G7 leaders agree on corporate minimum tax


U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, on behalf of the White House, proposed a minimum global corporate tax rate of 15%, which is below the lowest rate of any of the G7 nations.

"For more than four years, France, Germany, Italy and Spain have been working together to create an worldwide tax system fit for the 21st century", the four ministers wrote in a joint opinion piece.

"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.

British finance minister Rishi Sunak, who is chairing the talks, also wants large companies to be required to declare their environmental impact in a consistent way.

G-7 finance ministers meeting in London also endorsed proposals to make the world's biggest companies - including USA -based tech giants - pay taxes in countries where they have lots of sales but no physical headquarters.

Finance ministers of the Group of Seven - the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan - as well as the European Union agreed to the principle of a global minimum rate that ensures multinationals pay tax of at least 15 per cent in each country they operate in.

The first in-person G-7 finance talks since July 2019 came as momentum builds for implementing a common minimum tax rate for globally operating companies, with the aim of preventing them from shifting profits to low-tax jurisdictions, following a recent USA proposal for a tax of at least 15 percent on corporate profits.

The social media giant welcomes the progress made on a minimum tax rate and accepts this could mean it pays more tax, and in different places, its head of global affairs Nick Clegg said on Saturday.

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Any deal would still need much wider global buy-in, at a meeting of the G20 in Venice in July.

Ministers also plan to commit to "sustain policy support", or stimulus, for "as long as necessary" to nurture economic recovery, while addressing climate change and inequalities in society, according to the document.

Six years since the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) was created, the United Kingdom was instrumental in getting G7 countries to move towards making climate disclosures mandatory across their respective economies.

"And I would just say this: the world has noticed". "Today's agreement is a significant first step towards certainty for businesses and strengthening public confidence in the global tax system".

The G-7 statement echoes a USA proposal to simply let countries tax part of the earnings of the largest and most profitable companies - digital or not - if they are doing business within their borders. Building on their milestone backing of $650bn general allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) earlier this year, Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors called for swift implementation by the end of August. An endorsement from the G-7 could help build support for a deal in talks among more than 140 countries being held in Paris.

Tackling debt vulnerabilities and promoting debt transparency is essential in unlocking sustainable and inclusive growth in developing countries.

Furthermore, they will urge "equitable, safe and affordable access to Covid-19 vaccines" everywhere. The G7 also called on the International Monetary Fund to ramp up its efforts to finance vaccines, and agreed that private sector, including the pharmaceutical industry, to play their parts more too.

Due to COVID restrictions, ministerial delegations have been cut down and there are fewer traveling journalists. Finance Ministers agreed that they must act now to secure the health and economic prosperity of citizens across the G7 and that of future generations.