130 countries announce support for global minimum tax

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen answers questions during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing to examine the FY 2022 budget request for the Treasury Department on June 23
Greg Nash

More than 100 countries on Thursday issued a statement in support of international tax framework that includes a global minimum corporate tax, a top priority for the Biden administration.

The statement from 130 countries participating in the negotiations at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and the Development (OECD) and the Group of 20 (G-20) calls for a global minimum tax rate for corporations of at least 15 percent, the rate proposed by U.S. officials.

The statement comes ahead of the meeting of the G-20 finance ministers in Venice later this month. Members of the G-20 are expected to announce an agreement on international tax issues at the meeting.

A wide array of countries signed onto the OECD statement, including China and India, which had been thought to have been potential obstacles.

Ireland, which has a low corporate tax rate, has not signed onto the agreement as of Thursday.

The OECD statement said that a detailed implementation plan would be finalized in October. It could take some time after a plan is finalized for an agreement to be implemented, because countries will need to update their laws and possibly also tax treaties.

The Biden administration has made the international tax negotiations a key priority. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said that an agreement on a global minimum tax could help end a race for countries to lower their corporate tax rates and could ensure that American companies are competitive if the U.S. raises its corporate tax rate.

President Biden praised the OECD statement.

“Today marks an important step in moving the global economy forward to be more equitable for workers and middle class families in the United States and around the world,” Biden said.

He urged Congress to build on the agreement by passing his proposed changes to the U.S. corporate tax system. The president has called for increasing the U.S. corporate tax rate from 21 to 28 percent and for expanding an existing minimum tax on U.S. multinational companies’ foreign earnings.

“We must adopt the global minimum tax, among other measures I have proposed, to make sure corporations pay their fair share,” the president said. “Congress should pass my Made in America tax plan to bring good paying jobs home and make sure our tax code works for families, workers, and small businesses, not just profitable corporations and billionaires.”

Yellen also praised the OECD announcement, saying it signals that a “race to the bottom” on corporate taxes is coming to an end.

Congressional Republicans, however, have raised concerns about the international tax negotiations.

Rep. Kevin Brady (Texas), the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement Thursday that the Biden administration has agreed to “a global minimum tax structure that favors foreign-headquartered companies and workers over American ones.”

Tags Corporate tax Corporate tax avoidance Janet Yellen Joe Biden Kevin Brady Minimum corporate tax rate Tax haven

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