|Robert Stack was also in the Global Tax 50 2014|
Last year, the Global Tax 50 praised Robert Stack for bucking the trend of reticence among tax officials. The US BEPS representative did not shrink away from the spotlight, contributing widely to media discussion of relevant issues and speaking regularly at related events.
This year, Stack has been praised in particular for defending the rights and interests of the US in multilateral BEPS discussions as part of his role as the lead US delegate to the OECD's Committee on Fiscal Affairs.
With many of his compatriots viewing BEPS discussions as an attack on the US, Stack staunchly defended the arm's-length principle and pushed back against proposed changes to digital economy taxation, among other things.
Stack also criticised the UK's unilateral action to introduce a diverted profits tax (DPT) ahead of final BEPS deliverables. His denunciation of the UK's move – which he said hindered further progress at the OECD-level – also flies in the face of criticism that the US would not actively engage with the multilateral BEPS discussions.
"We understand governments are under enormous pressure to raise revenue and it must be tempting to target non-residents," he said, before expressing his disappointment at the DPT at an event later in the year, at which he went on to say that the DPT's introduction was probably motivated by the impending general election and a desire on the part of the government to be seen as employing a tougher stance on multinational tax avoidance than the opposition Labour party.
"[This] puts a spotlight on the degree to which political pressure can trump policy," said Stack.