15 Oct 2021, 09:21

2023 must remain 'common goal' for global minimum tax: French minister

 WASHINGTON, Oct 15, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - French economic minister Bruno Le Maire said Thursday that implementing a global minimum tax in 2023 should remain a "common goal," though he acknowledged taxing global tech giants remains an issue.
  The deal brokered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and announced Friday sets a global tax of 15 percent and is aimed at stopping international corporations from slashing tax bills by registering in nations with low rates.
  A deal by 2023 "must remain our common goal for the concrete implementation of the international agreement on taxation," Le Maire told AFP in Washington on the sidelines of annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank.
  The 136 nations now on board with the global tax agreement represent 90 percent of global gross domestic product.
  On Wednesday, Italian economic minister Daniela Franco indicated at the end of a G20 meeting in Washington that both parts of the deal will be operational by late 2023 or early 2024.
  "There are two aspects: the taxation of digital giants and the minimum taxation to avoid tax optimization," Le Maire said.
  "On the first part, to implement it concretely, the United States needs a two-thirds majority (in Congress). It will be difficult, we know it," he said.
  "We agree with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that as long as there is no US agreement, as long as there is no concrete implementation of this first pillar on digital taxation, France will keep its national digital taxation," he added.
  France had adopted a national tax in July 2019 of three percent on the turnover made in the country by digital giants exceeding 750 million euros of global activity, which includes the largest tech firms Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.
  Le Maire's Italian counterpart said that the G20 expected that national taxes would be removed by 2024.
  For the second part, a minimum 15 percent tax on multinationals, "things can go much faster, and we must from 2023 be able to have the very concrete implementation of this pillar... which will avoid tax optimization," Le Maire said in the interview.
  Yellen said Sunday she was "confident" Congress would pass legislation to implement the global tax agreement.
  For France, "the revenue from pillar one is about 350 million euros," Le Maire told reporters Wednesday. "For pillar two, it will be several billion dollars of tax revenue."