In case you hadn’t heard, 130 countries have signed on to a U.S.-backed proposal for a minimum tax rate for corporations.. The article states that the official rate wasn’t announced, but the American government was pushing for 15%.
For decades, the United States has participated in a self-defeating international tax competition, lowering our corporate tax rates only to watch other nations lower theirs in response. The result was a global race to the bottom: Who could lower their corporate rate further and faster? No nation has won this race, said [Treasury Secretary] Yellen in a statement on the accord.
Let’s be clear on what this is. The governments are acting like a cartel to protect their revenue streams and reduce competition. Further, let’s dispense with the nonsense that corporations need to “pay their fair share” of taxes. The taxes that corporations pay come from money extracted from three sources: consumers (from higher prices), employees (from lower compensation), and/or shareholders (from lower returns/corporate growth).
In the end, it probably won’t matter. Countries hoping to lure corporations to their shores will offer other benefits that will offset the increase in corporate taxes. Because incentives matter, and countries will always have incentive to have corporations in their jurisdictions, and have plenty of tools to offer incentives of their own.