Axel Smits

Axel Smits

Chairman & Territory Senior Partner, PwC Belgium

Axel is the Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC Belgium. Alongside working with the firm’s Partners to steer the Belgian network forward.

He is a chartered tax consultant by training and - before assuming his current position - was the head of the Belgian Tax and Legal practice.  Over the past two years he also facilitated PwC's EMEA Tax and Legal practice.  In addition to his leadership position, Axel remains active as a client partner within our firm.

With PwC since 1990, Axel has over 25 years of experience in advising national and multinational corporates and groups on a wide variety of international tax topics. He achieves this in a world where matching the features of multiple domestic tax systems with those of international tax rules has become increasingly complex, and also helps clients articulate their business and tax affairs to internal and external stakeholders.

Throughout his career, Axel has supported a significant number of companies from Strategy through Execution, helping them develop, implement and maintain sustainable global tax strategies, particularly in the areas of holding and financing and intellectual property planning, always ensuring appropriate substance is put in place.



  • Master after Master in Finance, 1996,  University of Leuven
  • Master after Master in Taxation,  1993,  BKR Antwerp
  • Master of Law,  1990,  University of Antwerp



Axel is one of the lead authors of the global PwC publications:

  • “Mastering the IP life cycle. Towards a tax efficient management of intellectual property rights”, which deals with intellectual property rights from a tax, legal and accounting perspective in over 40 countries worldwide.
  • “Substance 2.0 – Aligning international tax planning with today’s business realities”, which deals with the question of economic substance in international tax planning, both in corporate structures (e.g. tax residence) and operating models (profit allocation).  Here also the topic is dealt with in over 40 countries worldwide.


  • With PwC since 1990
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