On 12 May 2020, Crowe Expertiza and many other Crowe firms from CIS and Baltic countries held an online tax conference, entitled, “The Present and the Future of Taxation in the Post-COVID-19 World.”
Crowe Expertiza (Russia) organized the conference, with the strong support of Crowe CC and Crowe regional partners. These included AC Crowe Ukraine, Crowe Estonia, Crowe Audex (Russia), Crowe Belarus, Crowe ACG (Tajikistan), Crowe Azerbaijan, Crowe Tax & Advisory KZ, and Crowe Valente (Italy). Two hundred delegates from 39 countries attended the conference.
Bernard Delomeni, Regional EMEA Director of Crowe Global, and Alexander Yerofeev, ILP of Crowe Expertiza, opened the conference with a welcome address. Bernard and Alexander stressed the importance of regional cooperation within Crowe and pre-announced the next regional Crowe CIS Countries Club tax conference on 16 June.
The first part of the conference focused on a discussion that included managing and tax partners from Crowe CIS and Baltic countries. Leonid Karpov, Leonid Agejev, Roustam Vakhitov, Svetlana Efimova, Ildar Khousnutdinov, Anton Mihailou, Farrukh Muminov, and Zamin Guseynov joined with tax professionals representing big CIS based groups, such as Evgeny Vrubblevsky, Head of Treasury and Head of the Cyprus office of Polymetall, and Ivanna Pogrebnyak, CEO of AB Games (developer of Hidden City game, Cyprus).
They discussed ongoing trends and developments in Russia and other CIS countries related to holding and operational companies in Cyprus. This included the steps undertaken by these companies in response to the amendment of the Russia-Cyprus double tax treaty and changes in the double tax treaty between Cyprus and Ukraine. Critical matters include a comprehensive overview of the companies situation and real business activity instead of letterbox companies.
Next, there were country presentations from local Crowel firms that focused on the impact of COVID-19 on their current position. They also shared how COVID-19 has affected taxpayers and discussed the anticipated developments whilst providing recommendations for foreign investors acting in their countries.
The Founding Partner of Crowe Valente Piergiorgio Valente, opened the next session on Transfer Pricing. He and the ILP of Crowe Valente, Filipa Correia, discussed topics, such as the intra-group supplies of goods and services and the increasing attention of tax authorities on matters involving transfer pricing.
This session included the Head of Tax from Siemens in Russia and their counterpart from Central Asia, Vladimir Zaystev. Also included in the discussion was the Head of Tax from CNH Industrial in Russia and their counterpart in Central Asia, Ekaterina Malysheva, as well as Svetlana Efimova of Crowe Expertiza.
Professor Van Raad, a world-renowned expert in international taxation, opened and led the next session. He discussed the impact of COVID-19 on the application of double tax treaties, the residence of companies and individuals, and the recent practices of various states to deal with these matters.
Discussion continued with Yaroslav Guseynov, the Head of Tax and Compliance of Metinvest, and the Head of Tax at Shell (Kazakhstan and Caspian region) Andrey Kudyarov and Peter Chen as well as the International Tax partner of Crowe China.
Next, Dinesh Jangra, Partner and Head of Global Mobility at Crowe UK, and Markus Susilo, Partner, Tax Advisory at Crowe discussed the impact of COVID-19 on global mobility services. Also, Markus stressed the importance of the UAE requirements for economic substance.
Kresimir Lipovchak, Partner and Head of Tax at Crowe Croatia, described the opportunities available under Croatian tax laws to invest through this country across the whole of the EU and beyond. Also, Svitlana Romanova, Head of Legal of Metinvest, commented on the impact of COVID-19 on legal matters and the practical operation of multinational legal departments. This provided a useful evaluation of these developments from different angles.
Jesús Romero, Partner at Crowe Spain and Chair of the EMEA Tax Committee, started the next session. He provided an excellent overview of issues and challenges arising from COVID-19 in the consultancy profession as well as shared the solutions applied by Crowe to sustain success in a changing environment. Adriana Escobedo, Chair of Crowe Tax Committee for Americas, and Peter Chen, International Tax Partner at Crowe China, shared similar experiences from their regions.
Claudia Ortiz, International Tax Chair at Crowe Global, concluded the session by sharing valuable insights about tax policy principles that can ensure business continuity during this time and support a speedy recovery afterwards. Claudia also outlined Crowe Tax Committee activities and ended with an inspiring message that called for stronger cooperation within Crowe, comparing the network to family and business partners.
Kamel Abouchacra, Chief Operating Officer of Crowe Global, concluded the conference by thanking all delegates and presenters. He shared information about the next tax conference scheduled for 16 June. The conference subject is "Striving for Excellence: Crowe Best Practices to Serve Clients in the Post-COVID-19 World."