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Value Added Tax for U.S. Companies

Product Code - TMW24
Speaker(s): Mark Houtzager
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Value Added Tax (VAT) is a tax levied on the supply of goods and services in almost every country outside the U.S.  Companies with operations outside the U.S. need to understand how VAT works, how to comply with the diverse VAT rules and how to ensure that VAT does not become a cost of doing business.

This presentation focuses on how U.S. companies should address VAT. The discussion will start with VAT basics, highlight the importance of strategic VAT management and will address solutions to some typical VAT pitfalls.

Presentation Objectives

The objectives of this 60 minute web-enabled seminar include providing participants with a conceptual understanding and practical application of the following:

    1. The basics of Value Added Tax
    2. The importance of VAT for operations outside the U.S.
    3. Simple techniques for optimizing your VAT position
    4. Recent developments in the VAT world, including a brief primer on the potential of VAT in the U.S.


Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the concept of VAT, and how VAT impacts on your organization
  2. Start to identify potential VAT sensitivities and opportunities within your company's operations and billing/accounting systems
  3. Understand that VAT exemptions may be costly, and that recent simplifications in the VAT rules are not necessarily cost-effective

Mark Houtzager

Mark Houtzager ( is a U.S.-based consultant and thought leader on Value Added Tax and Customs, with 20 years of hands-on experience in supporting U.S. companies with the transaction tax impact of their non-U.S. operations. He has been sharing his VAT knowledge through web- and podcasts, and through numerous articles in practical and academic publications. His latest essay, on the use of technology in a potential VAT in the U.S., is scheduled for publication in January 2011.


Originally from the Netherlands, Houtzager has been working in various European countries and in Singapore for a Big 4 accounting firm, before settling in the U.S. in 2001. Recently he started his own consulting firm: US VAT, Inc. Please refer to for more information.