Let’s go. G7 finance ministers in early June, followed by heads of state and government in Carbis Bay in Cornwall on June 13, launched a global reform of corporate taxation. The race between big countries to always lower taxes is over. No more leniency towards tax havens and sophisticated arrangements that allow multinationals to evade taxes and their civic duty. “It is a hopeful and gradual decision”, rejoices the Quebecer Brigitte Alepin, founder of the NGO TaxCoop, which campaigns for a fairer tax. “It is an agreement, historic, insufficient and promising – yes all of this at the same time”, confirms Gabriel Zucman, professor of economics at the University of Berkeley and president of the European Taxation Observatory. Gradual? Insufficient? Brigitte Alepin and Gabriel Zucman are right to bring nuance to the G7 press releases, because hardly the ink was dry that we learned, already, that the future rules – as they are envisaged – could spare … Amazon.
A two-part reform
What does the reform consist of? Concretely, it has two components. In the jargon of the OECD, the organization that prepares it technically, we say two “Pillars”. “Pillar 1”: tax multinationals where they generate their profit, and not just in their country of origin. It is a response to the demand of France, UK, Italy and many other countries to make pa
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