In 2013, the number one spot was controversially awarded to Amazon, Google and Starbucks. As we pointed out last year, the avoidance scandals involving those three household names shook up the entire tax world and set the pace and direction of policy change, prompting automatic information exchange and country-by-country reporting to jump to the top of the reform agenda.
The companies' impact might not have been of the kind they would have chosen to be remembered for in 2013, and a similar summary can be made of the man who ousts them from the top spot for 2014: Jean-Claude Juncker.
Progress made on the G20/OECD BEPS project, coupled with the explosive LuxLeaks revelations, meant the past 12 months saw evasion and aggressive avoidance continue to dominate as a theme influencing tax policy, tax structuring and tax administration. The makeup of our list largely reflects this theme.
As always, politicians and policymakers account for a number of spots on the Global Tax 50 list, which is unsurprising given the power and sway they hold over large groups of taxpayers. The Global Tax 50 2014 again brings you exclusive interviews with many of these figures, but that is not all. Aside from politicians, administrators and taxpayers, this year's list also features a rock star, a cryptocurrency, and an honourable mention for the rainforests of the world.
Our top 10, listed in order of influence, is available exclusively online, while in the magazine you will find our complete top 50, listed in alphabetical order.
|The members of the Global Tax 50 represent the choices of the International Tax Review editorial team for those who have had the biggest impact on taxation during the past 12 months. While breaking down the entire 50 individually according to the impact they made in 2014 would require too granular an approach, this year's list goes further than previous editions, measuring influence in three bands. Entrants 1-10 (the top 10) are our Gold influencers, marked out in the magazine by a gold star next to their entry; 11-25 are Silver influencers, denoted by a silver star; and 26-50 are Bronze influencers, recognised by a bronze star.|
We welcome comments on our Global Tax 50. Please share your thoughts and reactions with us. Do you agree with our entries? Do you agree with our tiers of influence? Who do you think should make up next year's list?
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Gold tier - The Top 10
President, European Commission
Wherever the president of the European Commission has gone this year, controversy has followed more closely than his shadow, with LuxLeaks the latest and most embarrassing example of this.
Director, OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration
The OECD’s top tax man has continued to exert considerable influence on all things tax in 2014 and is not going away anytime soon. The next 12 months will make or break his OECD legacy as he continues to oversee a rewrite of international tax rules.
Head of the VAT Unit at the European Commission
VAT collection in the EU is set to change dramatically from January 1 2015. The head of the European Commission’s VAT Unit has been central to pushing through these developments.
This group of investigative journalists grabbed the attention of the tax world in October, when it publicly released documents revealing information about tax rulings agreed between multinational companies and the Luxembourg tax authorities.
US treasury secretary
The US Treasury Secretary has acted to curb inversions after 2014 saw a number of US-based multinationals consider the option.
UK chancellor of the exchequer
The UK took a lead role in international efforts to clamp down on tax evasion and aggressive avoidance through its 2013 G8 presidency. Building on this in 2014, the chancellor also stands out among counterparts for balancing this stance with a competitive domestic regime.
Chinese tax commissioner
China’s tax minister is improving taxpayer services by dragging the country’s compliance systems into the 21st century. He is also steadfast in his commitment to stamping out evasion in the vast country.
US multinational corporations
Fiiiighting, out of the red corner. These multinationals stood across the ring from Democratic Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in the inversions debate that dominated US tax news in 2014.
Commissioner general, Tanzania Revenue Authority
The commissioner general of the Tanzania Revenue Authority is a rising star among African tax commissioners. The former Barclays man has set himself a target of collecting 19.9% of GDP in taxes by 2018 and initiated various reforms in 2014 to achieve this.
Global policy adviser for GE and chairman of the BIAC Tax and Fiscal Affairs Committee
The GE man wears many hats. Progress on BEPS issues in 2014 has kept him busy as he continues to fight for business interests in multilateral fora by presenting a consistent, united message.