The United States removed the main obstacle to the adoption of an international agreement on
taxation giants of digital, said a US Treasury official on Friday.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told G20 finance ministers that Washington would leave out a particularly controversial part of the proposal, which was put on the table in late 2019 by the Trump administration, that is a so-called “refuge” provision (safe harbor), she explained.
The “safe haven” meant giving digital giants the choice between voluntarily accepting the new tax regime or continuing with the current system.
Project discussions are taking place within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Washington’s abandonment of the so-called “safe haven” clause is “a major step towards an agreement by the end of the summer”, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz also said at the edge of a G20 meeting Finance.
Janet Yellen also announced that Washington will “firmly commit to the two pillars of the project” of international tax reform, according to the head of the Treasury.
The ongoing negotiations concern, on the one hand, the distribution of tax duties between producing and consuming countries (pillar 1), roughly speaking, to determine the place where the tax should be paid, and on the other hand, on a minimum threshold tax for all countries (pillar 2).
The draft agreement, which was not completed in late 2020 due to the American blockade, covers all sectors. But it is particularly serious for digital multinationals that pay particularly low taxes in markets that are important to them, but where their physical presence is reduced.
The taxation of Google, Facebook and other American giants is even more current, since these companies have been the big winners in 2020 From the Covid-19 pandemic, when countries went into recession.
The American inflection is likely to ease tensions between the United States and Europe.