David Cameron's position in the Global Tax 50 2013 in the
year the UK hosted the G8 presidency could easily have been a
joint entry for Cameron and Osborne, but this year the tables
have turned and it is the chancellor who has the UK Cabinet
bragging rights by being included in the top 10 of the Global
Tax 50 2014.
is a new entry this year
An important voice in any global issue, the UK has driven
forward themes of international tax transparency in 2014, and
this is the area Osborne first focuses on when asked about his
"Britain has led the way in promoting greater tax
transparency," Osborne tells International Tax
Review's Matthew Gilleard, saying that this year's
influence was built on the back of the work achieved in 2013
when the country held the G8 presidency.
We used our G8 presidency to call for a common template for
multinationals to report profit and tax information, which all
G20 and OECD member countries agreed to adopt earlier this
"Since then we have made significant progress towards
creating a simple, fair and competitive international tax
system," he adds, alluding to progress made on
removing beneficial ownership opacity and new
reporting rules for extractive companies, as well as the
UK's support for the BEPS project through the G20.
"We have seen concrete achievements on reforming the
international tax rules, so individuals can't hide their money
offshore and companies don't shift their profits away from
where the profit is made."
accusations of mixed messages, Osborne has also been a
shining example of how to balance competitive tax policy with
an anti-avoidance message, saying his stance is consistent and
clear: "Low taxes; but taxes that will be paid".
For 2015, the chancellor says supporting
timely delivery of BEPS actions will be a priority, to
ensure the progress made in recent years leads to meaningful
and implementable solutions.
"I want to maintain this momentum and will continue to
support measures to counter BEPS through working with the G20
It is unclear how the chancellor's proposed
diverted profits tax (DPT), or Google tax, is going to fit
with BEPS deliverables. Unilateral action is not what the OECD
wants, but if others follow Osborne's lead in 2015, the DPT
move could reinforce his influence even further.