|Monica Bhatia was also in the Global Tax 50 2014, and 2013|
Monica Bhatia makes the Global Tax 50 for the third time running, having now led the secretariat of OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes for almost four years.
The French-based tax expert has an array of skills, having been trained in psychology, economics, law and finance. She has held posts as a commissioner in the Indian Income Tax Department, and in the Indian government as the director of tax policy and legislation, director of foreign tax and tax research and as an additional director of income tax, international taxation, before moving to Paris and the OECD in 2012.
"2015 has been another incredibly demanding – and rewarding – year at the Global Forum," says Bhatia. "Our global reach is increasing. Not only is our membership continuing to expand and more jurisdictions are joining the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance, but the depth of our engagement with our members is enhancing."
The Global Forum is used by countries both within and outside of the OECD to increase transparency, working on money laundering and offshore issues as well as tax. Indeed, Bhatia and Pascal Saint-Amans joined together to criticise the European Commission's publication of a list of 30 non-cooperative jurisdictions blacklisted by EU member states.
Much of the Forum's work this year has focused on engaging more deeply with its members. This work has involved, in particular, helping countries to implement international standards, with one example of its influence and success being the spread of automatic exchange of information (AEoI).
The impact of the Forum's work is becoming more and more visible as more countries commit to AEoI and implement global standards, and it has also made inroads into the developing world to expand its work with countries there.
"In particular, I am extremely proud of the role of the Global Forum in the Addis Ababa Third International Conference on Financing for Development, which put tax transparency centre stage for the next decade of work on international development," says Bhatia, who also points out the Forum's work in battling to maintain a position of influence in the area of tax transparency at a time of great – and rapid – change.
"We also saw some challenges which appeared to cast a shadow on the remarkable progress made by many of our members on the agenda of tax transparency and moved swiftly to ensure that the Global Forum's work retains its pre-eminence in the assessment of progress on international standards on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes," she says.
All of this was achieved alongside Bhatia's regular workload, which included the completion of 41 peer reviews during 2015, while a framework for a new round of reviews has also been established.