Home Business Donohoe to attend G20 meeting in first for an Irish minister

Donohoe to attend G20 meeting in first for an Irish minister

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Paschal Donohoe will attend the virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting on Wednesday in his capacity as president of the Eurogroup, a first for an Irish minister.

The event is organised by Saudi Arabia and was scheduled to take place in the kingdom but instead will run as a virtual meeting as a result of the Covid pandemic.

The agenda includes corporation tax reforms, notably changes that are likely to leave Ireland with a smaller share of the tax paid by digital technology giants that have a base here.

Speaking ahead of the event, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Friday that more than 130 countries had agreed on a blueprint to introduce global rules on corporate taxation to be discussed by the G20.

“With a unanimous agreement on a blueprint for reforming the global corporate tax code we have taken a major step forward,” Mr Scholz said in a statement.

“This is a positive signal and I’m sure that by the summer of next year we will be able to reach a final agreement on this reform plan,” he added.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has been developing rules to make digital companies pay tax where they do business, rather than where they register subsidiaries.

This could boost national tax revenues by a total of $100bn (€85bn) a year with developed countries that have big populations the main winners, the OECD estimates.

But a recession sparked by the coronavirus in many industrialised nations has cast doubt on the OECD’s goal of reaching a deal among more than 130 countries this year.

Mr Scholz said the main goal of any agreement would be to ensure that digital giants such as Google, Amazon and Facebook were made to pay their fair share of tax.

This week’s G20 meeting is also likely to see the rich nations’ club extend a debt-payment freeze for poor countries for an additional six months, according to a French finance ministry source.

Members of the Group of 20 economic powers and the Paris Club of creditor nations agreed in April to suspend until the end of the year debt payments owed to them by poor countries to free up resources for tackling the coronavirus outbreak.

(Additional reporting: ­Reuters)

Irish Independent

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