Tax Justice Network ■ Global minimum corporate tax: questions grow over OECD commitment to ‘inclusive’ reforms
Whilst discussion and agreement on a global corporate minimum tax is historic, we consider it our job to challenge organisations like the OECD and to always push for better. We are sharing below our short statement on the OECD Inclusive Framework, supposed to be a space for all nations to contribute to developing tax standards and implementation.
But before that, it’s worth reading the Tax Justice Network’s Alex Cobham‘s thoughts which he shared on one of his famous long twitter threads:
Some commentators have been concerned about the risks of the very negative reactions to the OECD proposal, from a number of countries and groups, and from some activists – including us. Here’s another thread looking at the risks on each side:
GLOBAL MINIMUM TAX CONFIRMED, BUT QUESTIONS GROW OVER OECD COMMITMENT TO ‘INCLUSIVE’ REFORMS
We note the statement from the Inclusive Framework, and the failure to acknowledge there the many countries that are known to have expressed serious reservations over the deal. After much speculation about concessions to lower-income countries, there is little progress here at all compared to the previous iteration.
‘Pillar 1’ remains a narrow reallocation only, of a small part of the global profits of the largest and most profitable 100 or so multinationals. Most countries, and especially lower-income countries, are unlikely to recoup the revenue they may lose from eliminating their DSTs if required to do so.
‘Pillar 2’, the global minimum corporate tax rate, remains of much greater importance, but deeply unfair. Even a rate as low as 15%, rightly decried by Argentina, by the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT) and by many lower- and higher-income countries for the lack of ambition, could raise $275 billion of additional revenues if applied globally. That would make it the biggest change in tax rules for a century – but the G7 countries alone, with just 10% of the world’s population, would take more than 60% of those revenues.
Alex Cobham, chief executive of the Tax Justice Network, said:
“A higher effective global minimum tax rate, coupled with fairer distribution of the resulting revenues, would deliver greater benefits for almost every country – even including many of the OECD members which operate as corporate tax havens. But instead the OECD is forcing through a proposal that gives little to lower-income countries, and leaves much of the incentive for profit shifting intact.
“To force through such an unfair reform, giving the lion’s share of revenue to the largest OECD members when lower-income countries lose the greatest share of tax revenue to corporate tax abuse, is shocking. To do so during a global pandemic when the need for revenue to support public health, and economic recovery, is greater than ever, is unthinkable.
“The global minimum corporate tax rate can mark the beginning of the end of the race to bottom on corporate tax. But the OECD increasingly looks unable, or unwilling to deliver a fair and effective reform. Countries should take the opportunity to push ahead with their own reforms, and consider the possibility of future negotiations being held under UN auspices instead.”
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Notes to editor:
- OECD statement: https://www.oecd.org/tax/beps/statement-on-a-two-pillar-solution-to-address-the-tax-challenges-arising-from-the-digitalisation-of-the-economy-july-2021.pdf.
- Our analysis of the shortcomings of the OECD proposal for the global minimum corporate tax rate: https://taxjustice.net/2021/06/04/is-today-a-turning-point-against-corporate-tax-abuse/.