Athens Autumn Conference 2019

Topic: Fixing VAT on trade in Europe

Dates: 17th and 18th October 2019

The Commission clearly set out its strategy for modernising the EU VAT system in its Action Plan in April 2016(1). We are now 3 and half years later. At our October conference we will look not only at the progress that has been made, but also the challenges still to overcome to “fix VAT in the EU” which has become one of the major issues for businesses, for Member States and for … the Commission. Implementation of new rules (quick fixes, e-commerce platforms, vouchers, Customs, new digital proposals, SMEs, rates; financial services and the definitive system for goods) is essential to ensure compliance, level-playing fields and the elimination of VAT fraud. Cooperation and collaboration between businesses and authorities will clearly be key and Brexit will be round the corner.   Our forthcoming conference in Athens will address all of these issues.



The conference will take place in the Royal Olympic Hotel.

Athanasiou Diakou 28,
117 43 Athens,



View map in full screen.



Akatsuki Fuchigami - IVA Conference - June 2021

Akatsuki Fuchigami, OPTI (Japan)

After studying at the University of Texas, Aki began his career in supporting European and African sales as Overseas Sales Department at Seiko Instruments Inc., After Seiko, Aki has moved for Finance and Tax Service at PT. ORIX Indonesia Finance in Indonesia for 4 years. Aki then established the Tax Strategy Division at Lowendal Masai Co., Ltd. (currently Ayming Japan), as a European taxation strategy consultant after few months stay at group companies of LowendalMasai such in the UK, IT, NL, FR, ES, etc. While working in Japan, Aki developed a new tax consulting solution in Japan, earning himself over 100 clients. In 2010, Aki and his colleagues established OPTI Inc. on 11th November 2010. OPTI Inc had been specializing in VAT/JST/Sales Tax consulting. Aki advised and wrote a tax article on the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI). 

Today, in the Tax Division / Data Division, we provide services to more than 400 clients mainly in major manufacturing industries.

In 2012, OPTI acquired general agent right of company database "OneSource" developed by Avention (now acquired by Dun and Bradstreet) in the United States. Aki established One Source Japan Co., Ltd. as a group company on January 10, 2013, and assumed office as Representative Director of the company. One Source Japan Co., Ltd. developed a service in Japan together with Nikkei Media Marketing Co., Ltd., a distributor, and has now established it as a most known company database service used in companies of the consulting industry and financial institutions.

Together with Tax consulting solutions, OPTI has been in the specialty of M&A support in the Asian area.

Anne Falvey - IVA Conference - June 2021

Anne Falvey, GB Business Global (Ireland)

Joint owner of GB Business Global a leading specialist in business tax reclaim, expense processing, expense auditing and many business outsourcing services. GBBG works with businesses of all sizes to offer a professional, efficient and personal service that will improve their bottom line. Experience collected through many years within the Taxation industry in the area of Income Tax PAYE, VAT, Number of startups registrations and accounting record database implementation.

Joint owner of Nilan Ireland & United Kingdom registered in Ireland in Nov 2009, offering mechanical heating, ventilation and hot water systems, solutions and designs to passive house and low-energy designed buildings. Whilst working with Passive House Designers/Consultants, Architects, technologies, home builders and self-builders.

Member of Irish Taxation Institute. Tax compliance Adviser for Indirect Tax, Capital Gains tax, Corporation Tax, PAYE, Accounting and Taxation Law. Specialising in Business VAT refunding Domestic, 8th & 13th Directive of VAT Act. Business strategy development / sales / Web Lead Research, Preparation and startup of new business complexities of registration completion and marketing analytics.
Proactive Lead generation: Exhibitions, telemarketing, web research, CRM Database, Advertising legislation (Legal, decent & honest requirements) coordinating exhibition events & resources. Certified in :Advanced Sales Development Certificate (ICM)- Communication & Team Management, Interpersonal Communication (Cork University, Dept of Applied Psychology), PR & Press Relations at Irish Academy of Public Relations, Dublin. ITEC Diploma in Anatomy Physiology & Body Massage and First degree in Reiki Usui Shiki Ryoho.

Dr. Carsten Höink - IVA Conference - June 2021

Dr. Carsten Höink, AWB Steuerberatungsgesellschaft mbH (Germany)

Carsten Höink is a lawyer and Certfified Tax Adviser in Germany, and Managing Director/Partner at AWB Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH. He is an academic lecturer at the University of Münster, Westphalia and a guest lecturer at the Federal Finance Academy of the Federal Ministry of Finance in Germany, Berlin. Carsten is also a trainer and speaker for various seminar providers. He is a former partner at a Big4 auditing firm specialising in indirect tax services.

Carsten is an author on excise law, especially VAT (also co-author of Offerhaus/Söhn/Lange, Kommentar zum Umsatzsteuerrecht sowie Kirchhoff/Söhn/Mellinghaus, Kommentar zum Einkommensteuerrecht).

He is an expert in VAT and other excise tax, representation in financial disputes both in and out of court, VAT-related process optimisation and supply chain management. Carsten is an author of expert reports, provider of initial consultation and support in VAT-related aspects of external taxation audits and criminal tax proceedings.

Cyrille Konter - IVA Conference - June 2021

Cyrille Konter, TEVEA International (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.

Prof. Dr. David Hummel - IVA Conference - June 2021

Prof. Dr. David Hummel, European Court of Justice (Luxemburg)

David Hummel is since October 2016 legal secretary (référendaire) at the European Court of Justice at the cabinet of advocate general Kokott.

Before (2013 – 2016) he represented several tax law chairs at the Universities of Münster, Trier, Leipzig and Hamburg. In mid-2017 the appointment as a Professor at the University of Leipzig took place. His academic career starts with the Study of Law at the University of Leipzig, a Graduation (Phd) as an assistant of Prof. Dr. Stadie with a VAT-Thesis in 2009 and a Habilitation in 2013 with the matter: „Rechtsformneutralität im Öffentlichen Recht“ (neutrality of legal forms in public law – venia legendi: public law, especially tax law and public economic law).

David Hummel is one of the authors of, inter alia, „Rau/Dürrwächter“ (commentary of the VAT-Law), „Kirchhof/Söhn/Mellinghoff“ (commentary of the income tax law) and “Hübschmann/Hepp/Spitaler” (commentary of the procedure tax law). Furthermore he is engaged as a tutor in the field of European Tax Law and State Aid Law.

Emmanuel Cotessat - IVA Conference - June 2021

Emmanuel Cotessat, E. Cotessat Law Firm (France)

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 Gouveia - IVA Conference - June 2021

Fatima Gouveia, Comark Consultoria LDA (Portugal)

Fátima Gouveia is a Portuguese Economist with Post-Graduations in Taxation. Born in in 1968, she entered Comark, Lda. in 1992, and is General Manager since 2014. She has been working in VAT issues, including cross-border VAT for about 20 years. All her professional experience has been focused in international business and cooperation. Comark, Lda is a member of the IVA since 1998 and has been on the IVA Board in the last 5 years.

Fernando Matesanz - IVA Conference - June 2021

Fernando Matesanz, Spanish VAT Services Asesores (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.

Hans Joachim Narzynski - IVA Conference - June 2021

Hans Joachim Narzynski, Federal Ministry of Finance (Germany)

After studying law at Freiburg University in Germany Hans Joachim Narzynski joined the tax administration in Ge‎rmany in 1998. He worked in different local tax offices in the federal state of Saxony. In 2009 he became an advisor in the Federal Parliament of Germany. He joined the Federal Ministry of Finance In 2013, first working in the press department of the Ministry. Since 2016 he is involved in European negotiations on tax issues as head of division. Hans Joachim Narzynski is now head of division in the Ministry's directorate for customs and indirect taxation. In this position he is dealing with international VAT matters, in particular European VAT regulations.

Dr. Hans-Martin Grambeck - IVA Conference - June 2021

Dr. Hans-Martin Grambeck, Nesemann & grambeck (Germany)

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 17 years ago in a mid-sized accounting and tax advisory firm, fully specialized in VAT when working in London in 2008 / 2009 and left PWC 2015 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 & grambeck) and has a personal focus on services, including e-services and travel (cruise companies, travel agents, MICE business, ticket dealers etc.), 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.

Ishrat Ali - IVA Conference - June 2021

Ishrat Ali, HMRC (UK)

Ishrat Ali leads on Partial Exemption and Deductions policy within the Deductions and Financial Services policy team in HMRC.  She is currently leading on the review of Partial Exemption and Capital Goods scheme working closely with HM Treasury,  looking at ways to simplify the two regimes.  Prior to her current role she has worked within a number of indirect tax policy teams and areas. She is a highly experienced indirect tax Policy lead having worked within Indirect tax  for the past 25 years having joined Customs and Excise (prior to its merger with the Inland Revenue and the formation of HMRC) straight after college as a direct entrant VAT compliance officer, before joining Policy in 2003.  

Michail Karayiannidis - IVA Conference - June 2021

Michail Karayiannidis, Infotax (Greece)

Michail Karagiannidis is a Class A’ Tax Accounting Auditor in Greece with authorized professional license more than 30 years and specialist in vat indirect taxes.

In 1989 he founded an Accounting Tax Office in Thessaloniki with prestigious companies from all over Greece and European Union. In 2011, Infotax Accountings Ltd was founded in Bulgaria and in 2018 Infotax Accountings was founded in USA.

MBA in Rochville University and graduate of Greek Economic University.

Board Member of Greek-British Chamber and Hellenic-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce.

Since 2004 he has been a member International Vat Association.

Nicola Galleani d’Agliano - IVA Conference - June 2021

Nicola Galleani d’Agliano, P Centore & Associates (Italy)

Nicola Galleani d’Agliano is co-founder of PC&A (Studio P. Centore & Associati) in 1991. In particular, he is deeply experienced in the development of international supply chains, implementation of VAT ERP/SAP and global advisory and compliance coordination. His core business areas are maritime, shipyards and high technologies industries. He has published several titles such as VAT Commentary - IPSOA- Wolter Kluwer, The European VAT IPSOA - Wolter Kluwer, Articles - International Commerce.

Since 2001 he has been appointed as tax law lecturer at the Hight School of Tax Police in Rome. He is also professor at the IPSOA–Wolters Kluwer post-graduate Master in tax law. Nicola has been appointed as advisor to the Government of the Republic of San Marino with respect to the enactment of VAT legislation (2013/2016). He is a member of the Vat Expert Group and of the EU Vat Forum entrusted to support the European Commission in drafting legislative measures and other political initiatives for VAT purposes.

Nicola has been a member of the Italian Association of Certified Public Accountants since 1989.

Raymond Feen - IVA Conference - June 2021

Raymond Feen, ALLVAT (Netherlands)

Is an international VAT consultant. He has worked since 1996 in international VAT for a Big Four and worked several years in industry as in-house VAT manager. In 2010 he started his own VAT consulting firm ALLVAT. He is frequent speaker at international seminars, organizes trainings for the Federation of Dutch exporters, the Chamber of Commerce, the International VAT Expert Academy (IVEA) and is partner of VAT Forum CV. He is currently a board member of the IVA and liaises with the IVA members outside the EU. His focus is on the international supply chain in Europe and more recently the GCC.

Ron Nikken - IVA Conference - June 2021

Ron Nikken, 

Ron is an experienced tax lawyer and works for his own company, INSENSE ROADS BV (, providing VAT and excise duty advice to its clients in Europe. Until 2016, Ron worked as Head of Indirect Tax of a large retail company for 20 years. Before that, he worked for almost 10 years as a tax advisor with several Big Four companies, also in the field of corporate income tax. Ron has been chairman of the EuroCommerce Taxation Committee in Brussels for more than two decades and has also been an active member of the EU VAT Forum, the VAT Expert Group and the Excise Contact Group for many years now. Ron has an extensive network of relationships throughout Europe. Ron also regularly acts as a speaker at conferences.

Ruth Corkin - IVA Conference - June 2021

Ruth Corkin, The VAT Practitioners Group (UK)

Ruth is the national Technical Chair for the VAT Practitioners Group. She is also an Associate specialising in indirect taxes with Hiller Hopkins LLP in the UK. In her VPG role, Ruth has worked closely with HM Revenue and Customs (“HMRC”) on the “Making Tax Digital” project, ensuring that HMRC is fully aware of the challenges faced by taxpayers unused to accounting software.

She also represents the VPG and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (“ICAEW”) on various committees with HMRC and was seconded to the Office of Tax Simplification for seven months in 2017 to look at ways of simplifying the VAT code in the United Kingdom.

Stephen Dale - IVA Conference - June 2021

Stephen Dale, HEDEOS société d'avocats (France)

Stephen Dale is a partner in a specialist VAT practice in Paris in HEDEOS société d'avocats 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) Tax Policy Group and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales VAT Committee (and former Chairman). He represents the IVA on the Expert Group 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).

He is the author of several publications such as VAT Yearbook – Kluwer, VAT Guides – PwC, Articles – International Indirect Tax, BNA, journals and newspapers.

Takuma Yamazaki - IVA Conference - June 2021

Takuma Yamazaki, OPTI (Japan)

Joined ORIX Corporation in 1995, engaged in business development and investment in overseas business units. In 2006, transferred to Singapore investment subsidiary ORIX Investment and Management as President. After that, worked as Managing Director in departments including Overseas Business Investment, Strategic Investment, and Overseas Business Development.

Carried out many projects including investment in Vietnam and Singapore under joint management with listed enterprises in Singapore, business development of microfinance as director of the listed enterprise in Sri Lanka, financing Cambodia's largest commercial bank, and M&A of Indonesia's second-largest independent finance company. After the investments were implemented, promoted with team members hands-on development of new business in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar with invested enterprises, PMI (Post Merger Integration) for an acquire in Indonesia, and investment strategy planning in Thailand and Malaysia.

Having experience of cross-border investment among industrial companies and PMI, started to be willing to support the overseas business development of Japanese companies in a hands-on way. Also sympathized with Fuchigami, who had worked together in ORIX, and his idea “making world’s tax matters easy by the cloud.” Confident in the growth potential of OPTI as TaxTech and joined its management by co-funding.

Graduated from Kwansei Gakuin University.

Yiannis Tsangaris - IVA Conference - June 2021

Yiannis Tsangaris, Commissioner of Taxation, Cyprus Tax Department

Graduate of the University of Minnesota (BSc. Bus. Adm.) and Old Dominion University (MBA). Member (FCCA) of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (UK). Attended in 2012 (Fulbright Scholarship) at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University the program “Comparative Tax Policy and Administration”.

Worked in a local accounting firm, and for a series of years, at the Cyprus Productivity Centre as a business consultant in costing, management accounting and financial analysis matters. I have lectured in different accounting and finance topics in post-graduate programs.

Employed in the VAT Service (Ministry of Finance) since the introduction of VAT in Cyprus (1992).  Duties included: Head of a District Office, European Matters and Tax Liability Section, Large Taxpayers’ Office, Audit Strategy etc.  I have represented Cyprus in many meetings in the European Commission and European Council.

Appointed as the Project Manager for the integration of the Cyprus Tax Departments and in October 2014. I was appointed as the Assistant Commissioner of Taxation of the new integrated Cyprus Tax Department.  In February 2015, I was appointed as the Commissioner of Taxation.


"Conference in Athens was an amazing experience."

Bishan R. Shah, (India)


"The conference was very interesting with a high level of presentations. I will be very happy to attend the next conferences."

Nicola Galleani d’Agliano, P Centore & Associates (Italy)


“Great conference as usual!”

Ruth Corkin, The VAT Practitioners Group (UK)


“Please allow me to congratulate you for the organization of the conference!!! IT WAS GREAT!!!”

Stamatis Papachimonas, A&P Tax and Finance (Greece)

"It was a pure pleasure to be in Athens."

Anna Szafraniec, ASB Tax Sp. z o.o. (Poland)


“Thank you very much for the great organization of the conference in Athens. Everything was fine – like always.”

Prof. Dr. David Hummel, European Court of Justice (Luxemburg)


“Thank you very much for everything.”

Tatiana Sfelinioti, Greek Tax Administration

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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.