Most Irish concerns met in updated global tax deal – Deputy PM

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FILE PHOTO: Ireland’s Prime Minister Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks during a news conference on the ongoing situation with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at government buildings in Dublin, Ireland March 24, 2020. via Steve Humphries/Pool REUTERS
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DUBLIN (Businesshala) – An updated text of a proposed overhaul of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s global corporate tax rules, the major holdout, responds to “much, if not all” of the concerns raised by Ireland, its deputy prime minister on Monday said.

Ireland, the low-tax European headquarters for many of the world’s largest multinationals, has so far refused to sign the OECD agreement, initiated in July by more than 139 negotiating countries.

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Ireland primarily opposed the proposed minimum global rate of 15% and specifically the inclusion of the phrase “at least” “at least”. Finance Minister Pascal Donohoe said last week that Ireland could sign if it is brought to certainty to address its concerns.

Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told national broadcaster RTE that the updated text, due to be signed at an OECD meeting on Friday, “responds to concerns about a lot, if not all, of them.”

The agreement with Ireland, one of the countries most likely to benefit from lower corporate taxes, would be a major boost for the project to implement a minimum global rate. Ireland’s long-standing corporate tax rate is 12.5%.

A handful of holdouts, including fellow EU members Estonia and Hungary, cannot block the proposed changes.

Donohoe said Dublin would decide whether to join the deal before Friday’s OECD meeting. Ireland’s cabinet, which must approve any recommendations from Donohoe, will next meet on Thursday.

Reporting by Pedric Halpin, Editing by Alistair Smout and Aurora Ellis

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