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EU officials target a breakthrough for the 15% global tax deal

Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President of the European Commission for An Economy that Works for People.


PARIS – A global deal on corporate tax could be completed before the end of this month, the EU’s top trade chief told CNBC Wednesday.

Global governments have been involved in tough negotiations to bring a handful of nations in line with a international deal on corporate tax. The G-7 and G-20 nations backed an agreement earlier in the summer that, if implemented, would force multinationals to pay tax where they operate — and not just where they have their headquarters – and impose a minimum corporate rate of 15%.

Some nations, notably Hungary and Ireland, where corporate tax is below 15%, had raised doubts about the agreement. However, discussions led by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development seem to be baring fruit.

“We hope that the OECD agreement can be finalized during October. We are also working with EU member states to make sure all are on board concerning the international tax agreement,” Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commission Vice President for Trade, told CNBC Wednesday.

“And we are ready from our side also then to put forward legislative proposals to ensure the uniform implementation of the this agreement across the EU.”

On Tuesday, Luxembourg Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna also told CNBC: “We are very close to [a] compromise, in a few days, that will involve all countries.”

Ireland has signaled over the last 48 hours that recent changes to the agreement were welcome. Leo Varadkar, the country’s deputy prime minister, said that the new text “does respond to a lot, if not all of the concerns” that his country had, the Financial Times reported.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s Environment Minister Eamon Ryan said he was hopeful and confident that Ireland will be part of the solution in this context. Paschal Donohoe, the country’s finance minister, said in Luxembourg that he would be discussing the revised tax deal at a cabinet meeting on Thursday and expressing his opinion thereafter.

Despite the comments from Ireland, Estonia and Hungary are among the group of nations that have yet to approve the agreement.

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