Thierry Afschrift

Lawyer – Partner

“Tax avoidance is any tax payer’s fundamental right.”
Thierry Afschrift

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.”

Bar Associations

  • 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

Languages

  • French
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Spanish
  • Italian

Diplomas

  • 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)

Publications

Academic activities

Huidige

  • 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

Voorheen

  • 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)
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