60-second interview with John Graham

John Graham, 2/8/2017

John Graham TEP is a partner at Graham Smith & Partners in Amsterdam.

What does your firm do?

We advise individuals and their companies on international tax matters, in particular where they have moved countries or where trusts are involved.

What has STEP done for you, individually, or as a business?

STEP provides a reliable resource in a wide range of countries, and is also a source of referrals.

What is the most important thing STEP does, in your opinion?

Providing a knowledge and referrals base with respect to cross-border individuals.

You will be speaking at the STEP Benelux Conference in September. What will you be speaking on and what are the main issues in this area?

I will be speaking on wealth planning in the Netherlands. One of the important issues is how to deal with the Dutch notional return rules, which deem that you earn a certain return on your assets, irrespective of the actual income earned. There are also many issues around trusts.

What do you most like about your job?

Being able to be creative.

.. and what do you feel is most worthwhile?

Helping people solve their tax problems.

What would you say to a young person thinking of a career in this industry?

Try and create a combination of different areas of expertise, and keep reading.

Where do you see future growth, both in terms of sectors and jurisdictions?

Many developing countries have a growing middle class that is much more mobile than it used to be. This creates opportunities for advisors.

What do you feel are the main challenges facing practitioners at the moment, and how will you deal with them?

Short term, the challenge is trying to deal with the question of morality in taxation. Looking further ahead, we’ll also have to face the consequences of artificial intelligence.

Which social media channels do you use and why?

I use only LinkedIn. It’s useful to reach people with whom I’ve lost touch, and it helps with recruitment.


John Graham TEP's practice areas comprise civil-law planning (including foundations), company formation/management, estate planning/administration and tax.