Roy Saunders qualified as a chartered accountant in 1967 and created his own niche international tax practice in 1971. He wrote his first book “Tax Planning for Businesses in Europe” in 1976 which was published by Butterworths and his second book “Principles of Tax Planning” which was published by Bureau of National Affairs in Washington in 1978. His best known work has been “International Tax Systems and Planning Techniques” which was published by what is now Thomson Group/Sweet and Maxwell in 1983 as a loose-leaf work, and is still the only major international tax reference work which was written by one person covering the tax legislation of more than 20 countries at that time. Since then, it has been updated in 60 releases as a loose-leaf edition until its first bound work was published in 2010 and is now published on an annual basis. The number of countries now covered within the book is more than 30 and includes chapters on personal and corporate tax legislation of the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Russia as may affect the potential client (there may also of course be other jurisdictions in which the client has an interest which are covered by the book). Other books written by Roy Saunders include “Cyprus in International Planning” for Longman Group, “Structuring International Real Estate Transactions” for Sweet and Maxwell and “Principles of International Tax Planning” published by his own company IFS in 2005 as an update to the 1978 version.
Roy has lectured around the world on international tax issues for many organisations including his own institute, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, the International Tax Planning Association of which he is on the Executive Committee, the Economist Intelligence Unit, many commercial conference organisations such as IBC, and for his own company IFS. He runs an annual conference in London as an IFS sponsored conference at which the contributors to “International Tax Systems and Planning Techniques” are invited as speakers on specific topics, this year’s topic being personal and corporate migration. Roy is currently teaching an MA Course on International Taxation at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies at the University of London.
Roy practices as an international tax consultant with his own company International Fiscal Services (IFS). He specialises in personal and corporate international tax issues for entrepreneurial clients and covers inter alia income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax issues. As his boutique practice grew, he established offices in London, Amsterdam, New York, Madrid, Jersey, Cyprus and Curacao which provided international tax advice in the relevant jurisdictions through a team of specialist tax accountants and lawyers. Now in his mid sixties, Roy has divested himself of these offices and operates his consultancy practice from a small base in St John’s Wood, London.
The client base of IFS has been very diverse over the years. In the past ten years say, the following clients have been advised by IFS:
- A leading Russian gas and other energy conglomerate as regards their international structure from the ownership point of view as well as subsidiary enterprises, acquisitions and sales, IPO arrangements etc.
- Switzerland’s largest bank in establishing an $8 billion Global Real Estate Fund with investments in the US, Japan, Western Europe and specifically the UK.
- A leading UK law firm in a negligence claim against an international tax advisory firm where Roy acted as expert witness on a failed IPO in which the tax legislation of several countries were relevant factors.
- A significantly wealthy family whose interests range from Spain, UK, US and central Europe to review problematic tax issues relating to succession planning and personal residence of relevant family members in respect of assets in various jurisdictions.
- Advising a wealthy Italian family with a manufacturing business on their trust arrangements for succession planning.
On a personal note, Roy has been married to his wife Sonia for 44 years, has four children and (currently) four grand-children. He is a keen golfer and his hobbies include music, painting, writing and the theatre.
- Wednesday, 20 May 2015
Most modern double tax treaties have traditionally been based on one of the model tax conventions (MTCs). While the US has relied on its own MTC, most of the developed countries followed the MTC developed by the OECD. Since the first tax treaties were negotiated, their primary function has been the promotion of international...Read more...
- Thursday, 23 April 2015
The future of Luxembourg, Switzerland, Cyprus, Malta, the Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man and similar economies relies heavily on their financial services industries, one of the major reasons why these economies have grown significantly over the past few decades. If we examine the structures that have been created and that have funded such economic growth...Read more...
- Thursday, 10 July 2014
The two basic concepts of international taxation are residence and source. Where these exist in different jurisdictions, there is the potential for double taxation which is precluded either through unilateral legislation or double tax treaty arrangements. At the same time, we need to consider the anti-avoidance legislation that exists universally to deny tax benefits which were not intended...Read more...
- Thursday, 08 May 2014
In what many will regard as somewhat ironic, Russia is adopting the concept of transparency in international business structures implying openness, communication and accountability relating to cross border transactions. The Ministry of Finance on 9 April 2014 issued a letter No. 03-00-RZ/16236 with the official clarification of what constitutes the beneficial ownership...Read more...
- Wednesday, 11 December 2013
The buzz word around the international tax community is ‘BEPS’, the acronym for the ‘Base Erosion and Profit Shifting’ project. BEPS is an initiative of the OECD launched at the request of G20 Finance Ministers. At first glance it appears to be a new initiative to create a level playing field and prevent taxpayers benefiting from aggressive tax planning structures. So confident does the...Read more...