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Global Tax 50 2014: George Osborne

UK chancellor of the exchequer

George Osborne
George Osborne is a new entry this year
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 presidency to 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 opacity and 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 actions will 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
View the full list and introduction
Gold tier (ranked in order of influence)
1. Jean-Claude Juncker  2. Pascal Saint-Amans  3. Donato Raponi  4. ICIJ  5. Jacob Lew  6. George Osborne  7. Jun Wang  8. Inverting pharmaceuticals  9. Rished Bade  10. Will Morris

Silver tier (in alphabetic order)
Joaquín AlmuniaAppleJustice Patrick BoyleCTPAJoe HockeyIMFArun JaitleyMarius KohlTizhong LiaoKosie LouwPierre MoscoviciMichael NoonanWolfgang SchäubleAlgirdas ŠemetaRobert Stack

Bronze tier (in alphabetic order)
Shinzo AbeAlberto ArenasPiet BattiauMonica BhatiaBitcoinBonoWarren BuffettECJ TranslatorsEurodadHungarian protestorsIndian Special Investigation Team (SIT)Chris JordanArmando Lara YaffarMcKessonPatrick OdierOECD printing facilitiesPier Carlo PadoanMariano RajoyNajib RazakAlex SalmondSkandiaTax Justice NetworkEdward TroupMargrethe VestagerHeinz Zourek

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