The G7 is committed to the goal of a minimum global corporate tax rate of “at least 15%”, according to their joint statement, which also mentions the commitment to a better distribution of rights. to tax the profits of large multinationals.
This agreement of the group of the seven great powers was described as “historic” and “moment of pride” by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, who chaired the meeting as the host country of the G7.
The great powers of the G7 (United Kingdom, France, Italy, Canada, Japan, Germany, United States), benefiting from a renewed interest of the American administration on the question since the coming to power of Joe Biden, want to achieve a global reform of corporate tax in the spirit of the work undertaken within the OECD.
It largely targets large technology companies, often American, which pay derisory taxes despite profits of tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars, by being domiciled in countries where the rate of corporation tax is very low, even no.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also greeted in a statement on Saturday an “unprecedented commitment” from the G7 finance ministers. “This global minimum tax will end the race to the bottom of corporate taxation, and bring justice for the middle class and working people in the United States and around the world,” said Ms. Yellen.
The agreement at the G7 Finance “is a first step and next month we have a G20 of finance ministers to make further progress”, continued Mr. Sunak, believing that the compromise reached on Saturday will allow “‘to inject fairness in our planetary taxation system “.
The G7 countries want to put an end to tax competition in the world which, according to them, harms everyone at a time when state coffers have been emptied by the pandemic, while the digital giants have particularly benefited from the crisis.
The US administration had first mentioned a global corporate tax rate of 21% before changing its mind to 15%, a level that France considered “a minimum”, “a starting point”.
In a video posted on his Twitter account after the meeting, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire estimated that “after four years of fighting, France has won its case”. “This is a starting point and in the coming months we will fight for this minimum tax rate to be as high as possible,” he added.
For Gabriela Bucher of the NGO Oxfam, “setting a global minimum corporate tax rate of just 15% is far too low” and “it will do little to end a dangerous race to the bottom on taxes. companies and the extensive use of tax havens “.
Several countries including France, the United Kingdom, Italy or Spain have already implemented their own digital tax in the meantime and discussions with the United States also focused on the timetable for the withdrawal of these national measures at the in favor of international reform.
“This is something we have been talking about for almost a decade and for the first time today we have an agreement on the tangible principles of what this reform should look like. And this is huge progress,” insisted Rishi Sunak.
He admits, however, that “we still have to go to the G20 and find an agreement with a larger group of countries so it is difficult to say when a final agreement will be reached”, he however tempered.
This process should last several more years since, in addition to the group of 20, it will be necessary to convince the 140 countries working on the tax reform project within the bosom of the OECD.
The challenge will be in particular to convince countries which have built their economies on particularly low corporate tax rates such as Ireland (12.5%), which has thus attracted the European headquarters of many multinationals. .