Saturday, 18 September, 2021


G7 finance chiefs agree on global tax reforms

G7 Finance Ministers meeting Rishi Sunak welcomes Kristalina Georgieva from the IMF to the meeting in London
Melba Vasquez | 06 June, 2021, 03:06

Interrogated by members of the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, Cypriot Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides said that Cyprus opposed both Biden's proposal for a minimum corporate tax and a recently reached deal by MEPs on improved transparency for tax reporting.

Speaking after a meeting at Lancaster House, the Chancellor said: "I am delighted to announce that today, after years of discussion, G7 finance ministers have reached a historic agreement to reform the global tax system".

Explaining the agreed tax reforms, a Treasury spokeswoman said: "Under pillar one of this historic agreement, the largest and most profitable multinationals will be required to pay tax in the countries where they operate - and not just where they have their headquarters". Our economics correspondent Helia Ebrahimi reports. The group will now take the deal to the G20, where an agreement could come as soon as next month.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen hailed the "unprecedented commitment", saying in a statement that a global minimum tax "would end the race to the bottom in corporate taxation".

Paschal Donohoe was among the world leaders who attended the G7 summit of finance ministers in London - as Ireland's multinational tax practices featured on global front pages.

Momentum has grown behind the US-led plans to limit the ability of multinationals such as tech giants to game the tax system to boost profits, especially at a time when economies around the world are reeling from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Ms Yellen said European countries would scrap existing digital services taxes which the United States says discriminate against USA businesses as the new global rules go into effect.

Biden has called for a unified minimum corporate tax rate of 15 percent in negotiations with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and G20, winning support from countries such as France and Germany, as well as the International Monetary Fund.

France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the deal was a triumph.

But Italy, which will seek wider worldwide backing for the plans at a meeting of the G20 in Venice next month, said the proposals were not just aimed at U.S. firms.

"Multinational corporations need to pay their fair share of taxes and the G7 has just outlined a path to make this possible", she tweeted from London.

The rules would apply to global firms with at least a 10% profit margin - and would see 20% of any profit above the 10% margin reallocated and then subjected to tax in the countries they operate.

Britain has, however, signalled it may be willing to scrap its digital services tax on tech platforms if it receives assurances from President Joe Biden's administration that Silicon Valley giants such as Apple and Facebook will not be allowed to continue avoiding taxes.

"Their business model gives them chances to avoid taxes... much more than other companies", German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said.

It was attended by counterparts from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

"That global minimum tax would end the race-to-the-bottom in corporate taxation, and ensure fairness for the middle class and working people in the USA and around the world", she tweeted after the meeting.

At home, Biden is proposing a 21% USA tax rate on companies' overseas earnings, an increase from the 10.5%-13.125% enacted under former President Donald Trump.

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