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Global Minimum Tax - What is the Impact to Offshore Companies




The G7 Group has reached a historic deal to make multinational tech giant companies pay more tax, by imposing a global minimum corporate tax of 15%.


WHY A GLOBAL MINIMUM CORPORATE INCOME TAX?


Major Economies like the US and EU are aiming to stop multinational companies from shifting their profits to low-tax countries where their sales are made. These multinational companies typically migrate their income from intangible sources such as patents, software and royalty on intellectual property to these jurisdictions, allowing companies to pay low taxes or no taxes in their traditional home countries.


The minimum tax is expected to make up the bulk of the $50 billion-$80 billion in extra corporate tax that the OECD estimates companies will end up paying globally if deals on both efforts are enacted.


HOW WOULD GLOBAL MINIMUM TAX WORK


If countries agree on a global minimum tax, the government of the country could set whatever corporate income tax rate. If companies that have overseas profits pay lower tax in a particular country, their home country governments could “top up” their taxes to the agreed minimum rate, to eliminate the shifting profits of the corporate to a tax haven.


HOW WOULD IT IMPACT TO OFFSHORE COMPANY


The global minimum tax is currently agreed by G7 countries, it still has to be brought to discussion in G20 and finally agreed by the countries in OECD. It will be harsh for a lot of countries that have low tax rates such as Ireland, Cayman Island, and etc. It may take years to finally put it into action for all the OECD countries.


Even if it has been accepted by a country, it may take years for them to change their company act and finally execute the global minimum tax to all of the companies.


Previously, OECD has requested the tax haven countries like Cayman Islands, BVI and other similar offshore jurisdictions to introduce Economic Substance Law, it takes them approximately 2 years from drafting the act, and another 2 years to make all the companies in the regime comply with the economic substance.


Therefore, you do not have to take any action on your existing offshore company, you still left plenty of time to see how it is going. If you are thinking of setting up one now, you may still proceed. The offshore company is still one of the best tool to facilitate international trading.



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