ITR Global Tax 50 2022: Pascal Saint-Amans
Former director of the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD
Pascal Saint-Amans stepped down as the OECD’s tax chief on November 1 2022 after more than 10 years of service. He leaves behind a legacy of hard-won reforms that have transformed international tax policy.
Before he retired, Saint-Amans was widely considered to be the most influential figure in international tax. He spent much of 2022 fighting to keep the momentum going behind pillar two implementation, while trying to settle the details of pillar one.
He brokered the October 2021 agreement on pillar one and two with innumerable stakeholders, from tax professionals to politicians, across 137 countries. This on its own was a landmark achievement.
The BEPS project secured in 2015 itself was enough of a legacy for any OECD tax director. Saint-Amans delivered the 15-point action plan of measures to tackle tax avoidance in just two years. This included a new multilateral instrument that has since been signed by at least 100 countries.
Pillars one and two have proven to be even more ambitious. Pillar two looks set to become part of the international order in 2024, while pillar one still faces significant political obstacles. There is a danger that the world will continue to drift into unilateralism if the latter fails.
Whatever happens, Saint-Amans will have a place in the history books.