News & Views

Tax Specialist Petri Saukko Joins Hannes Snellman

9 January 2017

On 9 January 2017, VAT Specialist Petri Saukko will be joining Hannes Snellman, as the firm continues to boost its highly regarded tax team focusing on tax advice in major transactions and complex tax disputes. Petri has extensive experience in indirect taxation and administrative law.

Petri is a Doctor of Laws from the University of Lapland and he has a background as an administrative court judge and as the chairman of the tax division in an administrative court. He has also worked for the Supreme Administrative Court, as well as for an international audit company. In 2012, Petri worked in the Advocate General’s Cabinet in the Court of Justice of the European Union. Petri is a docent and he has written numerous books on both indirect taxation and administrative law. He is also a frequent lecturer.

During the past few years, there has been a shift towards VAT and other forms of indirect taxation in the tax systems. This has been true particularly in Finland, where the level of personal income taxation is high and thereby difficult to raise due to, among other things, a high level of unemployment. It is also problematic to implement corporate tax increases in a competitive global market. As a solution, recent governments have placed more emphasis on indirect taxation.

At Hannes Snellman, we predict that the number of tax disputes will remain high in the relatively challenging macroeconomic environment and that there will be an increase in the indirect tax related proceedings. In addition, international litigation relating to taxes in the Court of Justice of the European Union and in the Human Rights Tribunal is expected to increase. Thus, there will be  a growing demand for expertise in administrative proceedings, and Petri’s extensive experience from administrative courts is an optimal addition to Hannes Snellman’s broad array of expertise in this area.

Transactions are another service area within which we are experiencing an increasing demand for VAT and other indirect tax expertise due to the general shift of emphasis from direct to indirect taxation. Hannes Snellman is now also able to serve its banking and insurance clients even more comprehensively than before in the area of indirect taxation. The EU Audit Reform, which came into force last summer, prevents banks, insurance companies, and listed companies from buying certain tax services from their auditing firms, which further increases the demand for tax services from law firms.