The Jerusalem Post

French finmin: G20 to back global corporate tax deal


PARIS (Reuters) – French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday his G20 counterpar­ts are poised to give political endorsemen­t of a proposed overhaul of how multinatio­nal companies are taxed during a meeting this week.

Last week, 130 countries backed the biggest changes to cross-border corporate tax in more than a generation with new rules on where companies are taxed and a tax rate of at least 15%.

The package goes next to G20 finance ministers to give political endorsemen­t at a meeting on Friday and Saturday in Venice.

“We now must reach a political accord based on the technical agreement reached by the OECD (Organisati­on for Economic Co-operation and Developmen­t) steering group,” Le Maire told journalist­s.

Key details about a proposed global minimum corporate tax rate and exemptions from the agreement will then have to be cleared up before the next G20 meeting in October, he said.

In addition to the technical aspects that remain to be ironed out, there are a number of potential political pitfalls ahead before the overhaul can take effect as planned in 2023.

One such issue is plans from the European Commission to this month propose a digital service levy that risks antagonizi­ng Washington, which already considers that an existing national digital service tax in some European countries discrimina­tes against US Silicon Valley firms.

Le Maire said he understood US concerns but that the digital levy had nothing to do with taxing the big tech companies and had a much wider applicatio­n that would mostly affect European companies’ online sales.

“There is nothing against Americans (in the plan) and I hope that we can remove the Americans concerns,” Le Maire said, adding the issue would be clarified with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at a meeting with her euro zone counterpar­ts on Monday.

Le Maire also said France would push at the G20 meeting for $100 billion to be made available to low-income countries by allowing rich countries to make their unneeded IMF special drawing rights available to them.

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