Are IFCs Collateral Damage?

The Global Minimum Tax And Its Impact

According to an article in the Associated Press earlier this year, between 1985 and 2018 the worldwide average corporate statutory rate of tax fell from 49 per cent to 24 per cent, causing policy makers, including US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, to dub this trend “a race to the bottom”.[i]

The same article claimed that from 2000 – 2018, US companies booked half of all foreign profits in just seven low tax jurisdictions - two in the Caribbean.

Seldom has a subject occupied so much space in the financial pages of the international media as the idea of a global minimum corporate tax rate. Equally seldom has a subject been so misinterpreted. Indeed, one wonders: might it be just wishful thinking? The excitement seemed to have reached near a crescendo on 7th June 2021 when the G7 Finance Ministers issued a communique that read in part:

We strongly support the efforts underway through the G20/OECD Inclusive Framework to address the tax challenges arising from globalization…and to adopt a global minimum tax. We commit to reaching an equitable solution on the allocation of taxing rights with market countries awarded taxing rights, on at least 20% of profits exceeding a 10% margin for the largest and most profitable multinational enterprises… We also commit to a global minimum t…

Foundations

Importing Private Foundations Into The Common Law

Andrew P. Morriss
Bush School of Government & Public Service and School of Law, Texas A&M University

In the last two decades more than 20 common law jurisdictions adopted private foundation laws, introducing the civil law entity into the common law world.[i]

This differs from the migration of legal concepts within the same legal family, as the division between the civilian and common law worlds is often seen as a fundamental difference, one that shapes every aspect of a legal system.[ii] While the two families share a greater degree of common ancestry than is commonly recognised,[iii] there remain significant differences in the roles of judges, statute laws, and precedents, as well as overall legal cultures. The migration of foundations provides an opportunity to test how well civilian legal concepts adjust to the common law environment and raises questions about how the common law versions will differ in practice from their civilian ancestors. I argue that as common law judges are called upon to interpret their jurisdictions’ private foundation statutes, they will bring to the discussion both the common law conception of courts’ roles and the background of common law business entities and trust laws. 

Big Debate

Is the G7 tax initiative another form of economic colonialism?

As part of a “historic” deal, G7 finance ministers have agreed to a two-pillar plan aimed at targeting large multinationals including online tech giants such as Facebook and Google. The intention of the initiative is to ensure that tax is paid in the jurisdiction in which profits are made, as well as to introduce a global minimum tax of 15 per cent in an attempt to combat tax evasion and profit shifting.

The OECD have welcomed the developments, with Secretary-General Mathias Cormann stating that "The combined effect of the globalisation and the digitalisation of our economies has caused distortions and inequities which can only be effectively addressed through a multilaterally agreed solution." (Source)

However, commentators such as Anthony Travers OBE argue that the reforms are “a step en route to the ultimate OECD game plan - an overarching global tax authority” in which tax autonomy and competition are at risk and economic colonialism is a certainty. In our latest Big Debate, we consider the implications of this latest initiative with contributions from stakeholders in the jurisdictions most affected.