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Corporate taxation: a “global agreement is within reach” – Economy

“A global agreement on international taxation is now within reach” after a US proposal for a minimum corporate tax rate, welcomed Tuesday the French Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire , calling to “seize this historic opportunity”. “We welcome the United States’ support for minimum corporate income tax. We also hope to be able to move forward on the taxation of digital services in order to reach a global agreement at the level of the OECD next summer, ”he added.

Germany, through the voice of its finance minister, Olaf Scholz, for its part, welcomed a “very big step forward” and estimated, before a virtual meeting of G20 finance ministers scheduled for Wednesday. a possible agreement “this year”. The International Monetary Fund has also declared itself in favor of reforming international taxation to adapt it, in particular, to the digital age.

“End the race” at the lowest fiscal price

The United States wants to push its international partners to find an agreement on a minimum tax rate for companies, regardless of the country in which they are located, at a time when they themselves want to finance an investment plan by increasing taxes. their corporate taxes. The objective is to “put an end to this race to the bottom” in which countries are engaged, which, in order to attract businesses to their territory and guarantee them a competitive environment, are offering companies ever lower tax rates ” , pleaded, Monday, the US Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen.

While the negotiations surrounding this reform, conducted under the aegis of the OECD, had failed, in the fall, because of the American blockade, the change in attitude of the new administration feeds the hope of an agreement at the beginning of the summer. The OECD will do its best to obtain an agreement on the taxation of multinationals during the G20 Finance on July 9 and 10, one of its officials said in early March.

Tech giants in the sights

The reform of international corporate taxation concerns two aspects: the introduction of a world minimum rate, which could be 12.5%, and a system aimed at modulating corporate tax according to the profits made in the country. each country, regardless of their tax establishment.

This second point concerns in particular the tech giants, who pay taxes often unrelated to the profits they generate locally, and who appear to be the big winners of the pandemic. At the same time, states are looking for resources to finance their gigantic stimulus packages and know that they cannot rely on low refinancing costs forever.

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