Berlin Spring 2015


For our 2015 Spring conference in Berlin we spent a large part of the 1 1/2 days on looking at how technology has and will increasingly have an important role to play in the management of the VAT system, both within and outside of the EU for businesses and Governments - but at what cost to business? We had a round table discussion with the EU Commission and presentations from tax administrations as to how they see technology evolving. In addition we had workshops, technical updates - and a great opportunity for networking all in a very short timeframe.


Time: 21st and 22nd May 2015

The Berlin Conference started on Thursday 21 May 2015 at 13:30, and ended on Friday 22 May 2015 at no later than 17:00.


The Conference took place in the the Westin Grand Hotel in Berlin.

Westin Grand Hotel
Friedrichstraße 158 – 164,
Berlin 10117 Germany


View map in full screen.


Alessandro Garzon IVA Speaker

Alessandro Garzon

New incoming rules in Italy, related to the fight against VAT fraud

Alessandro Garzon is a Chartered accountant. Founder and partner of T.B.S Tax Back Service Srl. He is a member of the IVA since 1995 with his company T.B.S, founded in 1988. Ever since the beginning T.B.S takes care of VAT technical issues related to the field of transport. As from 1992 the VAT assistance has been enlarged to several other sectors (cars, pharmaceuticals, fashion, event arrangements, fertilizers, distance sales, catering, electronics, and so on). T.B.S. currently also carries out both VAT representation and VAT direct identification services.

Alessandro Garzon is a frequent speaker at seminars dealing with Italian VAT issues. He is the Chairman of Studio Garzon, which provides professional advice in the area of indirect taxation; technical assistance is mainly related to VAT issues referred to cross-border transactions and to public bodies.

Astrid Grünkorn - German Tax Administration

Working at Bundeszentralamt für Steuern (Federal Central Tax Office), being head of one of the divisions which deal with VAT refund applications
from foreign entrepreneurs who are not obliged to follow the general German tax proceedings.

She is also responsible for general questions concerning VAT refund.

 Cyrille Konter IVA Speaker

Cyrille Konter

Stream 2: Technology and VAT compliance: what is happening in France

Graduated from HEC in 1997 with a specialisation in Finances, Cyrille Konter started his career in Germany within various investment banks as structureur and seller of derivatives on action. In 2003, he returns to France to take over the business development of TEVEA International.

 Emmanuel Cotessat IVA Conference

Emmanuel Cotessat

Update VAT Forum & VAT Expert Group Cross Border rulings - where next

Emmanuel is a French tax lawyer specializing exclusively in indirect taxes (VAT, Excise and Customs duties). After 10 years of experience at Price Waterhouse Tax and Legal and then Arthur Andersen International, he started his own consulting law firm in 2000. He has specifically built a significant experience in international supply chain structuring, ERP/SAP VAT implementations and multi-national advisory and compliance coordination. His main areas of activity are pharmaceuticals, energy utilities, aeronautics and chemicals. He is a partner of VAT Forum CV and regularly lectures at international VAT events.

 Fatima Gouviea IVA Conference

Fatima Gouviea

Stream 2: Technology and VAT compliance: what is happening in Portugal

Fátima Gouveia is manager of Comark, Lda. She is involved in the analysis of international tax issues, including VAT compliance, cross-border operations and the application of conventions to avoid double taxation.

She holds a degree on Economics from the Oporto Faculty of Economics and Postgraduate Studies on Taxation.

Fernando Matesanz

Stream 2: Technology and VAT compliance: what is happening in Spain

Fernando Matesanz is the owner and Director of the firm named Spanish VAT Services Asesores SL. He Counts on more than twelve years of experience in providing advice in VAT and other Indirect Taxes.

Fernando holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Degree in European Legislation. He also holds a Master of Laws (LLM) in Corporate Tax Law from the IE Business School.

He is an active Tax Lawyer, member of the Bar and a certified Tax Advisor.

Fernando began his carrier within the VAT Group of Ernst & Young, managing the VAT and customs practice for more than eight years. After that, he founded the firm Spanish VAT Services Asesores SL a firm exclusively working on international VAT matters and other Indirect taxes. Spanish VAT Services is currently one of the main VAT services providers for small and medium-sized companies within the Spanish market.

Fernando regularly acts as speaker and lecturer in different Universities and organizations. He is also a member of the VAT Forum CV.

 Dr.Hans-Martin Grambeck - IVA Berlin Conference

Dr. Hans-Martin Grambeck

Stream 1: Application of Art 9a IR and MOSS / Scope of Art. 47 E‎C VAT directive - German position and experience

Dr. Hans-Martin Grambeck holds a degree in economics. He is a German VAT expert and a certified German tax advisor. He started his career 13 years ago in a mid-sized accounting and tax advisory firm, fully specialized in VAT when working in London in 2008 / 2009 and recently left PWC where he has worked as a senior manager in the Hamburg VAT team for nearly five years. He is now self-employed in a VAT boutique (nesemann Umsatzsteuerberatung) and has a personal focus on services, including e-services and offshore renewable energy activities, and European matters. He regularly publishes articles on VAT issues which also deal with problems arising from an incomplete harmonization of VAT. He works as a German contact for the IBFD VAT law link and gives VAT trainings in cooperation with professional education institutes such as Management Circle.

Jane Holmberg

Stream 1: Simplified Invoices and EU regulations

Jane E Holmberg, BSc (Hons)
Studied at the Management School, Bradford University, West Yorkshire, UK.
CEO, United Cash Back Ag.
Jane is a British citizen residing in Gothenburg, Sweden since 1994.
Jane started working for Cash Back in 1994.
Cash Back specialise in foreign VAT reclaim and have offices throughout Europe as well as the Middle East, South Africa and United States.

Katia Delfin Diaz IVA Speaker

Katia Delfin Diaz

Stream 2: Technology and VAT compliance: what is happening in Belgium

Strong with an experience of 22 years, holding a Master in Tax Law and passionate in VAT, Katia founded in January 2011 her own consultancy company OmniVAT Consulting in Brussels. Her VAT carrier began in the year 1993 and up to 2001, she developed her experience in VAT in some 'Big 4' consultancy companies where she could experience some international projects on VAT but also on customs matters. From 2001 to 2010, Katia worked for the 'VAT House' where she began to give seminars on Belgian and European VAT topics. She is also specialized in Incoterms and she is the author of two books : Le Remboursement de la TVA au sein de l’Union européenne et le Vademeccum de la facturation. Katia regularly gives trainings, seminars and workshops in the VAT field sometimes combined with customs matters and with Incoterms for different specialized companies or Chambers of Commerce.

 Marc Wolf IVA Conference Berlin

Marc Wolf

Technology and VAT - the two sides of the same coin?, Purchase Listings

Marc Wolf graduated in history and economic sciences and began his career as a teacher.
A graduate from the French National School of Administration ( ENA) he joined the French Tax Administration in 1989 where, over the years, he became Assistant Director. His areas of activity are income tax, data processing, tax audits and more specifically VAT.
He took part in the European Union Council Working Groups as the French representative on VAT from 2004 to 2011.

Now retired, he writes in numerous papers specialised in politics and taxes and works more specifically on the modernisation of tax management through communication and data processing.
He is an honorary Member of the European VAT Professionals Association (APTE).

Marja van den Oetelaar IVA Speaker

Marja van den Oetelaar

Discussion on a number of differences between the various EU countries

Marja van den Oetelaar has a university degree in tax law. After working for several years as a VAT specialist in two of the BIG4 firms, she started her own company, The Vat Consultancy Firm, at Naarden in the Netherlands. Since 2002, The VAT Consultancy Firm has been advising internationally operating companies on VAT issues. On behalf of several tax institutions, she lectures on VAT. She has also published several books and articles on VAT.

Mark O'Riordan IVA Conference

Mark O'Riordan

Stream1: VAT Brief and IVA Lobbying

Mark O'Riordan is Chairman & Chief Executive in Meridian. Mark joined Meridian in 1998 and was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive in October 2004. Prior to this he was Operations Manager at BBL Finance Ireland, an international merchant bank based in the International Financial Services Centre in Dublin. Since 1998, Mark has held a variety of executive positions within Meridian, namely Operations Director, Managing Director North America, Client Services Director EMEA and Director of Business Services, Mark also had responsibility for the Groups Treasury requirements during this time. 

Mark took over the position of Chairman and Chief Executive in 2004 having acquired a vast knowledge of the business and the company.

Mark is a qualified Chartered Accountant (FCA) and holds an MBA from The Open University.

Prof. Paolo Centore Speaker

Prof. Paolo Centore

Technology and VAT - the two sides of the same coin?, Split Payments

Paolo Centore, tax lawyer and senior partner at PC&A-Studio P.Centore & Associati (law firm in Milan, Genoa and Rome which provides a wide range of legal resources, especially in tax matters), is untenured professor at University of Parma, lecturer on the Post-graduate Tax Master course at University of Genoa, tenured professor at the Central School of the National Tax Police, professor at the High School of Economic and Finance of the Italian tax administration and professor and coordinator of the post-graduate Master in tax law at IPSOA–Wolters Kluwer. He is often speaker at national and international conferences. As Senior Partner of PC&A, he organized several conferences in the tax field. Paolo Centore is member of two research committees of the Italian Association of Accountants and member of the Vat Expert Group at the European Commission for the periods 2012-2014 and 2014-2016. He is author of over 25 publications on tax matters and he took part in the preparation of 5 collections. He is also a member of scientific committees of specialized tax journals and he has also made several contributions to Italian tax reviews and financial newspapers”.

Riccardo Cassisa Speaker

Riccardo Cassisa

Italian Tax Administration

Riccardo Cassisa has a degree in Economics and got a Master in Business Administration.

Since 2002 he has been working as an official at several operational offices of the Revenue Agency, dealing with analysis, prevention and fighting of tax evasion and fraud.

From September 2007 to February 2008 he was seconded as “National Expert in Professional Training” at the Internal Audit Capability of Directorate General Enlargement – European Commission.

In August 2011 Riccardo joined the Exchange of Information Unit of Central Directorate for Tax Assessment, being part of working groups aimed at tackling international cases of tax evasion and fraud.

In June 2014 he moved to the Directives Unit of the Governance Sector, which is in charge of defining the strategy of the assessment activity with a specific focus on all the Vat and customs issues.

Rolf Aßmus - German Tax Administration

Working at the Financial Administration in Offenburg. This Administration is responsible for all companies based in France, which are obliged to register in Germany following the general German Tax procedure.

Currently there are 3.500 French companies and organisations which are registered for VAT. The amount of the collected VAT is approx. € per year. The amount of the refunds to the French companies is approx. 200.000.000.- € per year.

Mr. Aßmus is working for this division and he is also responsible for general questions in connection to the EU internal market.

 Rita de la Feria IVA Berlin Conference 2015

Prof. Rita de la Feria

VAT Anti-Fraud Policy, Third Party Liability and the Rule of Law

Rita de la Feria is Professor of Law at Durham University, and Programme Director at the Centre for Business Taxation, Oxford University. She received her law degree from the University of Lisbon, and did her PhD at the University of Dublin, Trinity College. Her research focus primarily on tax law issues and EU constitutional law, and has published widely on these areas, including four books, and over 40 articles and book chapters.

She is regularly invited to speak on tax issues at conferences and seminars around the world on these topics, presenting to academic and practitioner audiences, and providing training to the judiciary, and to tax administrations. Her work on tax policy and on prohibition of abuse of law is regularly cited by courts across Europe, including the EU Court of Justice, and has supported various policy documents emerging from the EU institutions and the IMF. She has been Adviser to the Portuguese Government on VAT Policy, and has given evidence before the UK House of Lords’ enquiry into taxing corporations.

 Dr.Stefan Maunz - IVA Madrid Conference - May 2014

Dr. Stefan Maunz

Technical Update, ECJ Cases

Dr. Stefan Maunz advises clients on all VAT matters and represents them in dealings with the tax authorities and before the tax courts, the German Federal Finance Court and the European Court of Justice. The majority of his clients consist of larger medium sized businesses, German corporate groups and foreign companies of all sizes. He regularly lectures on VAT topics at both the domestic and international level. A further important focus is advising on customs issues, in particular, those connected with import VAT.

Dr. Stefan Maunz is a visiting lecturer at the University of Munich and a member of various national and international VAT research groups and VAT clubs as well as a partner of VAT Forum C.V. He was recently appointed to the European VAT Expert Group and is also a member of the EU VAT Forum. Both groups have recently been established by the EU Commission.

Dr. Stefan Maunz is recommended as a leading taxation lawyer in Chambers, World Tax Handbook as well as the German JUVE-Handbook.

Stephen Dale IVA Conference

Stephen Dale

Update VAT Forum & VAT Expert Group Cross Border rulings - where next 

Stephen Dale is a partner in the Indirect Tax group and compliance services in Landwell and has worked in French taxation for more than twenty years, having previously worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers in the UK.

Stephen is a member (and former Chairman) of the FEE (Fédération des Experts Comptables Européens) indirect tax working party and a  member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales VAT Committee (and former Chairman). He represents the IVA on the EU VAT Forum and is a member of the OECD’s  Global VAT Forum.

He is a board member of the Association de la Pratique de la TVA européenne (APTE).

Stephen is also President of the International VAT Association. He is the author of several publications like VAT Yearbook – Kluwer, VAT Guides – PwC, Articles – International Indirect Tax, BNA, journals and newspapers. 


The best VAT Conference I have been to.

Rolf Assmus


Thank you so much for a great conference arrangement. We really enjoyed it and found it very interesting. Very good topics but also nice to get the opportunity to meet the other members of the association. Now we really look forward to the next meeting.

Hans Creutzer


Just a short note to thank you and your team for an excellent organised event in Berlin last week. I really enjoyed the event, the Conference content, Venue and the quality of the speakers.

Mike Molony


The conference was very helpful for me and we are lucky that we have joined IVA.

Hans-Martin Grambeck


Thank you for all the arrangement and for inviting me to participate. I was impressed with IVA.

Bjarnfreður Ólafsson


Ich danke nochmals ganz herzlich für den freundlichen Empfang in Berlin. Die Organisation und die Veranstaltung selbst waren einfach super.

Rolf Aßmus


Thank you very much for the invitation to attend the Berlin conference, it was great to meet everyone and I really liked the technical discussions as well. 

Alina Zarzu


En vous remerciant de nouveau à la fois de la qualité de votre accueil à Berlin, et de votre disponibilité personnelle.

Marc Wolf


Excellent as usual.

Bart O’Toole


 The conference was interesting and informative.

Tsveta Alinska

I appreciated the Conference (with regards to themes, speakers & attendees) very much, and reported both IVA and its events as interesting and relevant for our VAT function.

Carlo Petroni


In addition to the two special events we marked last week; the IVA's 21st Birthday and over 100 members at the event; the quality of the presentations from our guest speakers and our member speakers was at an exceptionally high level. In addition, it is this mix of the detailed presentations on the daily working of the VAT system, to the very genuine concerns being expressed as to the direction that EU VAT legislation and jurisprudence is taking, that makes the IVA unique.

Stephen Dale


Thank you very much for the organisation of the conference in Berlin. The topics treated were of excellent quality.

 Jean Claude Bouchard


Great work, very good organization and interesting topics.

Pedro Pestana


Thank you again for a well organised conference with some interesting guest speakers.

Jane Holmberg


It was a pleasure to participate this successful conference in Berlin and we will certainly meet again for the next conference in Brussels.

 Katia Delfin Diaz


I enjoyed the conference very much!

Marja van den Oetelaar


It was a great conference indeed.

Catarina Belim


Excellent team.

Pedro Soares da Silva


I had a very pleasant time during the conference and my stay in Berlin!

Gijs Otten

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Disclaimer:  The information contained in the present page is general and does not constitute legal advice. Before taking any decision or action on the above information you should take the appropriate professional advice.