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Tax Specialist Group
ITSG 2016 Conference Click on picture to see names
ITSG Conferences

Every year ITSG holds two conferences: a European conference and the worldwide annual conference.

Above is the group photograph from the 2016 world-wide conference held in Munich.

Below is the conference programme.

The conference is open only to ITSG members and a limited number of invited guests.

Here is a summary of the program for the latest conference that took place in .

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Pre-Conference Casual Dinner (Optional)
19:00 – 22:00 For those arriving on Tuesday, join the group for a casual dinner and a fun night out in Amsterdam. Come dressed as you please, for it is Halloween.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Special Interest Groups Meetings
All sessions are optional, some run concurrently.
These sessions will emphasize informal group discussions, case studies and sharing of ideas.
Refreshment breaks and lunch provided for those attending.
09:00 - 10:30 SESSION 1 (90 minutes)
Marketing Tax Services, a sharing of experiences and roundtable discussion of marketing. What is successful, what is not. Use of social media, blogs, etc. Handling enquiries from the public. Novel marketing ideas. Referring work within ITSG.
11:00 – 12:30 SESSION 2 (90 minutes) Concurrent
Tax Issues of International Athletes and Entertainers, tax planning strategies and a look at some foreign countries that do not levy tax
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 15:00 SESSION 3 (90 minutes) Concurrent
Trusts and Estates, an international case study involving multiple countries with a focus on real estate holdings
15:15 – 16:45 SESSION 4 (90 minutes)
Managing Risk In Your Practice
Claims for professional negligence are on the rise. Errors in tax practice are among the most common reasons for professionals to be sued. A group discussion of ideas for how to minimize risk, reduce damages, settle claims and handle litigation against you.
15:30 – 17:30 ITSG Steering Committee Meeting
Meeting of ITSG Steering Committee (for committee members.)
Meet and greet reception followed by dinner at the Pulitzer Hotel. Special welcome of new members and first time attendees.
Thursday, November 2, 2017
8:45 Conference Commences
08:45 - 09:00 Welcome to Amsterdam
09:00 – 10:00 Host Country, Netherlands
A look at the features of the Netherlands tax system and uses in international tax planning. (Some may say tax planning was invented here).
10:00 – 11:10 BEPS Update
A series of topics revolving around BEPS. The Multi-Lateral Instrument, and its impact especially on corporate residence and what to do about it. Differences between the OECD Model Treaty and the U.N. (Source Based) Model Treaty for developing countries. How is BEPS being adopted in LATAM countries? Update on the Apple Case, other similar cases and the question of state aid.
12:00 – 13:15 LUNCH
14:00 – 15:00 Looking Back, Tax Then and Now
A look at some presentations from the ITSG Conference 20 years ago and benchmark their relevance today. Topics may include:
- Tax Planning for Mobile Families
- Uses of European Holding Companies
15:00 – 16:00 Fast Forward, Emerging Tax Issues Driven by Technology
Technology is outpacing tax legislation, creating questions for which there may currently be no answers. Here is a sample of the matters to be discussed:
- The fully automated business, how do you tax an entity that has no staff, no physical presence, or is run entirely by robots
- Inheritance tax issues of children born many years after your death
- Transactions in unofficial or virtual currencies
- Income from space (eg satellites)
16:00 – 16:20 BREAK
16:20 – 16:50 Eliminating the Tax Return
Three years ago the U.K. announced it would be getting rid of the tax return. Estonia has actually done this. How has it gone? What problems did they create? Was it successful? Is this a template for other countries to follow? How will this affect the tax profession?
16:50 – 17:10 Open Session
A chance for any delegate to raise a question or speak on a matter.
Buses depart
18:15 – 18:35
Gala Black Tie Reception and Dinner, Group Photo
A very special evening to celebrate 20 years of ITSG conferences with a champagne reception and a special presentation.
Music, dancing and drinks to follow after dinner.
Dress is formal attire/black tie.
Venue is the Tropenmuseum, a magnificent private setting. Group photo to be taken.
Transportation from hotel provided.
Friday, November 3, 2017
8:45 am Conference Recommences
08:45 – 10:00 European Tax Update
A fast paced summary of the essential tax changes you need to know in various European countries.
10:00 – 10:30 Common Reporting Standard (CRS)
Registers of beneficial ownership, exchanges of information, transparency. What are we seeing as a result? Where are we going to end up? The experiences from several countries. What about the U.S.?
10:30 – 10:50 BREAK
10:50 – 11:50 Asian Tax Update
A look at major developments in selected Asian countries.
11:50 – 12:00 ITSG Beijing 2018
A message from our hosts
12:00 – 13:15 LUNCH
13:15 – 13:40 Brexit
Raised at last year's conference, there were more questions than answers. Is the path more clear now and what is it?
13:40 – 14:10 Human Rights and Taxpayer Rights
Can one make a credible argument that taxpayer rights should be fundamental and universal? If so, what are those taxpayer rights? And how do countries recognize them?
14:10 – 15:00 U.S. Tax Reform
Where is President Trump taking the U.S. tax system? Bold talk on tax reform (15% corporate rate, eliminating estate tax) has so far not resulted in anything tangible. Where does this stand and where is it headed? Other U.S. developments.
15:00 – 15:40 The Great Debate
For the last few years the ITSG Conference has concluded with a debate. We honour this tradition in posing the question “What is fair taxation and why?”
Let's see how our debating teams tackle this one.
15:40 – 16:00 Open Session
A chance for any delegate to raise a question or speak on a matter.
16:00 Conference Adjourns
Boat leaves at 17:45 Amsterdam By Boat
Optional informal dinner via boat from the conference hotel to three different restaurants for your three course meal.
A fun and novel way to dine with sightseeing along the way.
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