Ireland most resistant to Biden’s corporation tax push

Dublin fears it could lose foreign investors attracted by its competitive rate

Clement Beaune, France's junior minister for European affairs, said there was also opposition from Cyprus and Malta. AFP
Clement Beaune, France's junior minister for European affairs, said there was also opposition from Cyprus and Malta. AFP

Ireland is the EU member state most hostile to a minimum corporation tax rate of 15 per cent, a French minister said.

Clement Beaune, junior minister for European affairs, said there was also opposition from Cyprus and Malta.

In May, the US proposed a rate of 15 per cent, 6 per cent lower than the figure it initially suggested in April. Ireland is concerned that an increase from its current low rate of 12.5 per cent will deter foreign investors.

"The European Union is blocked because of the unanimity rule. When there is a legal blockage, we need a political battle ... given the US position and the global agreement that we hope for in July, this will put a lot of political pressure on the reticent member states," Mr Beaune told Les Echos.

The G7 countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and US – are seeking a global minimum corporate tax rate to ensure major corporations pay their fair share of tax.

G7 finance ministers will meet later this week in London with the corporation tax expected to be raised.

A draft communique seen by Reuters commits “to reaching an equitable solution on the allocation of taxing rights and to a high level of ambition on the rate for a global minimum tax,” but it does not mention a specific figure.

It is hoped an agreement can be reached at a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in July.

Japan’s finance minister said the gaps on the minimum tax were narrowing but suggested that little progress is expected to be made at the G7 meeting later this week.

"I don't think the June meeting will reach a debate on specific figures," Taro Aso said.

Updated: June 1, 2021 03:24 PM

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