Taxation of multinationals

€5.8bn jackpot for Luxembourg

The reform of the international corporate tax system is a good deal for the national budgets of the G20 countries. (Photo: EU. Editing: Maison Moderne)

The reform of the international corporate tax system is a good deal for the national budgets of the G20 countries. (Photo: EU. Editing: Maison Moderne)

According to projections by the European Tax Observatory, the reform of the international corporate tax system would bring in €5.8bn in additional revenue for the Luxembourg government by 2021.

This is what the European Tax Observatory's projections suggest. This figure is, of course, an estimate based on the tax returns of multinationals published in 2017, the year from which country-by-country reporting became fully compulsory for those companies with worldwide revenues of more than $750m.

Overall, the 15% tax on these companies will generate a global tax gain of more than €200bn. This windfall will benefit the developed countries, which are home to the largest number of multinationals, 66%, compared to 33% for developing countries. 38% of these multinationals are based in Asia (China, but also Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong), 28% in the United States and 15% in the European Union.

This means €191.3bn in additional revenue for developed countries, compared to just €14.2bn for developing countries.

€14.1bn in potential additional revenue for Luxembourg

The big winner is the United States, which stands to gain €57bn in tax revenue. The US is followed by Canada (€24.4bn), Belgium (€21.2bn), Germany (€13.3bn), Ireland (€12.4bn), the UK (€11bn) and Luxembourg which, with €5.8bn in additional tax revenue, is in seventh place.

The independent research laboratory headed by economist Gabriel Zucman is well known for its tax activism. Its simulation also includes scenarios with tax rates that, while discussed, were not retained: 21%, 25% and 30%. If they had been, the Luxembourg budget would have been between €9bn and €14.1bn richer.

The European Tax Observatory also denounces the substance-based exemptions granted to multinationals which reduce potential revenues from 20.2% in the first year to 12.4% in 10 years.

These are all arguments that will fuel the debate on the new tax legislation in the coming months.

This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.