The technical rules that were once solely the province of tax wonks in D.C. and Paris are being brought out into the public sphere.
Simplifying international tax rules will not solve all the challenges that stand in the way of healthy cross-border investment, but eliminating unnecessary provisions would be a positive pivot relative to the trajectory of recent years. It’s high time that policymakers stopped pursuing ever more complex rules and started the hard work of simplification.
The agreement represents a major change for tax competition, and many countries will be rethinking their tax policies for multinationals in light of it. However, with both the U.S. and EU hitting roadblocks in their respective legislative processes, it is unclear when or even if the agreement will be implemented. If implementation fails, a return to a world of distortive European digital services taxes and retaliatory American tariffs could be on the horizon.
All Related Articles
If policymakers want a recipe to dramatically expand the complexity of U.S. international tax rules and the burden on U.S. multinational businesses, then a tax on foreign earnings calculated at the country level would be the way to do it. Alternatively, policymakers could focus on mitigating the unintended consequences of GILTI and other recent international tax rules.
No other country has tried to enforce some of the policies that the Biden administration is proposing. Embarking on such uncharted course would set the U.S. apart from global tax policy norms and best practices and could harm American competitiveness.
Both the Biden campaign and some Democratic members of Congress have recommended changes to GILTI, but before doing that, policymakers should consider how GILTI’s design can have ramifications for many U.S. companies and their tax burdens.
While there are several parts of the policy that are subject to further discussion and agreement, GloBE is expected to be different from GILTI in several ways.
Tax Foundation Response to OECD Public Consultation Document: Reports on the Pillar One and Pillar Two Blueprints
The Tax Foundation response to the OECD public consultation document on the reports on the OECD Pillar 1 and OECD Pillar 2 blueprints.
The OECD released blueprints for proposals on changing international tax rules alongside an impact assessment based on the overall design of the proposals. While the blueprints cover proposals both for changing where large multinationals owe corporate tax and designing a global minimum tax, there are still many unanswered questions. In the meantime, other digital tax proposals are moving forward and have the potential to result in a harmful tax and trade war.
The design and implementation of a global minimum tax is not simple and straightforward. There are dozens of challenging issues that policymakers will need to consider. So, when it comes to the way the minimum tax treats new investment, it seems clear that incorporating full expensing into the design would have significant benefits.
Corporate taxation has evolved significantly, with rates coming down significantly over the last several decades. Countries have redesigned their tax bases by changing the treatment of losses, interest, and capital costs. A recent OECD report highlights the general stabilization of corporate tax revenues and statutory rates alongside major changes to address profit-shifting opportunities.
While much of Germany’s EU presidency agenda is focused on policies to ensure economic stability and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a pair of tax proposals that the country is planning to develop and move forward at the EU level: a financial transaction tax and a minimum effective tax.
The U.S. has called for a pause in global digital tax negotiations, dealing a blow to Pillar 1 of the OECD’s international tax project. What happens next could be very harmful for the global economy.