|Lou Jiwei was
also in the Global Tax 50
Lou Jiwei, one of China's most outspoken and well-respected
politicians, made a monumental development when he proposed a
new international taxation system to tackle tax avoidance at
the annual G20 summit in the Chinese city of Chengdu in 2016.
Lou, who was appointed as the minister of finance in March
2013, also held a central position transitioning China from a
business tax to a VAT regime, which was completed in May 2016.
This wins him a spot in the Global Tax 50 as one of the most
influential people in tax.
For many years, China's indirect tax system was split, with
VAT applying to the goods sectors, and business tax applying to
the services sectors. Since 2012, China has embarked on a
journey to change this system and replace the business tax with
VAT, with the final sectors transitioning from business tax to
VAT nationwide on May 1 2016.
"When fully implemented, China's VAT system will be one of
the broadest-based systems among more than 160 countries in the
world which have now implemented a VAT or equivalent tax," KPMG
China's Khoonming Ho and Lewis Lu told International Tax
Review in April.
Lou inadvertently caused quite the stir when he was axed
from his role as finance minister and replaced by bureaucrat
Xiao Jie in November, two years before his term ended. While
Lou was unlikely to be reappointed when the next term began in
2018, there was no explanation as to why the outspoken
reformist was replaced, but news reports suggested that this
happened because of the global concern over China's economic
slowdown. But before his sudden departure, he made an impact at
the G20 meeting, where he said that the G20 should play a
leading role in improving the international tax governance and
support the development of a new international tax system.
"[The] G20 should continuously expand and deepen
international tax coordination and cooperation, and support the
development of a new international tax system which is fair,
equal, inclusive and organised," Lou said.