‘Taxation in a digitising world: Solutions for corporate income tax and value added tax

Wednesday, 11 October 2017 | 13.30 – 18.30
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Although we live in an age in which everything and everyone is ‘online connected’, countries’ VAT and profits taxation systems are still based on an economic reality of decades ago in the case of VAT and even a century ago in the case of corporate taxation. And that, of course, creates tension. The problems this tension causes are predominantly evident in turnover and profits generated by internet-related activities as ‘online yields’ are very difficult, if not impossible, to properly pin down for tax purposes. And the rising share of the economy now accounted for by digital activities means this reality is becoming increasingly critical. So are our tax systems still ‘fit for purpose’? How much is being done to effectively address the emerging tax challenges of digitisation? If the world is changing, is it perhaps now time for our tax systems to change along with it? Is the time ripe for fundamental reform? Will it ever be?

At this EFS seminar, three experts from academia and tax practice – Rita de la Feria (University of Leeds), Nicolas Colin (Université Paris-Dauphine) and Rogier Vanhorick (Deloitte) – will share their inspirational views on seminal issues involving the taxation of economic activity in an era of digitisation. The seminar will devote considerable time to interactive discussions and exchanges of ideas on subjecting online business operations to effective corporate taxation and VAT. The seminar will be chaired by Maarten de Wilde (Erasmus University Rotterdam and Loyens & Loeff).

We are pleased to invite people with a background in tax consultancy and practice and working for government authorities, tax and customs administrations, international organisations, industry or the academic world to attend this seminar, which will also officially mark the completion of the
2017 EFS Post-Master’s in International and EU Tax Law.

The seminar is free of charge and participants are eligible for 3 Permanent Education (CPD) points.

We look forward to welcoming you on Wednesday, 11 October 2017!

Prof. Peter Kavelaars
Seminar Director

Maarten de Wilde
Seminar Chair

Click here to register


13:30 – 14:00

14:00 – 14:15

14:15 – 15.00

15.00 – 15.45

15:45 – 16:15

16.15 – 17:30

17:30 – 17:45

17:45 – 18:30


Opening – Maarten de Wilde

‘Taxation and Digitisation; Issues and Insights’ – Rita de la Feria

‘The Taxation of the Digital Economy; Suggestions for Reform’ – Nicolas Colin


‘VAT in a digitising economy; Disruption/exponential growth, automation and impact on Taxation’ – Rogier Vanhorick

Final remarks and observations – Maarten de Wilde

Drinks and networking



Erasmus University Rotterdam
Campus Woudestein
Van der Groot Building (M)
Room Forum, M3-15 (3rd floor)
Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3052 PA Rotterdam
The Netherlands


Dr. Maarten de Wilde (Chair)

Associate Professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam; senior associate at Loyens & Loeff, where he is a member of the general tax practice in Rotterdam and a member of the firm’s Tax Knowledge Centre, and Director of Capacity Building at the Africa-Europe Partnership Institute for Capacity Building and Human Resource Development (AEPICAB). In partnership and consultation with African and European institutions, AEPICAB designs, develops and implements capacity-building programmes tailored to the needs of requesting beneficiaries, mostly African governmental institutions. In his research Maarten specializes in international tax law and European law on direct taxation, focusing primarily on the taxation of multinational enterprises. He is the author of Sharing the Pie: Taxing Multinationals in a Global Market.

Prof. Dr. Rita de la Feria

Professor and Chair of Tax Law at the University of Leeds. She is an International Research Fellow at Oxford University’s Centre for Business Taxation and a Visiting Professor at the University of Lisbon. She holds a law degree from the University of Lisbon and a PhD from the University of Dublin, Trinity College. Her research focuses primarily on tax law and policy, particularly at the intersection between tax law and EU constitutional law, and between tax law and public economics. She has published widely in these areas, including four books, and over 50 journal articles and book chapters.She was the Tax Policy and Legal Adviser to the Portuguese government in 2011-2012 and to the government of Timor-Leste in 2015-2016; and has since provided tax legal assistance to the Irish Revenue Commissioners, and the governments of Sao Tome and Principe and of Angola, the latter two under the auspices of the IMF. In both 2015 and 2016, Professor de la Feria was listed in the International Tax Review’s Global Tax 50 as one of the most influential tax people in the world, and in 2016 was co-recipient of the Tax Analysts’ Outstanding Women in Tax Award.

Nicolas Colin

Professor of Business Strategy at Université Paris-Dauphine and a Professor of Policy, as well as co-head of the Digital, Policy & Organizations Chair at Sciences Po. He is also a co-founder and partner of The Family, an investment firm operating an infrastructure supporting European start-ups. The Family’s activities centre on education, services and capital, with the goal of helping start-up founders to find growth levers that will scale their companies into becoming global leaders. Before founding The Family, Nicolas was a member of the Inspection générale des finances, the French Ministry of Finance’s in-house advisory body, where he and Pierre Collin (a tax judge at the Conseil d’Etat) directed a report on the tax system and the digital economy commissioned by the French government. From 2014 to 2016, he was a commissioner and member of the board of the Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (France’s personal data protection authority).

Rogier Vanhorick

Global Leader – EMEA indirect tax and head of Deloitte Netherlands’ indirect tax practice. Based in Rotterdam and with over 19 years of general indirect tax experience, Mr Vanhorick mainly advises international clients in the financial and energy sectors. He is a recognized expert in the indirect tax treatment of commodity and derivative trading.

Seminar Director

Peter Kavelaars

Professor of Fiscal Economy at the Erasmus University Rotterdam and Professor of Fiscal Law and the Economics of Taxation at the University of Curacao, and previously Professor of Tax Law at the University of Leiden. Professor Kavelaars is also a partner at Deloitte tax lawyers and director of its Tax Research Centre. After a degree in Fiscal Economics and Tax Law from the Erasmus University Rotterdam he completed a PhD in Allocation Rules in European Social Security Law. As well as being a board member of EFS, Erasmus University Rotterdam and the Dutch Association for Tax Sciences he has been involved in various research projects for Dutch government ministries, examining subjects ranging from the country’s tax competitive position to kilometre and land levies, and in 2013-14 was a member of the committee reviewing income tax and personal allowances. He is editor-in-chief of several tax and pension journals and contributing editor of the Weekblad voor Fiscaal Recht, and has also edited, authored, co-authored and annotated many books and articles.

About EFS, Erasmus University Rotterdam

EFS is a partnership between the tax departments of the Erasmus University Rotterdam’s Schools of Law and Economics.

EFS has been a leading education and research institute in the fields of indirect taxes (VAT and customs duties) and direct taxes (personal, corporate and source taxation) in a European and wider international context for over 25 years. EFS aims to pursue and promote academic education and research exploring the implications of international, and particularly EU, law for national tax systems. As well as regularly hosting academic symposia, conferences and lectures, EFS offers a wide range of post-master programmes and summer courses.

EFS programmes are taught by renowned professors and prestigious guest speakers, whose experience and reputation in their specialised fields guarantee high educational standards. The programmes are designed for tax specialists with several or more years of professional experience, with the diversity in the backgrounds of participants and speakers making EFS a unique network platform for exchanging knowledge.


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