The finance ministers of Spain, Italy, France and Germany have published an article in The Guardian this Friday in which they push to reach an agreement on a universal corporate tax before the meeting of finance ministers of the G7 this Friday and Saturday in London. A meeting that is a prelude to that of the G7 leaders of the next 11-13 in Cornwall (United Kingdom). And they advance that the agreement is at hand. The G7 brings together the United States, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and the EU as a guest.
Spain would collect 5,400 million more with a universal tax of 21% for large corporations
“I call on all G7 countries to support a comprehensive digital tax and minimum tax agreement at today’s meeting in London. This is a decisive step ahead of the G20 in July. The opportunity to reach an agreement it’s close, let’s take advantage of it, “French Minister Bruno Le Maire tweeted.
“For more than four years, France, Germany, Italy and Spain have been working together to create an international tax system suitable for the 21st century,” write the four ministers in The Guardian: “It is a story with many twists and turns. Now now is the time to reach an agreement. The introduction of this fairer and more efficient international tax system was already a priority before the current economic crisis, and it will be even more necessary when we come out of it. ”
And they add: “With the new US administration of Joe Biden there is no longer the threat of a veto on this new system. The new US proposal on minimum taxes is an important step in the direction of the idea initially raised by our countries and assumed by the OECD. The commitment to a minimum effective tax rate of at least 15% is a promising start. We therefore committed to defining a common position on a new international tax system at the G7 finance ministers meeting in London today [por este viernes]. We are confident that it will generate the momentum needed to reach a global agreement at the G20 in Venice in July. It is within our reach. ”
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will attend the G7 Finance Ministers’ meeting in London this June 4-5, where a global minimum tax for large corporations of at least 15% will be discussed. “The secretary will reinforce the commitment of the United States with the political priorities destined to promote the global recovery after the pandemic, among them the fiscal support measures, and the access and distribution of vaccines,” the Treasury said in a statement.
The French Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire, for his part, has already advanced that the US proposal to agree on a global minimum tax for corporations of at least 15% “could be a good compromise”, in a round of press with German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, who called it “great progress.”
In any case, Le Maire has insisted that the “key” issue is to achieve a global agreement on a minimum corporate tax and a tax on large digital companies during the G20 finance ministers meeting that will take place on 9 and 10 July in Venice (Italy).
Thus, the fence is tightened on companies that avoid paying taxes and the countries that benefit from it, with the cost of their neighbors raising less money that can be invested in sectors as necessary as public health in times of pandemic. Countries are losing more than € 358 billion in uncollected taxes each year due to abuse of corporate tax breaks and private tax evasion. According to the organization Tax justice, what countries stop entering is the equivalent of almost 34 million annual nurses’ salaries, or the annual salary of a nurse every second.
The five jurisdictions most responsible for tax losses, according to the research, are: the British territory of Cayman (responsible for 16.5% of global tax losses, equivalent to more than 58.7 billion); the United Kingdom (10%; more than 35.8 billion); the Netherlands (8.5%; more than 30.2 billion); Luxembourg (6.5%; more than 22.6 billion) and the United States (5.53%; more than 19.3 billion).
Agreement in the EU to make multinationals more transparent
The European Commission, the Council (the governments) and the European Parliament reached an agreement on Tuesday night in relation to the measure of fiscal transparency for public information country by country (pCBCR, for its acronym in English) for large multinationals . Under the new directive, which was presented for the first time by the Community Executive in 2016, multinationals that invoice more than 750 million euros per year for two consecutive years will be obliged to declare how much they earn in profits, how much they pay in taxes and how many male and female employees have in the EU countries, as well as the jurisdictions on the black list and the gray list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in the EU.
According to sources in the European Parliament, it has been the Council that has rejected the global breakdown to introduce a safeguard clause that could allow certain companies to evade their information obligations. Thus, the final text introduces another review clause for these elements.
Ibán García del Blanco, Socialist MEP and Parliament negotiator, explained: “While we deeply regret that the Council has rejected our persistent demands for a disaggregated country-by-country global report, the agreement is an important step towards greater corporate transparency. and contains a number of enhancements. During the negotiations we managed to include the requirement that companies must inform all their full-time employees and list all subsidiaries. This will make it much more difficult for companies to blow smoke and hide their actual economic activities in each country. ”
En Comú Podem MEP Ernest Urtasun, Greens / ALE rapporteur for the report in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, said: “The public CbCR means that people will be able to know how much taxes big companies pay and where. This is a victory for citizens and shows that the EU can act on issues of concern to the people. In the long term, tax justice will be essential for citizens to trust the capacity of the European project. Public information will help for multinationals to end aggressive tax planning practices, tax dumping and profit shifting. It will help end unfair deals that put member states in a race to the bottom at the expense of citizens. This it is vital in times when our economies are suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. ”
Chiara Putaturo, a tax expert at Oxfam EU, has reacted with criticism: “This agreement does not live up to expectations. The agreement does not oblige companies to provide real country-by-country reports, as it leaves out the list to more than three-quarters of the world’s countries. Instead, EU lawmakers have provided multinational corporations with many opportunities to continue to secretly evade taxes by shifting their profits to tax havens outside the EU, such as Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Switzerland. The agreement also leaves the poorest countries in the dark by not shedding light on the activities of multinationals in their countries. ”
Rosa Pavanelli, Secretary General of Public Services International, stated: “It is more than a missed opportunity for the EU, it is the EU defending the interests of large corporations over its citizens”