Global Tax 50 2014: George Osborne
UK chancellor of the exchequer
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. 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 achievements.
"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 presidencyto 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 year."
"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 opacityand 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."
Despite 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 actionswill 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 and OECD."
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.
The Global Tax 50 2014
Gold tier (ranked in order of influence)
Silver tier (in alphabetic order)
Joaquín Almunia • Apple • Justice Patrick Boyle • CTPA • Joe Hockey • IMF • Arun Jaitley • Marius Kohl • Tizhong Liao • Kosie Louw • Pierre Moscovici • Michael Noonan • Wolfgang Schäuble • Algirdas Šemeta • Robert Stack
Bronze tier (in alphabetic order)
Shinzo Abe • Alberto Arenas • Piet Battiau • Monica Bhatia • Bitcoin • Bono • Warren Buffett • ECJ Translators • Eurodad • Hungarian protestors • Indian Special Investigation Team (SIT) • Chris Jordan • Armando Lara Yaffar • McKesson • Patrick Odier • OECD printing facilities • Pier Carlo Padoan • Mariano Rajoy • Najib Razak • Alex Salmond • Skandia • Tax Justice Network • Edward Troup • Margrethe Vestager • Heinz Zourek