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In brief

2023 marked a year with many developments in the VAT area, as the EU came out with its VAT in the Digital Age (ViDA) initiative to reform the VAT system with the view to respond to the challenges of digitalization. In this webinar, we covered a number of implications for VAT audits going forward. 

Key takeaways

In this session, we covered the expected implications for VAT audits going forward and gave an overview of the expected areas of focus. VAT and customs often go hand in hand, hence we also covered customs audits and investigations which are very complex and are often difficult to handle for groups due to limited compliance resources in this field. We also took this opportunity to touch upon the difficulties faced by companies regarding the different sanction packages adopted by the EU Commission and uncovered what a typical trade investigations looks like and what the focus areas are. Finally, we provided recommendations on how to best avoid an adverse outcome by implementing quality control and monitoring procedures.

Speakers: Olivier Van Baelen, Thomas Kukanza, Jean-Guillaume Benoit.

Do not hesitate to reach out to us if you would like to obtain a recording of this webinar.

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Olivier Van Baelen is a counsel in the Tax Practice Group in Baker McKenzie's Brussels office.
Olivier supervises the Belgium's VAT practice. He joined Baker McKenzie in 2017 after several years of experience in a Big 4 and as a tax lawyer in a leading Belgian taxation law firm. He advises clients on all kinds of (indirect) tax issues and represents clients in every stage of (indirect) tax disputes. He works closely with our EU VAT group, transfer pricing, customs and trade practices teams to provide comprehensive advice on the most challenging (cross-border) transactions and controversies.


Thomas Kukanza joined Baker McKenzie as a senior trade advisor in the Tax Practice Group in April 2022. He has over 10 years of experience in customs and international trade and in the implementation of duty optimization programs. Thomas is a guest lecturer at the University of Antwerp and holds a US customs broker licence.


Jean-Guillaume is a trade advisor in the Tax Practice Group of the Brussels office. He joined Baker McKenzie in January 2023 after 4 years of experience in a leading consulting and advisory firm.

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