According to their announcement of June 5, the finance ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. – have agreed to require multinationals to pay a global minimum income tax rate of 15 percent in the countries where they do business, and not merely where they happen to be incorporated. The new rules would apply to companies with a profit margin of at least 10 percent. Some 20 percent of profits above that margin would be reallocated to the countries where they do business and be taxed accordingly.
In their “transition to net zero,” moreover, multinationals will have to “report the climate impact of their investment decisions.”
The true targets of these reforms are the major tech companies, much of whose business relates to internet traffic.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak of the U.K., who presided over the meeting, called the reforms “something the UK has been pushing for and a huge prize for the British taxpayer.” And this is precisely what several groups are objecting to, as Reuters is reporting. Christian Hallum, a tax expert with the British charity consortium Oxfam, says the reforms are “definitely skewed to the rich and unfair on the poor,” and will produce a “massive transfer of money to rich countries.” Tove Ryding of the NGO network Eurodad echoes that sentiment, saying: “The G7 is a small club of rich and powerful countries” with “a big interest in standing together. They have written a deal that benefits them.”
The Republic of Ireland, where Google and other big players have their European office, would be one of the losers.