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Vladimir Putin

President, Russia

Vladimir Putin

He has hunted tigers and bears, he has flown fighter jets, he has taken down judo masters in front of the Japanese Prime Minister, and in hosting this year’s G20 summit, he has been at the heart of global efforts to tackle tax avoidance.

Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent, may once have been immersed in the murky world of espionage, but as far as the G20’s work on tax goes, transparency is the order of the day.

G20 leaders met in St. Petersburg in September to produce a communiqué that highlighted their commitment to automatic information exchange and endorsed the action items in the OECD action plan on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).

“Cross-border tax evasion and avoidance undermine our public finances and our people's trust in the fairness of the tax system. We [have now] endorsed plans to address these problems and committed to take steps to change our rules to tackle tax avoidance, harmful practices, and aggressive tax planning,” said the communiqué.

In a shock upset this year, Putin unseated Barack Obama as the most powerful person in the world, according to Forbes. While he may not be the most influential person in tax, the growing influence of the G20 and its strong pronouncements on tax in St. Petersburg earns him a place in this list.

Further reading

G20 backs BEPS action despite implementation concerns

G20 communiqué drives BEPS action forward but implementation will be a “nightmare”

G20 wants automatic exchange of tax information to be the new norm

The Global Tax 50 2013

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