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Global Tax 50 2015: Magdalena Sepulveda Carmona

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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