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DFK News

28 04 2022

DFK International to bid fond farewell to Executive Director

DFK International is set to bid a fond farewell to its executive director who is stepping down after 12 years at the helm.

Martin Sharp will be retiring from the position of executive director of DFK International on April 30, succeeded by Bill Wright, formerly of San Francisco member firm Shea Labagh Dobberstein.

Martin has been in the position since 2010 and during this time has attended more than 80 conferences and visited the offices of more than 100 member firms across the globe.

He has focused on ensuring that DFK remains an association which enables like-minded firms to build relationships and support their clients to do business internationally, while providing a forum to share knowledge and best practice to support growth.

Reflecting on his time as executive director, Martin said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to be in this role for the last 12 years and to be handing over to Bill who I first met five years ago in San Francisco.

“I’d like to thank all of the people I’ve worked with over the years, including the executive office staff. They are a fantastic team and their work has been central to the success that DFK enjoys today.

“I would also like to thank the DFK presidents I have had the pleasure of working with, including Ray Mack, Mike Tovey, Scott Hazy, Demetrious Demetriou, Roland Graf and Harriet Greenberg for their support and guidance throughout my time at DFK, as well as all of the Vice Presidents and board members.

“My wife Deborah has also always been such a great support to me during my time at DFK and plays an important role in keeping the DFK family spirit alive.

“Finally, I’d like to thank all of the DFK members worldwide for the tremendous hospitality that I’ve received when visiting their offices.

“I’ve had so many highlights over the years – too many to mention – and I have thoroughly enjoyed ensuring that our members have the opportunity to build relationships, remain knowledgeable about the global market and do business internationally with like-minded firms.

“The regional meetings and the national group meetings have been an especially positive opportunity to gain insights into how people work together and share best practice.

“I have been lucky enough to enjoy an incredible amount of travel during my role, and one of my favourite places to visit has been the Latin American region which was a revelation for me.

“The warmth and spirit of our firms in Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, Chile, Argentina and Brazil was fabulous and I could not have been made to feel more welcome, and even though I struggled with my terrible Spanish and salsa moves, I drank plenty of their tequila and pisco!

“Although I will officially hand over to Bill on May 1, he and the board have kindly welcomed me to attend the 60th anniversary conference which I’m thoroughly looking forward to, and it will be nice to see the event through the eyes of a delegate rather than one of the organisers.

“I wish Bill every success in the position. He has a very strong background in the profession and is already well-known in the DFK community both in the US and internationally, and I’m sure his knowledge and skillset will be of huge benefit to the association as a whole as well as the DFK member firms.”

Harriet Greenberg, President of DFK International, said: “I would like to personally, and on behalf of all the DFK firms, express our profound gratitude to Martin for his diligent work as our executive director.

“His hard work, cooperative spirit and general kindness, as well as his joy of helping facilitate the good work of DFK, has left a mark on all of us lucky enough to have worked with him. We wish him every happiness in his retirement.

27 04 2022

Would a subsidiary create a PE for VAT purposes?

On April 7, 2022, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) provided guidance on the interpretation of the term “Fixed Establishment” for VAT purposes (case C-333/20 Berlin Chemie A. Menarini SRL). The ECJ considered that a subsidiary cannot create a fixed establishment for a parent company registered in another country even if the subsidiary operates exclusively for the benefit of the parent company. We present the case in details below.

Berlin Chemie, a German company (“BC”) sells goods in Romania. BC is registered in Romania for VAT purposes. BC’s Romanian subsidiary, BCAM provides BC with marketing, advertising and regulatory support services. BCAM considered these services as intra-Community supplied services subject to reverse charged VAT in Germany. The Romanian tax authorities considered that BC has sufficient human and technical resources at its disposal in Romania to create a PE there by the virtue of BCAM. This would mean that BCAM’s services to BC are subject to Romanian VAT instead of German reverse charged VAT.

The question submitted to the ECJ was in essence whether a subsidiary of a company can create a fixed establishment for a parent company, or other legal entity within the group. The referring court asked the ECJ for a more detailed interpretation of the concept of fixed establishment to clarify whether BCAM, as the subsidiary of BC, can qualify as a fixed establishment of BC. BC does not have the personnel and technical resources itself, but BCAM does have and BCAM uses these personnel and resources entirely for the business purposes of BC. What seems to be particularly important here is that BCAM operates under the control of BC and BCAM performs its activities entirely for BC.

The court made the following decision: BC does not have a fixed establishment in Romania on the ground that BC owns a subsidiary in Romania that makes available to BC its human and technical resources. BC does not have a fixed establishment in Romania even if BCAM provides marketing, regulatory and advertising services exclusively to BC regardless whether such services are capable of having a direct influence on the volume of BC’s sales.

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04 04 2022

Wilson Wright and GoHenry team up to promote principles of financial education

Wilson Wright, the City accountancy, tax and business advisory firm, has joined with GoHenry, the prepaid debit card and financial education app for kids aged 6-18, to launch three principles of financial education, following the publication of analysis they commissioned from CBI Economics.

  1. All UK children from primary school age deserve a financial education that gives them the skills and knowledge they need to manage their money effectively in adulthood, regardless of their background.
  1. The basic principles of business and entrepreneurship should be a fundamental element of financial education, so that children understand what it takes to manage their money and start a business and that doing so is an option that is open to them.
  1. Financial education requires collaboration. It is not only the responsibility of Government, but also requires collaboration between schools, teachers, parents/carers, families, businesses, universities and the third sector.

Analysis by CBI Economics, commissioned by Wilson Wright and GoHenry, draws on a wide-ranging review of the academic literature on the topic, and found:

  • Financial literacy is an increasingly recognised ‘life skill’ with important implications for people’s lifelong financial outcomes.
  • Improved financial literacy benefits individuals, society, the government, the labour market and encourages entrepreneurship.
  • The key determinants of financial literacy are:
  1. Business and regulation.
  2. Schooling.
  3. Parents and carers.
  4. Individual characteristics.

The analysis notes that, while financial education has gradually been incorporated into the education system in the UK, it differs by nation with little consistency across the curriculum.

Drawing on the experience of other countries, the analysis by CBI Economics also found that countries are most successful in improving financial literacy when they develop a national strategy for financial literacy and embrace stakeholder collaboration.

Wilson Wright and GoHenry are now calling on Government, business, schools and the third sector to work collaboratively to deliver on the three principles of financial education.

Adam Cramer, Partner and CEO at Wilson Wright, said: “It is all too easy to overlook the vital importance of financial education to children’s future success.

“One of the chief lessons of our commissioned analysis is that our approach to financial education as a society needs to be much more joined-up to deliver the benefits that children deserve.

“Our principles tie in closely with the Government’s levelling-up agenda. Financial skills and knowledge must not be the preserve of a select few.

“In particular, as entrepreneurs ourselves and advisors to some of the country’s top entrepreneurs, we want to see a renewed emphasis on promoting the skills needed to enable more people to start their own businesses.”

Louise Hill, COO and Co-Founder, GoHenry, added: “As this commissioned analysis and our own independent research shows, access to financial education from a young age has proven positive benefits to individuals, businesses, and the economy.

“We know from our own customers just how much of a priority financial education is for parents and children. What we need now is a collaborative approach, using the combined expertise, resources and knowledge of parents, government, schools, and industry so that when this next generation goes out into the world they’ve got the financial skills to navigate it successfully.”

Anna Leach, CBI Deputy Chief Economist, said: “Higher levels of financial literacy not only stand to benefit people of all ages but go a long way to support economic growth too. More people participating in entrepreneurial activity, with its associated benefits to productivity, can too only be seen as a win-win for all corners of the UK.

“Businesses benefit too from employees with better financial and numeric skills.  They are more prepared for work and are likely to be more productive over the course of their careers”.


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