EMEA Chapter
Presents Chapter Award

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Anna Theeuwes (left), president of TEI’s EMEA Chapter, presented recent ITC Leiden graduate Zahra Abdullah with the Chapter’s annual award for her paper on APA programs in five countries.

For the twelfth consecutive year, TEI’s EMEA Chapter presented an award at the August graduation ceremony of the International Tax Center at Leiden University. The awardee this year was Zahra Abdullah of Indonesia.

The award presentation was part of the graduation ceremonies that took place on August 25, 2017, in the Great Auditorium of the university’s Academy Building in the historic center of Leiden, in the Netherlands. The ceremonies also included the Maarten J. Ellis Graduation Lecture, presented this year by Professor Philip Baker on “Transparency, Privacy, and Exchange of Information.”

The president of the EMEA Chapter, Anna Theeuwes, presented the award to Abdullah, who was selected on the basis of her paper, “Improving the Effectiveness of the International Advance Pricing Agreement Process.” The paper analyzes the APA programs in five countries, focusing on the features in any particular country that could contribute to a taxpayer’s willingness to initiate an APA. The paper also discusses BEPS Action 14, including its minimum standards and best practices aimed at effectively resolving tax treaty disputes under a mutual agreement procedure (MAP). The paper concludes with her thoughts about factors that may help to improve the international APA procedure, incorporating cooperative compliance and trust among taxpayers and competent authorities to achieve accessibility, transparency, reliability, and efficiency of the program in bilateral and multilateral settings.

Abdullah received her undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Indonesia. She also served on the boards of tax and accounting professional organizations and is actively involved in the finance and tax committee of the Indonesian Petroleum Association. She is the tax and insurance manager for the Indonesian business unit of Premier Oil, a publicly listed company based in London. Her strong drive and passion for tax law ultimately led her, with her employer’s support, to the program of the International Tax Center Leiden.

Her experience as a mature student in the Advanced LL.M. program challenged her to the very limit. Yoga, stress management, hard work, and determination were her keys to meeting the demands of the rigorous program.

Having won the 2017 TEI EMEA Chapter Award, she clearly rose to the challenge. Congratulations to Zahra Abdullah!

TEI members who wish to learn more about the program at the International Tax Center Leiden may consult the ITC website, www.itc-Leiden.nl. To contact Zahra Abdullah, send her a message through the ITC alumni email network at Zahra.Abdullah@itc-leiden.nl or via her LinkedIn account at Zahra Mulachella.

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