The Benefits of Setting a Lower Limit on Corporate Taxation

On June 5, 2021, Finance Ministers from the Group of Seven major industrialized nations committed to a global minimum corporate tax rate on multinationals of at least 15 percent. While there are a number of details yet to be hammered out in broader global discussions, this historic agreement heralds an important step forward on the road to international corporate tax reform.

It also highlights the role minimum taxes can play at the global level to help reverse nearly four decades of falling global corporate tax rates and reduce the incentives for large multinational firms to shift profits to low-tax jurisdictions to reduce their worldwide tax liability.

Our new study examines how different types of domestic minimum tax regimes can help countries preserve their corporate tax base and mobilize revenue.

Minimum taxation over the decades

There is an unusual tension in the world of corporate taxation. On the one hand, countries compete vigorously to lure businesses and investors within their borders by offering numerous profit- and cost-based tax incentives, driving their tax rates down. On the other hand, governments decry these multinational enterprises—once they have been successfully attracted to the country—for not paying their fair share of corporate taxes, leaving the burden to fall on often-struggling local firms.

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