Purpose of the Practice Group

 

Welcome on the ITPG (International Taxation Practice Group) page. Our Practice Group consists of more than 500 tax professionals from over than 80 countries. The contact details of the very active "Senior Members" are shown in the sub category "Members". We meet 6 - 10 times per year and exchange insider knowledge about tax strategies, tax chances and risks for companies and private individuals. We work closely together when it comes to cross-border tax issues as we believe that international tax matters can only be solved on a high level if local experts are involved. Our Practice Group Members offer the following services:

  • Tax efficient structures for cross-border tax planning
  • Taxation of investments in foreign countries
  • Accessing benefits of double tax treaties
  • Advice on transfer pricing: Interpretation of OECD guidelines
  • Documentation and preparation of transfer pricing reports and advanced tax rulings
  • Tax services related to M&A transactions, such as tax due diligence
  • Advising on hidden taxes incident to reorganizations, such as registration taxes, stamp taxes, and hidden reserves that may be triggered by the transaction
  • Support in connection with cross-border tax examinations by the fiscal authorities
  • Fiscal representation services
  • VAT and VAT recovery
  • Income tax return preparation
  • Expatriate taxation services
  • Tax efficient employment structures
  • Tax litigation
  • Inheritance / gift tax
  • Taxation of foundations, trusts and tax transparent entities

 

The services offered by our various Practice Group Member firms may differ from country to country. For detailed information please contact the relevant Practice Group Member firm.

Below please find further information about the International Taxation Practice Group:

Q & A

Welcome to the Q&A section of the ITPG (International Taxation Practice Group).

The following contact persons will be happy to help you:


Who can join ITPG?


Anybody who is working for a GGI member firm can join ITPG and become a "member" of the ITPG. GGI Practice Groups are open to every discipline (Accountants, Lawyers and Consultants), see GGI PG-Guidelines, page 2, "The GGI Practice Groups are institutionalized interest groups, open to all GGI members throughout the different disciplines...". In order to understand what we are doing it is useful if you have a theoretical background in tax law and/or have worked in the field of tax consulting, esp. international taxation. We are really multidisciplinary and have CPA's, tax consultants, lawyers, trustees, management consultants and many other professions in our PG. If you are interested to join us send an e-mail to Oliver Biernat, Global Chairperson, o.biernat@benefitax.de, and he will add you to the e-mail distribution list. In rare cases (e.g. people disturbing ITPG meetings or people acting to the disadvantage of the ITPG) the chairman will exclude persons from participating.




Can I participate in ITPG although another GGI firm has exclusivity for tax services in my city/region?


Exclusivity granted by GGI for a certain region or discipline has nothing to do with the participation in a Practice Group. Even if another GGI firm in the same region as yours has exclusivity for tax services you may join and participate in ITPG. GGI's executive committee has ruled that only the PG chairpersons decide who will be allowed to participate in certain PG activities (e.g. being an author in the "ITPG Tax and Business Guide"), being a senior member or making a presentation) or to represent the PG. In the ITPG your personal proven technical skills and your track record of ITPG activities in the past are among the most decisive factors affecting this decision.




What is the purpose of ITPG?


  • Exchange information on tax opportunities, chances and risks of tax models, esp. cross-border.
  • Get to know other ITPG members worldwide, cooperate with them and refer clients to each other.
  • Market the strengths of each member of our PG to potential and existing clients (ITPG Tax and Business Guide, etc.).
  • Save costs through economies of scale (e.g. Comtax Tax Planning Software, IBFD Database).




Why does ITPG join forces or offer joint meetings with other PG's sometimes?


In the past there have been joint meetings with e.g. the Indirect Taxes, Enhanced Business Opportunities, M&A, Real Estate and International Dispute Resolution Practice Groups. The aim of such joint meetings is to:

  1. get to know each other better, especially for future multi- disciplinary engagements that need experts from two or more PG's.
  2. increase general cooperation between various PG's
  3. allow ITPG members who fly in for the ITPG stand-alone winter meetings once a year to participate in other technical PG meetings as well and meet with other GGI members.




Who is a Member?


A member can be anyone who works for a GGI member firm and has asked the ITPG Global Chairperson to join ITPG. A member has no obligations and does not have to come to ITPG meetings. Unless they object, all GGI members that have been to an ITPG meeting since 2007 will be given the status of a member in order to keep them further informed on what is going on in ITPG. Members can obtain information on future and/or past ITPG meetings and downloads on past ITPG presentations in the GGI intranet.




How can I become a Senior Member (SM)?


Members that are active by virtue of contributions to the PG and participation in ITPG meetings can be appointed Senior Members (SM). The decision will be made at each year’s turn by the global chairmen and, if applicable, mostly following a suggestion from the respective regional chairmen. Senior Members should have participated in at least one physical ITPG meeting per year during two or three years and should have made a presentation on a tax issue showing their skills in international taxation.

Moreover their firm should have experience in international taxation and offer international tax services on their own (not via a partner firm or a cooperation partner). Members who have joined GGI or ITPG recently can become Senior Members faster if they participate very actively in ITPG (e.g. make presentations, work in/chair a productive ITPG task-force, participate in at least 3 meetings per year (also Skype), e-mail their suggestions in international tax or marketing topics to the chairpersons) or if they become a (regional / vice) chairperson.




What are the advantages of a Senior Member (SM)?


  • Only SMs names and contact data will be displayed on the GGI Website in the ITPG section.
  • SMs will receive a “certificate of attendance” after every year, which might serve to prove their advanced professional training with their professional bodies.
  • Priority for publishing articles on the ITPG Pages in the GGI Insider.
  • Priority for publishing articles on the FYI International taxation newsletter.
  • Priority for making presentations at ITPG meetings.
  • Priority ahead of ITPG Members and other GGI members to publish their country's doing business in our "International Tax and Business Guide" (if submitted in time).
  • Priority to become a regional or vice chairperson.
  • Priority to appear in GGI publications and in publications of other ITPG members.
  • Vote if there is a poll on certain ITPG issues (e.g. venue or date for stand-alone ITPG meetings, changes in how we proceed).
  • Receive certain exclusive information beforehand and via e-mail (e.g. pitches, referrals).
  • Receive minutes of all ITPG meetings (even if they did not attend).
  • Be informed about the (draft) agenda before an ITPG meeting.
  • Have priority to host an ITPG meeting.
  • Chair an ITPG meeting/workshop at e.g. a GGI EasyMeet if no ITPG chairperson is available.




What are the duties of a Senior Member (SM)?


Once being appointed as a SM, you should continue to be active within ITPG. The level of participation of an SM will be looked at annually by the Chairperson and SM's might be downgraded to a member if he/she is too inactive. Criteria are: attendance in ITPG meetings (WebEx and/or physical meetings), offering presentations, publishing articles in the ITPG Pages of the GGI Insider, the FYI ITPG newsletter or in the GGI Tax and Business Guide, being an ITPG Chairperson, etc. Physical attendance in ITPG meetings plays a minor role if meetings are held on another continent.




How can I become a Chairman and what will be my duties?


The ITPG global Chairman and the two global vice-chairmen are elected electronically and anonymously every 3 years directly by all ITPG Members. GGI HO will inform all members on the election procedures in time and will organise the elections. The next elections will take place in 2016.

Regional chairmen and vice chairmen are appointed by the global chairman. If you wish to be a Chairman for a region that is not fully covered by Chairmen or Vice Chairmen (e.g. MEA and Asia Pacific region) please contact the Global Chairman, Oliver Biernat.

Chairmen are expected to be willing to spend more time on the ITPG than Senior Members. There will be frequent exchanges of e-mails between the Chairmen and probably extra WebEx conferences. Regional ITPG Chairmen should be the link between the ITPG Global Chairmen and the members in their region. They should also offer at least one regional ITPG meeting per year (probably during or before their regional GGI conference) and at least one WebEx conference per year. They should contact new GGI members in their region and inform them in ITPG events and projects.




Do ITPG Chairmen get paid?


GGI HO provides an incentive fee for global PG chairman, which depends on the number of participants in PG meetings at the World, European, North American, Latin American and Asia-Pacific Regional conferences. Practice Group Meeting participants must sign the participants’ list during the meetings, which is supervised by GGI staff. No incentive fee is paid by GGI for PG meetings at other events (e.g. ITPG winter meeting, Easy Meets, GGI North American Best Practices, GGI Leadership Forum in Eisenberg, German Speaking Chapter, Italian Business Summit, Nordic Baltic Meeting, MEA Regional Conf., etc.). In case less than 10 participants attend a meeting no incentive fee is paid at all.

In the ITPG this money is mainly used to cover the extensive time expenditure of the global chairman and his own assistant, which exceeds by far the 40-80 hours annually to be spent on the PG as suggested by GGI HO. When a regional chairperson is preparing, organizing and chairing an ITPG meeting at a regional conference without the global chairman’s involvement they are usually given a share of the incentive fee for this event. The chairman also uses the incentive fee to purchase gifts for speakers at ITPG events or for very active chairmen that do not profit from any incentive fee.

Moreover GGI invites all global chairmen for a weekend in Zurich in early February each year. No vice or regional chairman may attend this meeting, unless the global chairman is unable to attend. The purpose is to say thank you to the PG chairs, update them on developments in GGI and to hear about their problems and suggestions for improvements and allow them to get to know each other better. ITPG welcomes this opportunity and has participated ever since this was introduced.

GGI will also financially contribute to GGI PG projects following prior approval by GGI HO. GGI will support PG projects with 25% of the total price, but up to a maximum value of CHF 2,500 per calendar year. Please note that this amount is spent on GGI projects only and is not a remuneration for the PG chair. In the past it was mainly used to pay the publishing agency for preparing the ITPG FYI newsletter and for additional technical equipment needed at big ITPG meetings (microphone, loudspeakers, technical staff).




I would like to make a presentation on a tax topic in one of the meetings. What shall I do?


Please contact the person chairing the meeting (e.g. Global Chairperson, Regional Chairpersons) and provide him/her with a short description of your topic. Cross-border topics have priority over national tax topics. Senior Members have priority over Members. Confirmation for making a presentation is given under the condition that you sign up for the respective conference and the ITPG meeting within 4 weeks after registration has started. Presentations of those not registered may be cancelled at any time.

Please note that the ITPG does not allow people other than GGI members registered for the whole conference or official sponsors to take an active part in an ITPG meeting. If you just come for the ITPG meeting and skip the rest of a conference you may not make any presentation. Please note that speakers do not get paid nor do they participate in a meeting or conference for free. We believe that giving them the chance to present themselves and their technical tax knowledge should be sufficient as a benefit.




I would like to write an article on a tax topic for the ITPG Pages in GGI Insider. What shall I do?


Please contact Barbara Reiss at GGI Head Office (b.reiss@ggi.com) and provide her with a short description of your topic. She will let you know if there is space left in the next edition, what the deadlines and author's guidelines are and if your topic is interesting she might also check with the ITPG Chairpersons. She will decide how many characters are available for your article and the way you should present it (please do not just market yourself or your firm but provide technical information). If you have a photo in high resolution regarding the topic or of yourself please attach it to your e-mail to GGI Head Office. Cross-border topics have priority over national tax topics. Senior Members have priority over Members. Those of you who come first have priority over those who contact GGI Head Office later.




I live outside Europe and cannot come to many ITPG meetings. How can I participate?


Members outside Europe can also join the ITPG. We have regional ITPG Chairpersons for Asia-Pacific, MEA (Middle East Africa), North America and Latin America, who can be contacted directly and usually hold annual regional ITPG meetings. Their contact data is available on the GGI intranet. Moreover we offer regional WebEx and Skype conferences from time to time. Dates of such will be announced on the "events" page on the GGI homepage. If you are on the e-mail distribution list of the Global Chairperson you will be informed in advance about time, place and sometimes also agenda. Last but not least we offer ITPG meetings before or during all the major GGI conferences.




May I join those members who profit from a very favorable license-fee for a tax software?


Any ITPG Member can sign a license agreement for tax planning software at a very favorable price. The Comtax software provides search abilities and information for cross-border payments of dividends, interest, royalties and fees to and from 129 countries/entities worldwide, supported by an extensive reference database. For 129 selected countries/entities limitless scenarios can be simulated and analysed. Two optional modules address Capital Gaines and Thin Capitalisation.

Any GGI member may have a free one hour presentation (webinar) of the tax planning software before deciding if they would like to join. More details can be found on http://www.comtaxit.com/support.php. Should you have additional questions or wish to know the price or wish to sign a licence agreement please contact Mr. Henrik Spirén,henrik.spiren@comtaxit.com, from Comtax A.B. in Sweden, and make sure you let him know you are a GGI - ITPG member.

Another licence that is shared by some ITPG members is the Tax Research Platform (http://www.ibfd.org) by IBFD (International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation) in Amsterdam, which provides one of the biggest tax research platforms in the world. Provided that enough GGI members license the IBDF membership they only pay 20% of the normal licence fee. You may choose between the full membership with access to all data or just a topical collection on International Taxation data. In case you are interested to join please contact Marco Izzo (izzo@ggi.com) at GGI HQ who coordinates the GGI members or, if you have technical questions or like to have a free online tutorial, please contact Pavel Grishunin, Regional Account Manager at IBFD on p.grishunin@ibfd.org.

We were also in contact with Bureau van Dijk in Amsterdam re. licensing their Amadeus database for benchmark studies in transfer pricing engagements but since only few GGI members were interested to use this database (prices were relatively high) they did not come back with an acceptable proposal to us.




I heard that ITPG offers speed-networking sometimes. What is that good for?


In 2011 we started it for the first time in order to make participants speak one-to-one and get to know each other better. After about 3 minutes our speed-networking master (Graham Busch) will ring a bell and ask one side to move on and talk to the next participant and so on. During that time both speed-daters should briefly present themselves, their firms and services and special knowhow they might have or offer. The intention is get to know each other better and to create more business with each other. Further networking at the bar is positively encouraged!




I or my company are no longer a GGI member. Am I allowed to remain with ITPG?


It is not possible to remain a member in ITPG if you have left your company or your company has left GGI.




Is it possible for sponsors to join ITPG meetings?


It is possible for sponsors to join certain ITPG meetings if that has been agreed beforehand with GGI HO and the ITPG Chairman. If sponsors are allowed to join an extraordinary ITPG Meeting it is expected that they would sponsor a part of this meeting (e.g. one meal, the conference facilities, an excursion, provide an expert for a technical speech, etc.). The value of sponsoring should not be less than 2,000 €. If you are aware of sponsors that are interested in joining/sponsoring an ITPG event please contact the Global Chairperson.


If you would like to know more about ITPG please feel free to contact the World or Regional Chairpersons. Contact details can be found below.

Chairmen

Global Chairperson


Oliver Biernat
Benefitax GmbH
Steuerberatungsgesellschaft, Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft
Darmstädter Landstrasse 125
60598 Frankfurt am Main
Germany

T: +49 69 256 227 60
F: +49 69 256 227 611
E: o.biernat@benefitax.de
W: www.benefitax.de




Global Vice Chairperson


Ashish Bairagra
ML Bhuwania & Co., Chartered Accountants
F11, 3rd floor, Manek Mahal, Veer Nariman Road, Churchgate
400002 Mumbai
India

T: +91 22 6117 49 49
F: +91 22 6117 49 50
E: ashish@mlbca.in
W: /www.mlbca.in




Global Vice Chairperson


Robert R. Worthington
Shea Nerland Calnan LLP
Suite 1400, 350 - 7th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta
Canada

T: +1 403 299 96 00
F: +1 403 299 96 01
E: rworthington@snclaw.com
W: www.snclaw.com




Regional Chairperson Asia-Pacific


Ashish Bairagra
ML Bhuwania & Co., Chartered Accountants
F11, 3rd floor, Manek Mahal, Veer Nariman Road, Churchgate
400002 Mumbai
India

T: +91 22 6117 49 49
F: +91 22 6117 49 50
E: ashish@mlbca.in
W: /www.mlbca.in




Regional Vice Chairperson Asia-Pacific


Ricky W.P. Wong
Wong Brothers & Co. Certified Public Accountants
19th Floor, MassMutual Tower
38 Gloucester Road, Wanchai
Hong Kong

T: +852 2520 2701
F: +852 2861 3757
E: rickywong@wongbros.com.hk
W: www.wongbros.com.hk




Regional Vice Chairperson Asia-Pacific


Ross Forrester
Westcourt Chartered Accountants
Level 1, 45 Royal Street
East Perth
WA 6004
Australia

T: +61 08 9221 8811
F: +61 08 9223 8805
E: ross.forrester@westcourt.com.au
W: www.westcourt.com.au




Regional Chairperson Latin America


Sergio Guerrero Rosas
Guerrero y Santana, S.C.
Boulevard Rodolfo Sánchez Taboada No. 10488
Piso 8, Zona Río
P.O. Box 22010
Tijuana, Baja California
Mexico

T: +52 664 634 25 23
F: +52 664 634 25 23
E: sguerrero@guerrerosantana.com.mx
W: www.guerrerosantana.com.mx




Regional Vice Chairperson Latin America


Angel Gabriel Viso
Viso, Rodriguez, Cottin, Medina, Ramirez & Asociados
Torre Europa, Super Pent-House
Av. Francisco de Miranda, El Rosal
Caracas
Venezuela

T: +58 212 951 79 77
F: +58 212 952 20 52
E: angelg.viso@vrcabogados.com.ve
W: www.vrcabogados.com.ve




Regional Vice Chairperson Latin America


Seres Baum
Grupo Work Independent Auditors
Praca Agnelo Fleury 60 St. Sul
CEP 74.085-540 Goiania - GO
Brazil

T: +55 11 4062 15 15
E: seres.baum@grupowork.com
W: www.grupowork.com.br




Regional Chairperson Middle East/Africa (MEA)


Graeme Saggers
Nolands
Noland House
River Park, River Lane
Mowbray, Cape Town, 7700
South Africa

T: +27 21 658 6600
F: +27 86 242 9929
E: graemes@nolandscpt.co.za
W: www.nolands.co.za




Regional Vice Chairperson Middle East/Africa (MEA)


Abdulateef Olatunji Abdulrazaq
Saffron Professional Services
Plot 10 Apartment 5 Udi Street, P.O.Box 55713
Ikoyi, Lagos
Nigeria

T: +234 1 853 39 02
E: oabdulrazaq@saffron-ng.com
W: www.saffron-ng.com




Regional Chairperson North America


Doug Dickey
DRDA PLLC
1120 Bay Area Blvd.
Houston, TX 77058
United States

T: +1 281 488 20 22
F: +1 281 488 57 64
E: doug@drdacpa.com
W: www.drdacpa.com




Regional Vice Chairperson North America


Robert R. Worthington
Shea Nerland Calnan LLP
Suite 1400, 350 - 7th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta
Canada

T: +1 403 299 96 00
F: +1 403 299 96 01
E: rworthington@snclaw.com
W: www.snclaw.com




Regional Vice Chairperson North America


Jeff Mowery
Mowery & Schoenfeld LLC
475 Half Day Road, Suite 250
Chicago, IL 60069
United States

T: +1 847 247 89 59
F: +1 847 883 87 04
E: jmowery@msllc.com
W: www.msllc.com