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Alexandra Vale, VAT Director Europe, Chemtura, Chemtura

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Alex has worked in indirect taxes for nearly 25 years. She began her career in excise duty with (as it was then) HM Customs and Excise and transitioned into VAT on promotion. After gaining eight years' experience in a variety of areas she joined KPMG to

become a consultant. After qualifying CTA, Alex joined Ernst & Young and then spent 10 years advising a wide range of clients in the consumer, industrial products and financial services sectors.  

In search of a different challenge she joined HM Revenue & Customs as an anti-avoidance advisor to return to indirect

tax from the other side of the fence. Having gained valuable experience she rejoined the profession and PwC specialising in indirect tax function effectiveness and working as part of the specialised tax technology team. 

Eighteen months ago she took the plunge and joined Chemtura as her first role in industry. The role of Director, VAT Europe was  newly created as  the business had not had any tax resource outside of North America before. Now dealing with all VAT

and customs-duty-related matters for all business areas apart from North America, she has set up a VAT compliance centre of excellence for Europe and will be rolling this approach out across the globe.

What are your current challenges:

Managing the VAT compliance for 32 registrations which comprise more than 1400 returns a year with a manual process and a team 

What are you proudest of:

Taking Chemtura from being worst in class from a VAT compliance perspective to excellence in 1 year - once our project implementation is complete we will be at best in 

Whatkey piece of advice would you pass on to your peers:

Make sure that you engage all the stakeholders in any project plans - work with them and not against them, fully understand the business and produce a blueprint of the transaction flows and always expect the unexpected - no matter how well you plan there will always something that will appear that could not be envisaged!

Your shared services:

  • Shared services age - less than one year 
  • Main countries/regions served - Europe
  • Main ERP - SAP