly that scenario that first raised our (the Indirect Taxes PG) idea of forming Brexit teams per country. We have been pushing this idea for two years, and it is exactly where we stand and what we need right now.
After my short break, Steve McCrindle and I picked up where we left off in early January. For the past couple of weeks, we have been busy preparing a hotline between the UK and the Netherlands for UK companies that need to set up in the Netherlands and Dutch companies in need of UK assistance (there are some). The focus is on this “line” because it appears that UK companies have a great taste for the Netherlands.
We have formed Quick Response Teams (QRTeams) on both sides of the Channel captained by Steve (UK) and me (NL).
The Dutch core team consists of EJP (coordination, tax, and accounting), Teekens Karstens (public notary and law), and a professional services company (e.g. know your client investigations, professional directorship, domiciliation, and bank account management).
The UK core team is mainly located within Haines Watts.
If necessary, we bring all sorts of specialists to the table to help the client in all possible ways (e.g. customs specialists, IT integration whiz kids, and logistics companies).
Within the core team, we work with a dedicated group of professionals that all know each other and are prepared to think and look outside their own profession, so nobody drops the ball in somebody else’s court: to serve the client is everybody’s goal. The clients will have a single point of communication (a virtual one-stop shop) and are unburdened as much as possible. All communications are to be routed via the team captains.
We have reason to believe that the next wave of companies to hit the continent will be coming from the US. Many US companies will realise sooner or later that Brexit will have an impact on their EU business and that the UK is perhaps no longer the best place through which to route their EU-bound goods. Regardless, they will need an unburdened and effcient way to route their goods from the UK into the EU.
We also believe that there are many businesses that are still prevaricating, waiting to see if the UK and the EU agree a deal acceptable to the UK Parliament, or if there will be a “nodeal” Brexit on 31 October 2019, before taking any action on routes to market and attaching advisory needs. We anticipate that the need for QRTeams will extend well beyond this date.
In our PG session at the forthcoming GGI World Conference in Marrakesh, we expect to be able to share our experiences on the working of the QRTeams and see if we can set up the same kind of teams in other EU member states. Suggestions and active participation are very welcome!
Toon HasselmanGGI member firm
EJP Accountants & Adviseurs
Auditing & Accounting, Corporate Finance, Tax
s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
T: +31 73 850 72 80
EJP Accountants & Adviseurs are auditors, advisers, and challengers. Their 40 auditors and international tax lawyers have a wide range of expertise. Their main fields of expertise are Dutch corporate and personal income tax, international taxation, Dutch royalty, interest and dividend withholding tax, estate planning, and wage tax. They have an AFM license to perform audits for the larger mid-size companies.
Toon Hasselman is an experienced (30 years) high-level VAT and customs specialist to both national and international companies. He provides simple and practical solutions and quick “outsidethe- box” alternatives if necessary, and promotes a no-nonsense approach with a conclusive solution at fair cost. Toon is also the Global Vice-Chairperson of the GGI Indirect Taxes Practice Group.
Published: Indirect Taxes Newsletter, No. 09 Autumn 2019 l Photo: Martin - stock.adobe.com