G7 leaders agree on corporate minimum tax

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has travelled to London for the G7 finance ministers meeting

The G7 also agreed to the principle of a global minimum corporation tax on large firms of at least 15pc operated on a country-by-country basis, a step Mr Sunak said would "create a more level playing field for United Kingdom firms and cracking down on tax avoidance".

Japan's finance minister Taro Aso said on Monday that he did not expect agreement this week on a specific minimum tax rate.

Finance ministers from the Group of Seven rich nations are meeting in person for the first time since the start of the COVID pandemic, after U.S. President Joe Biden's administration gave fresh impetus to stalled global tax talks this year.

The G-7 finance chiefs also commit to set new rules to enable governments to impose duties on where multinational firms make sales, they said in a statement released after wrapping up a two-day meeting in London, amid criticism global digital giants such as Google LLC and Apple Inc. are not paying their fair share of taxes.

A particular focus of the minimum tax rate are the big worldwide tech firms like Amazon, Facebook and Google parent Alphabet, which are adept at exploiting the differences in varying corporate tax codes.

"It is increasingly clear that in a complex, global, digital economy, we can not continue to rely on a tax system that was largely designed in the 1920s".

"And I would just say this: the world has noticed. And I believe they have high expectations for what we all can agree over the coming days".

The G7 group of nations has agreed to close tax loopholes that encouraged major multinationals like Apple to move their money across borders, with the core change being a global minimum corporation tax rate.

To ensure a balanced global economic recovery from virus-induced slumps and equitable COVID-19 vaccine access for developing nations, the advanced nations vowed to "take steps to limit the uneven impact of the crisis by targeting support to where it is needed most", and to encourage the pharmaceutical industry to contribute more.

Among the G-7 nations, Japan, France and Germany supported the US proposal.

German finance minister Olaf Scholz told reporters it was the "right time" for a global tax deal given the vast sums spent by governments "to protect citizens, stabilise the economy and save jobs" since a year ago.

"After years of discussion, G7 finance ministers have reached a historic agreement to reform the global tax system to make it fit for the global digital age", British finance minister Rishi Sunak told reporters.

"It is a saga of many twists and turns".

Current G7 host Britain has previously called for a broader package of tax reforms.

Ireland has expressed "significant reservations" about Biden's plan, however.

French finance minister Bruno le Maire meanwhile urged Ireland, which has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the European Union, to get "on board".

Official data showed Ireland's economy grew nearly eight percent in the first quarter, as multinational firms' revenues helped it continue to buck neighbours' pandemic downturns.

- commit to a global minimum tax of at least 15 percent on a country by country basis.

The UK-based anti-poverty organisation Oxfam argued that Biden's proposal of 15 percent was too little, with the charity's senior policy officer for France, Quentin Parrinello, telling AFP an agreement without a specific rate "would be a real failure".

Yet major disagreements remain on both the minimum rate at which companies should be taxed, and on how the rules will be drawn up to ensure that very large firms with lower profit margins, such as Amazon, face higher taxes.



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