VAT update: Spotlight on…Bernardo Almeida

In the next of our Spotlight interviews, we catch up with VAT Partner, Bernardo Almeida.

Why did you choose your profession and how did it come about?

My career choice in tax law was a natural progression from my Law degree, further specialised with a Master’s in Tax Law. This path was fuelled by a fascination with the complex interplay between the legal and financial systems. My roles at prestigious organisations like Deloitte, KPMG, EY, and Baker McKenzie, and especially as the Global Head of Tax at Farfetch, allowed me to dive into the intricacies of tax law, which is an interesting intellectual challenge. Building an indirect tax function from scratch at Farfetch was a highlight, emphasising the strategic significance of tax law in global business.

Tax also allowed me to work across diverse locales, including Portugal, Hungary, and the UK. I’ve developed a broad perspective on different tax systems and their business impacts. My experience spans advisory, compliance, tax transformation, and policy work, offering a comprehensive view of the field. It’s the dynamic nature and the real-world impact of tax law that continually drives my professional journey.

What is your role at Hazlewoods?

As Hazlewoods’ VAT Partner, I oversee VAT matters for various industries and sectors. My focus is on providing specialised advisory services, particularly in auditing and handling complex business models. In this role, I aim to deliver tailored VAT strategies that ensure compliance and enhance our clients’ tax position.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

What I find most fulfilling in my role is the synergy of working with people, managing projects, and interacting with clients. I thrive on collaborating with multidisciplinary teams, where I can contribute my VAT expertise while also considering the broader commercial objectives and goals of our clients. This multidimensional approach not only enhances our advisory services but also ensures that our solutions are aligned with our clients’ unique business needs and aspirations.

What challenges do you help your clients with?

I assist clients with a range of challenges, particularly in navigating the complexities of VAT in relation to their specific industry and business model. Leveraging my extensive background in tax law and experience with diverse business environments, I provide specialised advice on VAT compliance, audit processes, and the implementation of effective tax strategies. My approach is always client-centric, focusing on understanding their unique commercial objectives and goals to offer solutions that are not only compliant but also commercially savvy and aligned with their overall business strategy. Whether it’s simplifying complex tax scenarios for a multinational corporation or tailoring VAT advice for a specific sector, my goal is to ensure that our clients’ financial practices are both efficient and strategically sound.

Challenges in your current work?

One of the primary challenges in my current role is the growth and development of our team. It’s crucial to find professionals who not only possess the right skill set but also share the mindset necessary for delivering high-quality, cost-effective advice to our diverse client base. This involves not just technical proficiency in VAT, but also a deep understanding of different industry sectors and the ability to tailor advice to each client’s unique situation. Balancing these requirements while maintaining a high standard of service is a continuous and dynamic challenge that drives our team’s development and success.

Tell us about what you enjoy outside of work.

Outside of the professional sphere, I have a deep-seated passion for cooking, which has recently evolved into a keen interest in the art of dessert-making. I find the technical challenges of crafting desserts particularly engaging, as it blends creativity with precision. It’s a delightful and rewarding hobby that allows me to unwind and experiment in a different kind of problem-solving.

Apart from my culinary adventures, my most profound joy comes from being a new father. Witnessing the growth and development of my daughter each day is an unparalleled experience. It’s an ongoing adventure, filled with new discoveries and precious moments that bring a whole new perspective to my life. Balancing my professional responsibilities with these personal passions makes for a fulfilling and enriching life journey.

If you would like to contact Bernardo with any VAT queries, please click here.

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