US drops demand for ‘safe harbour’ in global tax talks

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US treasury secretary Janet Yellen advised G20 officers that Washington had dropped the Trump administration’s proposal to let some corporations choose out of recent global digital tax guidelines, US and European officers mentioned on Friday, elevating hopes for an settlement by summer time.

“Secretary Yellen announced that we will engage robustly to address both Pillars of the OECD project, and that the United States is no longer advocating for ‘safe harbour’ implementation of Pillar 1,” a US Treasury official mentioned.

Already difficult multilateral talks to reform global taxation beneath the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development stalled after former treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin insisted on the contentious measure in late 2019.

Tax consultants and finance officers world wide had warned that the US proposal may have allowed large US corporations like Amazon, Alphabet’s Google and Facebook to choose out of no matter was agreed internationally.

Yellen’s assertion to G20 finance ministers and central bankers was extensively welcomed by European officers.

German finance minister Olaf Scholz described the US transfer as a serious breakthrough that might pave the best way for a broader deal. “My US colleague Janet Yellen told G20 finance ministers today that the United States would participate, and that the new regulations for fair international taxation should be binding for all companies,” he mentioned in a press release after the assembly.

He mentioned Yellen advised the G20 officers that Washington additionally deliberate to reform US minimal tax laws in line with an OECD proposal for a global efficient minimal tax. “This is a giant step forward on our way to an agreement among the participating countries by the summer,” Scholz mentioned.

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire echoed his reward, saying an settlement on the overhaul of cross-border company tax guidelines was now inside attain by a summer time deadline.

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