Leaders in Law endorses Thierry Afschrift as our exclusively recommended Tax Law expert in Switzerland. If you wish to get in touch with Thierry please use the contact information provided above.
Every taxpayer is entitled to reduce his tax burden
In 1994, the year in which the firm that bears his name saw the light of day, Thierry Afschrift wrote “L’évitement licite de l’impôt et la réalité juridique, un droit fondamental du contribuable” published by Larcier. The essence of his message, and also the basis of the firm’s values, is that taxpayers are under no compulsion to pay more tax than they are legally obliged to.
“The administration cannot compel a taxpayer, whether a company, a natural person or a legal entity, to place himself in an unfavourable position. Provided that he acts within the law, every taxpayer is entitled to reduce his tax burden inasmuch as possible. Successive governments have been trying to abolish that right for 60 years now. But as long as the legality principle of taxation remains enshrined in the Constitution, the legislator will find it hard to argue that citizens, who abide by the law, are suddenly denied the benefit of its application because they may have tried to use it to their advantage.”
Ever since the firm was set up, Thierry has asked all the lawyers at the firm to act as consultants and in disputes. “Even though this format is fairly unusual, it seems indispensable to me if we are to realise our objectives. Our message to taxpayers must be crystal clear: we are confident enough in the advice we give to defend that advice, if need be, against the administration and before the competent courts.”
- Member of the Bar Council of Brussels since 1976
- Member of the Bar Associations/Councils of Madrid, Antwerp, Luxembourg and Geneva
- Foreign Lawyer, member of the Law Society of Hong-Kong
- Deputy Justice at the Court of Appeal of Brussels
- Master’s in Law – Université libre de Bruxelles, Special Master’s in Economic Law, Special Master’s in Fiscal Science,
- Award, as per decision of the Board of Governors of the Université Libre de Bruxelles, for exceptional scientific merit equivalent to a doctoral thesis (1992)
- Head of the 3rd year Bachelor’s programme Tax Law (30 hours) at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics & Management (since 1987)
- Chairman of the Executive Master’s programme Fiscal Management (which confers the Diploma of Special Studies in Fiscal Management ) at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics & Management
- Co-manager of the course In-depth Corporate Tax Issues – Case Studies in the Executive Master’s programme Fiscal Management
- Introduction to Law course assistant at the Faculty of Law of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (from 1 October 1978 until 30 September 1982)
- Tax Law I course assistant at the Faculty of Law of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (from 1 October 1982 until 30 September 1988)
- Head of the course In-depth Study of VAT at the Faculty of Law of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (1992-1997)
- Head of the course E-commerce and Tax Law in the D.E.S. in E-commerce at the Polytechnic School of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (2000-2001)
- Head of the course Complements to Taxation in the 4th year of the Solvay Brussels School of Economy and Management (1991 – 2005)
Law Firm Afschrift stands for unparalleled versatility. This claim stems from two essential elements, i.e. a personal relationship and qualitative advice.
Our team: multi-skilled professionals
Your lawyer is honour-bound to assist you with anything that requires his skills, be it of a tax-related or any other nature. This is why all our lawyers are multi-skilled and fully au fait with all the aspects of the tax and judicial system.
You can count on them for guidance and to represent your interests towards tax authorities.
Your lawyer: your privileged partner
The relationship between a lawyer and client is a long-term personal relationship. This relationship is based on mutual trust and becomes stronger as time goes on.
What does that mean?
Your lawyer has the relevant competences to guide you through your financial files.
All our lawyers are specialised in tax law. That does not mean that our firm is subdivided into “departments” however, for each of us is able to resolve your taxation and related issues.
Unless you expressly ask otherwise, you will never have to deal with more than two people.
Your lawyer knows you personally and, as he has an overview of your situation, your assets, he is able to answer all your tax-related questions.
Our lawyers are both consultants and litigation lawyers
As we see it, tax advice should be based on the firm conviction of the lawyer so that, when push comes to shove, he is also able to defend the chosen solution in Court.
This firm conviction leads to legal security about the transaction and maximises your chances of a successful outcome.
This is why most of our lawyers are seasoned litigation lawyers and very much in touch with the reality of daily practice.
The expertise they gained in the course of legal proceedings allows them, realistically and without preconceptions, to assess the relevance of the solutions they present you with.
Afschrift and the bears
As symbol of our vision of what the profession of tax lawyer stands for, we chose the bear for its strength, valour and image of kindness.
Strength and valour
Bears have the name of being powerful animals, fierce in their defence of their young and in protecting their territory from intruders.
As tax lawyers, it is our job to defend our clients and to protect their assets from the State. We do so with the same strength and energy as a sow defends its cubs.
Gentleness and kindness
But a lawyer’s task also includes guiding and advising his clients so as to enable them to manage their assets and business. We help our clients with the same thoughtfulness as a sow watching her offspring taking their first steps.
Finally, teddy bears are a child’s first confidant, a confidant that knows how to keep a secret.
To ensure that our clients get the most appropriate advice, they will have to accept that there are certain things we have to know about. We give you an absolute guarantee that anything you share with us in confidence is safe with us.
To show you exactly how fond we are of bears, the embodiment of everything we stand for, we decided to do take some concrete action by supporting associations that protect bears across France and Spain.