Germany’s Scholz calls for global tax reform

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz is pushing for a swift agreement on a global tax reform for internationally active corporations, with France also calling for the taxation of digital services.

“It just has to succeed this year,” he said on Tuesday ahead of a videoconference of the G20 finance ministers of the world’s leading economies.

His central concern was the taxation of the digital economy, Scholz said. “This agreement is also possible in the summer.”

Earlier in the week US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called for a global minimum corporate tax rate for companies that work internationally.

Scholz’s planned global tax reform consists, among other things, of a global minimum tax. The second pillar is a digital tax, which would require internet giants such as Amazon, Google or Apple to pay taxes not only at their headquarters but also in the countries where they generate their sales.

France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said governments “must seize this historic opportunity,” welcoming Yellen’s push.

“We also want to move forward with Janet Yellen on the taxation of digital services in order to reach a comprehensive deal at the OECD this summer,” Le Maire said.

While former US president Donald Trump had rejected the digital tax, the new administration of Joe Biden is more open and is counting on a compromise solution within the framework of the negotiations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“We now have a new dynamic that we have been waiting for a long time,” Scholz said. The US support gave the initiative “a very decisive tailwind.”

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