As published on independent.ie, Friday 14 October, 2022.
The Netherlands would only support as a last resort members of the European Union unilaterally implementing a minimum tax on multinationals, as this risks creating divergences in the bloc.
The Hague would only back this option "if we would come to the worst and that is the only alternative, as a last resort," Marnix van Rij, state secretary for tax affairs, told Bloomberg during a visit to Brussels.
"We have the EU to avoid unilateral measures like this because you are running the risk of countries making changes."
The OECD-led deal to impose a 15pc minimum tax on large multinationals, the so-called Pillar 2 of the accord, remains stuck in the EU because of opposition from Hungary. Taxation proposals usually require unanimous backing.
The European Commission – the EU's executive arm – and member states are exploring ways to overcome the stalemate, including having a group of willing capitals move ahead on their own with implementing the measure.
Another option would be to approve the proposal by qualified majority, as has been the case in other tax-related dossiers such as the carbon border adjustment mechanism, Mr Van Rij said.
Meanwhile, technical work to conclude the Pillar 1 of the OECD deal to allow for taxing profits of some multinationals, including tech giants, has been progressing at a slow pace at international level, and the proposal could be further derailed following the results of US mid-term elections.
"I am a little bit more cautious" with Pillar 1, Mr Van Rij said, although "we hope that a final agreement would be made at a technical level."
Still, he said that the commission should start preparing a backup plan "preferably in the first half" of next year to implement a digital tax in the EU in case the international track fails to achieve results.