The International Tax Review top 50

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The International Tax Review (paywall) says of its new tax top 50:

This is the first year International Tax Review has put together a top 50 biggest influences in tax. It celebrates the individuals that are determined to shape the industry's big decisions.

Tax and tax law is in a constant state of change. Taxpayers have found their work being placed higher on board agendas while tax officials and governments are using tax as a tool to slash growing budget deficits.

And with global multinational operating in every country of the world, a tax change in one location will have implications the other side of the world. International tax is truly borderless and the decisions of a few will shape the future for many more.

These changes are influenced by many individuals but politicians and senior officials are often seen as the figure heads for change. This is the case, but just as important are the people that are on a mission to challenge the rules put upon them. These are academics, in-house directors, pressure group, activists all not content to sit back and let the future of tax be dictated without them.

The 50 people and organisations chosen as the biggest influences on tax today are personal choices. We used no criteria to make them, apart from importance and impact on the practice of tax. To make the task easier, we excluded private practitioners because we felt it would be too difficult to assess why one lawyer, accountant or adviser was more important than another.

And it was kind enough to put me in that top 50 (no rankings were attributed within it) saying:

They say you can judge a man by the strength of his enemies and Richard Murphy, an accountant who largely turned his back on his trade to become a tireless campaigner for tax justice, has made some very powerful ones in the world of international business and among his former peers.

Much like Marmite, you may love him or hate him, but Murphy has never shied away from his campaign to stamp out tax avoidance through country-by-country reporting, a standard he claims he was instrumental in devising.

"We want to know what tax companies owe, where they owe it and the profits and losses they make in each jurisdiction," says Murphy. "And we want to know how many people you employ and where. We want to know who you exploit. That is what this is about, the poorest people in the world."

A founder of the Tax Justice Network, Murphy is always among the first to leak the information tax avoiders and tax authorities don't want you to hear on his daily blog. Multinationals may not like him, but they ignore him at their peril.

No claim by the way on country-by-country reporting: that's fact.

But thanks, nonetheless.

And to all those other tireless tax justice campaigners.