August 4, 2021

With global minimum tax, G7 countries hope for the end of tax havens

Qualified as“Historical” by several European countries, the plan to reform global taxation, endorsed on Saturday June 5 by the G7 finance ministers in London, was quick to be criticized by several NGOs and economists, who would have hoped it was more ambitious .

“The G7 agreement to introduce a global minimum tax of at least 15% is insufficient to generate significant revenues for both the North and the South”, reacted Saturday the association Icrict, a group of experts in favor of a vigorous reform of international taxation. ” A 15% tax rate is close to that of tax havens like Ireland and Switzerland. “ The economist Gabriel Zucman, behind the creation of the brand new European Tax Observatory, had pleaded for a rate of at least 25%. The reform project is also criticized by CCFD-Terre solidaire, on the grounds that it “Clearly advantage the rich countries, where the headquarters of the multinationals are, to the detriment of the countries where the activities are carried out, in particular the developing countries”.

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On the contrary, one of the great architects of the reform, Pascal Saint-Amans, the director of the Center for Tax Policy and Administration of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), insists on “The huge success” policy won, after years of inaction in the face of tax havens and tax optimization strategies: “It is the culmination of long work with a view to global tax regulation”, he declares to World. The arrival of Democrat Joe Biden at the White House, in January 2021, will have given the decisive impetus, against the background of budget deficits worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic. If the reform applies, profits made abroad by multinationals will be taxed at least 15%, whereas today they are either under-taxed or totally exempt from taxes in tax havens. The 15% rate is a floor.

A “difficult fight”

Following very political negotiations, the major financiers of seven of the planet’s main economic powers – the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and Japan – have pledged to support the comprehensive tax reform implemented. under construction by the OECD, at the request of the G20 (the group made up of the nineteen richest countries and the European Union). They agreed to support the two pillars of this reform: in addition to a global corporate tax“At least 15%”, a complete overhaul of tax rules aimed at leading, at the international level, to a more equitable sharing of the rights to be taxed between the countries where multinationals have their headquarters and those where they have their markets and their customers. “Such a redistribution had never been discussed, in particular in favor of developing countries”, supports Mr. Saint-Amans.

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