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Brussels Conference

18 May 2022, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

VAT in the Digital Age

E-Invoicing for European Companies

Since the introduction of E-Invoicing in the area of public procurement, the E-invoicing systems are rapidly changing. Today, several EU Member States have E-Invoicing systems in place which cover all kinds of invoices. This should reduce the susceptibility to fraud of the existing VAT systems and reduce the VAT gap. Besides this, cost cutting for taxable businesses is an additional aim.

Italy and other countries have electronic clearance systems in operation; as from 2024, France wants to introduce its own system and Germany now is also planning to implement an E-Invoicing system.

On the basis of its action plan for fair and simple taxation, the European Commission plans to modernise the VAT reporting obligations before the end of this year. It intends to present a framework for the safe transmission of digital invoice data via electronic reporting systems and possibly clearance procedures.

The introduction of such digital systems for the recording and the exchange of digital invoice data drastically changes the work flows of the fiscal authorities as well as the companies and their tax advisers.

Discuss with us and our guests from European politics and Experts about

  • the advantages and disadvantages of the introduction of reporting and clearance systems for the digital recording and the exchange of e-invoicing data,
  • the need for harmonisation at European level and
  • the experiences of the EU Member States with the use of digital solutions for data recording and VAT-reporting systems based on a “best-practice” approach.


17:00:  Reception

17:30:  Welcome speech: Dr. Holger Stein, Vice-President of BStBK

17:45:  Keynote: Patrice Pillet, Head of Unit VAT, DG TAXUD, European Commission

             Presentation of the EU-Initiative “VAT in the Digital Age”

             Where does the European Commission stand with regard to E-Invoicing?

18:00:  Panel – E-Invoicing: The Digital Added Value

  • Dr. Andreas Strub, Head of Unit Tax Policy, Customs Union and Export Credits, ECOFIN Council
  • Patrice Pillet, Head of Unit VAT, DG TAXUD, European Commission
  • StB/WP Christian Böke, Vice-President of DStV
  • Moderator: Dr. Stefanie Becker, Tax adviser and VAT expert

19:00:  Reception

Simultaneous interpretation: DE/EN

Location: Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to the EU - Rue Montoyer 47, 1000 Brussels

Brussels Conference

17 November 2021, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

The anti-money-laundering package 2021

The role of professional law in the fight against money laundering

Every year money laundering and terrorist financing cause serious damage to our society. For this reason, the European Commission presented a comprehensive legislative package to fight money laundering in July 2021.

The plans include, among others, the establishment of an EU authority to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Furthermore, in order to improve the coordination between the Member States, the existing regulatory framework shall be bundled and incorporated into directly applicable EU law.

The proposal for a new anti-money-laundering regulation aims to ensure that the obliged entities, like tax advisers, have the same obligations across the EU. At the same time, the due diligence obligations shall be extended by broadening the collection of data of the clients. This however threatens to further reduce the professional secrecy of tax advisers at the detriment of the client relationships.

In Germany, the Chambers of tax advisers are the supervisory authorities of tax advisers and tax agents, and due to their self-administration, they are competent for imposing fines in the event of violations of anti-money laundering rules.

We are looking forward to a fascinating discussion with European policy makers!


3:30 p.m.: Registration and coffee

4:00 p.m.: Welcome Speech StB Torsten Lüth, President of the German Tax Advisers Association (DStV)
4:15 p.m.: Keynote speech: Alexandra Jour-Schroeder, Deputy Director General DG FISMA, European Commission: Presentation of the new anti-money laundering proposals

4:30 p.m.: Panel discussion

  • Markus Ferber MEP, Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on Tax Matters in the European Parliament (EPP/CSU)
  • Alexandra Jour-Schroeder, Deputy Director General DG FISMA, European Commission
  • Dr. Holger Stein, Vice President of the Federal Chamber of Tax Advisors (BStBK), Germany
  • Moderation: Hendrik Kafsack

5:30 p.m.: Snack and finish

Sofitel Place Jourdan 1, 1040 Brussels

Second Brussels Professional Law Dialogue

24 February 2021, 1 :30 p.m. – 2 :30 p.m.

The future of professional law

The second Brussels Professional Law Dialogue on “The future of professional law” took place on February 24, 2021. The President of BStBK, Prof. Hartmut Schwab and the President of the Mecklenburg-West Pomerania Association of Tax Advisers, Torsten Lüth, debated with MEP Evelyne Gebhardt (SPD) and Martin Frohn from the European Commission about internal market issues, proportionality and future challenges in the professional law of tax advisers.

Prof. Schwab questioned why the EU Commission tried again and again to soften national professional law. He went on saying that the professional regulations in particular guaranteed a high quality of services. In addition, the profession was quite ready to adapt its regulations to applicable EU law. Several examples over the past few years clearly had shown this.

Mr Frohn said that the main concern of the Commission was to ensure that the internal market functions and that the proportionality of the regulations is maintained. In his view, for the Commission it is positive that tax advisers in Germany have been appointed as a trustworthy authority.

Ms. Gebhardt and Mr. Lüth discussed the role that national professional law could play in a future that appears to be borderless due to digitalisation. Both agreed that the country of destination principle, i.e. the application of the law of the country where the recipient of the respective service is located, must take precedence in the reorganization of the digital EU internal market.

First Brussels Professional Law Dialogue

29 October 2020, 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

The future of the free movement of services

Free travel and work across Europe are part of the European way of life and are a prerequisite for a functioning internal market. The restrictions on the freedom to provide services and travel due to Corona measures were a shock for many Europeans and an economic fiasco for many service providers. Together with Europe's decision-makers, we now want to discuss possible solutions on how we can strengthen the internal market without neglecting consumer protection, quality, subsidiarity and the fight against tax evasion.

Tax advisers are recognized as a compliance authority and the most important point of contact for their clients. In times of crisis, they provide system-relevant services to maintain economic strength.

At the start of our series of our “Brussels Professional Law Dialogues”, we look forward to discussing strategies for the free movement of services in the future with MEPs Marion Walsmann (EPP) and Anna Cavazzini (Greens/EFA) and thus contributing to a functioning and resilient internal market.

Thank you for the active participation in our first Brussels Professional Law Dialogue on October 29, 2020.