G20 Ministers Agree to Move Forward with Global Tax Reform Deal

Sam Wichman
August 9, 2021

In the “Statement on a Two-Pillar Solution to Address the Tax Challenges Arising From the Digitalization of the Economy” issued on 1 July 2021, members of the G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“BEPS”) have agreed upon a framework to move forward with a global tax reform deal.

This will address the tax challenges of an increasingly digital worldwide economy. As of 9 July 2021, 132 of the 139 OECD/G20 member jurisdictions have agreed to the Inclusive Framework on BEPS.

Pillar Details

Pillar 1

Pillar 1 gives a new taxing right, Amount A, to market countries to ensure companies pay tax on a portion of residual profits earned from activities in those jurisdictions, regardless of physical presence. Pillar 1 will apply to multinational enterprises (“MNEs”) with global turnover above 20 billion euros and profitability above 10%.

There will be a new nexus rule permitting allocation of Amount A to a market jurisdiction when the in-scope multinational enterprise derives at least 1 million euros in revenue from that jurisdiction. For jurisdictions with a GDP less than 40 billion euros, the nexus will instead be set at 250,000 euros.

The “special purpose nexus rule” determines if a jurisdiction qualifies for the Amount A allocation. Furthermore, countries have agreed on an allocation of 20-30% of in-scope MNE residual profits to market jurisdictions, with nexus using a revenue-based allocation key.

Revenue will be sourced to the end market jurisdictions where goods or services are consumed, with detailed source rules still to come.

More details on segmentation are still in the works, as is the final design of a marketing and distribution profits safe harbour that will cap the residual profits allowed to the market jurisdiction through Amount A.

Lastly, countries have agreed to streamline and simplify Amount B with a particular focus on the needs of low-capacity countries. The finalised details are expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

Pillar 2

Pillar 2 consists of Global anti-Base Erosion (“GloBE”) Rules that will ensure MNEs that meet the 750 million euros threshold pay a minimum tax rate of at least 15%. The GloBE Rules consist of an Income Inclusion Rule and an Undertaxed Payment Rule, the latter of which still needs to be finalised.

Pillar 2 also includes a Subject to tax rule, which is a treaty-based rule, allowing source jurisdictions to impose limited source taxation on certain related party payments subject to tax below a minimum rate. The rate will range from 7.5 to 9 percent.

When Will the Plan be Implemented?

There is currently a commitment to continue discussion, in order to finalise the design elements of the plan within the agreed framework by October 2021. Inclusive Framework members will agree and release an implementation plan.

The current timeline is that the multilateral instrument through which Amount A is implemented will be developed and opened for signature in 2022, with Amount A coming into effect in 2021. Similarly, Pillar Two should be brought into law in 2022, to be effective in 2023.

More Details to Come

Although the key components of the Two-Pillar Solution have been agreed upon, a detailed implementation plan that includes resolving remaining issues is still to come.

As many countries could be implementing these changes in the near future, it is important for businesses active in the digital economy to carefully track and understand the developments surrounding the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project.

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Author

Sam Wichman

Sam Wichman is a Junior Regulatory Counsel at Sovos. Within Sovos’ Regulatory Analysis function, Sam focuses on international VAT, global sales tax, and domestic sales tax issues. Sam received his B.A. in Political Science and Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his J.D. from Boston College Law School. Sam is pending admission to the Massachusetts Bar.
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