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Dr E.J.W. Heithuis (1966) has been appointed Professor of Fiscal Economics, with particular emphasis on SME Taxation, at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Economics and Business.

Dr E.J.W. Heithuis (1966) has been appointed Professor of Fiscal Economics, with particular emphasis on SME Taxation, at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Economics and Business.

For many years now, Edwin Heithuis’ teaching and research has focused in particular on the taxation of small and medium enterprises, or SMEs. Among the issues he explores in his research are the efficacy of fiscal incentives for business owners and how they benefit their growth and development. He examines the extent to which fiscal instruments are sufficient in helping entrepreneurs grow and develop their businesses and what forms of support the tax system might provide.

Another key theme in his research is the fiscal neutrality of various company models and ways in which they can be promoted. In practice, SMEs are often governed by fiscal rules, as a result of which they do not do what is best for the business economically. Heithuis also studies developments within the European Union and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and considers their practical utility for taxation in the Netherlands.

Business succession planning (passing down businesses to the next generation), for both family and non-family firms, has also been an important research theme of Heithuis for some time, given that many post-war companies have recently or will soon undergo a transfer of ownership. Tax laws lay down various extremely diverse and complicated rules to provide fiscal guidance during corporate succession. The question is whether these regulations actually achieve their purpose, or are they actually counterproductive?

Heithuis has been active in the field of taxation for many years, having worked as professor of Fiscal Economics at the Erasmus University Rotterdam (until 1 March 2007) and as professor of Tax Law at Utrecht University (until 1 September 2011) prior to his appointment at the UvA. Since 2005, he has also worked at the tax consultancy firm BDO Belastingadviseurs, first as head of the tax division at its technical office in Tilburg and later as an academic consultant. Heithuis is also a deputy judge at the District Court of The Hague. Finally, Heithuis is a special member of the Dutch Association of Tax Advisers and of the Register Belastingadviseurs (Dutch Register of Tax Advisers). He has also authored many books and articles on the subject of tax law.