Former OECD tax leader, Jeffrey Owens, appointed Senior Policy Adviser to EY’s Global Vice Chair of Tax, David Holtze

 In Ernst Young, EY, OECD

Ernst & Young has announced the appointment of Dr. Jeffrey Owens as Senior Policy Adviser to its Global Vice-Chair of Tax, Dave Holtze.

Jeffrey’s previous position as Director of the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (CTPA) at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has provided him with a unique international perspective on economic, tax policy and administration issues. For over 20 years Jeffrey led the OECD’s work on taxation, expanding its mandate to include tax policy, tax administration and consumption taxes. Under his leadership the OECD played a pivotal role in setting the global standards on tax treaties and on transfer pricing, continually updating the standards to reflect the changing economic and business environment.

Dave Holtze, Global Vice-Chair of Tax at Ernst & Young says, “Jeffrey will provide a unique and valuable perspective to our clients. His deep understanding of the agenda and strong relationships with bodies such as the OECD, G20, the IMF and World Bank, will greatly facilitate our clients’ understanding of tax policy and administrative processes, and will help ensure their desire to maintain the highest levels of compliance with the tax laws.

“Tax policy is not just a government issue, but one that tax payers should understand and be engaged in,” believes Stephan Kuhn, Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) Tax Leader at Ernst & Young. “The role of committed luminaries, such as Jeffrey, who have deep knowledge and relationships with tax policy makers and business leaders, is vital to achieving the right balance between government and tax payers.”

Chris Sanger, Global Leader of Tax Policy at Ernst & Young says, “Tax policies around the world have been rapidly changing as a result, in part, of the global financial crisis and also the globalization of business. This is creating major challenges for companies seeking to determine where to invest. Jeffrey’s extensive expertise in the tax and economic arena, as well as his insights into the implications of broader policy issues associated with cross-border direct and portfolio investment and tax administration will be a real asset to our clients. He is a great addition to our global team.”

In his new role with Ernst & Young, Jeffrey will advise clients on how to manage the rapid change in tax policies and tax administration around the world. He will spend a substantial part of his working week as part of Ernst & Young’s EMEIA Tax Center, a hub that connects key Ernst & Young tax professionals throughout the region with clients to obtain clarity over future direction of tax policy and to assist governments in making informed decisions about the formation of tax legislation.

Jeffrey joins Ernst & Young’s Tax Policy & Controversy Practice, alongside several other recently-appointed, widely-known leaders of tax policy insight including:

Steve Bill, former Chef de Cabinet of European Union Commissioner Laszlo Kovacs from 2006 to 2009.

Michael Mundaca, former Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy at the U.S. Treasury from 2009 to 2011, advising Treasury Secretary Geithner on all matters relating to taxation. Prior to his appointment as Assistant Treasury Secretary, Michael served as the Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary for International Tax Affairs from 2007-2009, during both the Bush and Obama Administrations.

Partho Shome is the former Adviser to the Union Finance Minister, India and Chief Economist at Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.

Background info…..

Jeffrey was instrumental in setting up the Forum on Tax Administration, which now encompasses all the OECD and G20 countries and is the platform used by Tax Commissioners globally to identify leading practices and to influence the environment within which tax administrations operate. He also recognized that for the OECD to maintain its rule-setting role it must give a greater voice to key non-OECD countries. Today the OECD has a Global Forum on Tax Treaties, another on Transfer Pricing and is about to create a third on VAT. These fora are supported by a global network of bilateral and regional programs which engage on a regular basis with almost 100 countries.

Jeffrey is also well known for the key role he played in supporting the G20 initiative to eliminate bank secrecy and curtailing the role of tax havens. He assisted in securing a global endorsement of the new tax transparency standards and put in place a framework within which 109 countries now monitor the implementation of the standards.

Jeffrey earned his doctoral degree in economics at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom in 1973 and trained as an accountant. He was a tutor at Cambridge, the American University of Paris and was a visiting fellow at Bocconi University in Italy and Queen Mary’s College in London. Currently, he is a visiting professor at the Vienna Institute of Austrian and International Law and has a number of other academic appointments.

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