Global Minimum Tax Overview:
- For years, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has led a global effort to end the ‘race to the bottom’ in corporate tax rates.
- Yesterday, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen signaled her support for a global minimum tax (GMT) rate for corporations, which conveniently dovetails with talks of corporate tax hikes in the US.
- Today, leaders in France, Germany, and for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) offered their support to Yellen’s effort to see a GMT passed across developed economies by the end of the first half of this year.
Who Pays the Bill?
US stock markets have started April and 2Q’21 on strong footing, bolstered by a litany of factors beyond the improving US economy: the Biden administration’s fiscal stimulus plan; the Federal Reserve’s ongoing regime of low interest rates and cheap liquidity; and strong seasonal factors.
But just as the economic party is getting started, US fiscal authorities are beginning to think about moderating the punchbowl to, in a sense, help pay for the cost of the party: by raising corporate taxes and for income earners making $400,000 or more per year. Markets care far more about the former of the two, insofar as increased corporate tax rates can have a negative impact on the bottom line in the form of reduced earnings.
What Changed in Recent Years?
In recent years, under the Trump administration and a Republican majority in the House and the Senate, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduced the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% in hopes of spurring economic growth. One of the secondary objectives of the legislation was to increase American competitiveness as a location for corporations to domicile their tax base after a slew of American-founded companies redomiciled abroad