Jeffrey Owens appointed as Senior Tax Policy adviser to EY

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London, 8 June 2012 – EY is pleased to announce 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 EY says, “Jeffrey will provide a unique and valuable perspective as a result of his deep understanding of the agenda and strong relationships with bodies such as the OECD, G20, the IMF and World Bank.”

"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 EY. "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 EY 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 global team.”

In his new role with EY, Jeffrey will spend a substantial part of his working week as part of EY’s EMEIA Tax Center, a hub that connects key EY 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 EY’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 László Kovács 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.

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Notes to Editors

About Jeffrey

He 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.

About EY’s Global Tax Policy and Controversy Practice

EY’s Global Tax Policy Practice has extensive experience of helping develop and implement policy initiatives, both as external advisers to governments and companies, and previously as advisers inside government. Our dedicated teams of tax policy professionals and business modellers help address our clients’ specific business needs and improve the chance of a successful outcome for policies.

EY’s Global Tax Controversy Practice works with companies to address their needs in managing interactions with tax authorities around the world, including enforcement actions and meeting disclosure requirements. We focus on pre-filing controversy management to help clients properly and consistently file their tax returns and prepare the relevant back-up documentation. Our controversy professionals utilize the Practice’s collective knowledge of how tax authorities operate, and increasingly work together to help resolve difficult or sensitive tax disputes, globally.

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 152,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

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