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Global Tax 50 2015: Magdalena Sepulveda Carmona

02 February 2016

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Senior research fellow, UNRISD; commissioner, ICRICT

Magdalena Sepulveda Carmona
Magdalena Sepulveda Carmona is a new entry this year

Magdalena Sepulveda Carmona is a senior research fellow at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) and a commissioner of the Independent Commission for Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT), which seeks to promote debate on international corporate tax reform that is wider and more inclusive than is possible through any other existing forum.

The Chilean lawyer has unquestionable pedigree in the areas of development, human rights and economic inequality, having previously held roles including: UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights between 2008 and 2014; and research director at the International Council on Human Rights Policy (ICHRP) between 2006 and 2012.

And she has brought the same zeal to her work on taxation. In November she wrote a piece for the Huffington Post – 'It's time for companies to lead the fight against tax dodging' – in which she pointed out that meeting Sustainable Development Goals (which have been agreed) will cost developing countries "more than could ever be delivered by aid".

"Developing countries must be empowered to collect the taxes they need to end poverty," she urges. "Critical to this is tackling corporate tax avoidance."

Sepulveda highlighted the example of Caroline Muchanga, a stall holder in Zambia who she says paid more tax than the British-owned multinational Zambia Sugar.

"While she struggled to buy school books for the children, her corporate neighbour used clever tricks and tax havens to reduce its tax bill to near zero," Sepulveda claims.

But, rather than adopt the Rottweiler-esque 'we are right, you are wrong; we are good, you are evil' attitude of some other campaigners, Sepulveda is pragmatic, highlighting apparent inequalities publicly but also appealing to "good businesses" to "recognise that they too must play their part".

The Global Tax 50 2015
View the full list and introduction
The top 10 • Ranked in order of influence
1. Margrethe Vestager 2. Pascal Saint-Amans
3. Wang Jun 4. Arun Jaitley
5. Marissa Mayer 6. Will Morris
7. Ian Read 8. Pierre Moscovici
9. Donato Raponi 10. Global Alliance for Tax Justice
The remaining 40 • In alphabetic order
Brigitte Alepin Andrus Ansip
Tamara Ashford Mohammed Amine Baina
Piet Battiau Elise Bean
Monica Bhatia David Bradbury
Winnie Byanyima Mauricio Cardenas
Allison Christians Rita de la Feria
Marlies de Ruiter Judith Freedman
Meg Hillier Vanessa Houlder
Kim Jacinto-Henares Eva Joly
Chris Jordan Jean-Claude Juncker
Alain Lamassoure Juliane Kokott
Armando Lara Yaffar Liao Tizhong
Paige Marvel Angela Merkel
Zach Mider Richard Murphy
George Osborne Achim Pross
Akhilesh Ranjan Alan Robertson
Paul Ryan Tove Maria Ryding
Magdalena Sepulveda Carmona Lee Sheppard
Parthasarathi Shome Robert Stack
Mike Williams Ya-wen Yang

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