Van Minnen Tax Law is a Netherlands-based law firm specializing in Dutch, European and international tax law for businesses, with a particular though not exclusive focus on bilateral French-Dutch and French speaking relationships, as well as on German-Dutch relations.
Van Minnen Tax Law is admitted to the Netherlands Bar Association, as required by law for any person presenting him/herself as ‘advocaat’ (NOVA). In addition, Van Minnen Tax Law has opted to be a member of the Dutch Association of Tax Advisers (NOB), the only Dutch professional organization for academically trained tax advisers.
Through my law office Van Minnen Tax Law, I offer advice, support and legal representation for businesses. My particular interest and focus concerns business, trade and investment relations with France and Germany. I am very experienced in tax planning, transfer pricing, transactions, acquisitions, funding and finance, and management participation plan. I read, write and communicate in English just as easily as in Dutch. In addition I speak French well (working on becoming 100% fluent). My German is also good.
I founded Van Minnen Tax Law only in the course of 2018 but have been around. After graduating in tax law at Groningen University. I worked in international tax practices in Amsterdam for 15 years. My client base consisted predominantly of multinational enterprises headquartered in the USA, the UK or the Netherlands. I have always been both a member of the bar (tax attorney) and a tax advisor. First, from 2003 through 2008 with the most renowned (for tax anyway) global law firm. To get the hang of working in a smaller organization in the process of building a practice, I decided to join an Amsterdam niche tax consultancy firm founded by former revenue service officials and stayed there from 2009 through 2011. From 2012 through early 2016 I worked on an (as yet unfinished) PhD thesis and was in the tax practice of a Big4 firm. Longing to be back in law proper I once more joined the tax practice of a global law firm (2016 through 2017).
When 2017 came to a close, I moved with my family near the ancient city of Deventer and decided it was time to be independent and establish Van Minnen Tax Law.
How I do things
At the risk of repeating myself: the way I work reflects first-rate output, spot-on advice and a personal touch. That means that you will always be working (also) with me personally and not (only) with someone else like an employee, trainee or a contractor. I take responsibility for cases from the engagement right up the latest invoice. My advice and actions are always careful and respective of the ‘goldilocks-principle: just right. Not too elaborate, not too concise, just a clear and traceable line of reasoning and well-informed. My communications come in the medium and timing of your choice. And I bring solutions – workable, clear and guiding results that will make your organization get on with things. Which, by the way, will not always mean that you receive just those messages that you would like best.
I am practising law in loose but direct cooperation with an number of very seasoned independent tax attorneys (www.koeletaxlegal.com , www.taxpect.com , www.bosmanadvocatuur.nl ) who are either in the same office building or right around the corner, ensuring access to daily or weekly knowledge sharing, technical discussions and peer-to-peer consultation. At this moment, I do not employ staff, but I have spent most of my days in large organizations and always made a point of actively training junior lawyers. So I do not rule out hiring junior staff.
A first conversation is always free of charge, possibly with a first look into key documents concerning your case. Immediately afterwards, I will always send a concrete, elaborate engagement proposal with fees and conditions. I tend to provide a fixed fee offer but also work with or based on an hourly rate. This rate is EUR 295 exclusive of Value Added Tax (typically 21%, 0% if rendered to entrepreneurs abroad). When it gets to an engagement, I will typically collect certain ‘know your client’ data as required by law. The exact data required may vary depending on the nature of the assignment and of the client.
I use a number of principles in the way I approach cases.
Taxation always plays a part, but never the lead part..
First and foremost, I find that tax law is often granted a bigger influence on business choice than it deserves. It is one thing to be well informed of the tax consequences of a business choice or action, it is a rather different thing to allow business decisions to be crucially dependent on tax. That does not normally lead to sustainable and robust solutions.
Complexity calls for simplicity
The world is complex, tax law is complex. And both are changeable. Both my experience and my personal style will typically lead me to recommend picking, from the multiple options I might identify for you, the least complex one. The solution that may be explained now and in the future to yourself, your organization and to third parties. The one that requires the least ‘maintenance’ and produces a good result indefinitely. The one that allows for clear and solid documentation and implementation. The one that still works when everyone involved has left the company. And the one that remains a valid choice even if the tax laws change. And they will change. Is that a conservative approach? Not per se – reality offers enough complexity and in the end the entrepreneur decides.
When you’re in the right, stand and fight
A taxpayer must be able to rely on the law and on the government applying the the law in good faith. In particular with a necessary but financially consequential field as taxation. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs often need all the help they can get in checking the administrations ambitions. The government is large and has all but unlimited means, knowledge and time vis à vis an individual taxpayer, however large. To add to that, when crossing borders, an enterprise meets not just one government but two or more. You can count on me in capacity both as a experienced advisor and as a lawyer admitted to the bar, to provide you with independent but dedicated and truly ‘partial’ support in your dealings with the government.
I am not reluctant to claim taxpayer rights and fiscal benefits for my clients. I do believe that many strategies that some claim ‘used to be acceptable back in the days’ were never that legally or morally defensible to begin with. On the other hand, many fiscal choices that some claim are ‘no longer sustainable’ are in reality very defensible and even economically desirable for our societies.