Bernard Peeters is a senior partner of the leading Belgium tax boutique Tiberghien, a member firm of WTS Global tax network.

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In this episode (no.58) you will learn about leadership principles, professional firm management and international tax topicalities. You will also discover about:

  • what principles did Bernard Peeters and his colleagues apply to grow from ~20 tax lawyers in 1990s when he started to more than 120 tax lawyers now and to become Tier 1 tax boutique;
  • what pricing principles to apply in order not to compromise on quality?
  • the book Bernard recommends: The World is Flat by the Pulitzer Prize -winning author Thomas L. Friedman and we both agreed that many publications by Simon Sinek are inspiring, including Start With Why;
  • what could be ‘the Why’ of Tiberghien?
  • how to separate tax fraud from abuse?
    • tax authorities: if in doubt, go for a ruling;
    • Bernard: but then where is the added value of a tax advisor? the advisors should take responsibility and express their opinion;
  • what does Bernard mean by professional empathy?
  • what functions does Bernard as a deputy judge do and why is it beneficial for the advisory practice development?
  • why Bernard is in favour of having a tax arbitration as a dispute resolution tool?
  • what did Bernard think by writing about himself – thinking as a lawyer, acting like a businessman?
  • how did Albert Tiberghien establish the firm and was the 1st in Belgium to approach at taxes from legal perspective, not only numbers and accounting;
  • why MLI might be just a beginning of a series of MLIs;
  • Bernard shared an interesting story where the won an appeal, but the client decided to pay the tax anyway – you will learn why;
  • M&A tax issues – how they have evolved over the last 5 years;
  • why larger countries with deeper pockets will outplay smaller countries in the race for investments now;
  • what could an ideal tax system look like; what is a positive approach to taxes; what is 1 euro is equal to 1 euro principle in taxation?
  • we also discussed Singapore, Belgian capital gains taxation, no taxation without representation – how that relates to OECD soft law, and many more topics.