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March 8, 2024

Report on recent US international tax developments 8 March 2024

President Biden delivered his State of the Union address on 7 March, offering new proposals in terms of taxation. The President called on Congress to raise the corporate minimum tax "to at least 21% so every big corporation finally begins to pay their fair share." The President also said he wanted to "end the tax breaks for Big Pharma, Big Oil, private jets, and massive executive pay!" President Biden further repeated his call for a so-called "billionaires tax." In briefing documents, the White House said the President supports raising the corporate income tax rate to 28% (from 21%), which has been included in his Budget proposals, and ending corporate deductions for the compensation costs for any employee (not just top executives) of more than $1m per year, which the President alluded to in his remarks.

The Biden Administration next will release their proposed FY 2025 Budget on 11 March.

The House Ways & Means Tax Subcommittee on 7 March held a hearing on "OECD Pillar 1: Ensuring the Biden Administration Puts Americans First." The hearing largely focused on a Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) report that showed that BEPS Pillar One would have resulted in a loss of $1.4b in US Federal receipts had it been in effect in 2021, based on one set of assumptions.

The JCT report also presented a range of single-year effects, from a loss of $100m to a loss of $4.4b, reflecting different methods of determining the amount of final sales in the United States for in-scope multinational enterprises, with the range reflecting the uncertainty about many aspects of the implementation of Pillar One.

In an opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman Mike Kelly (R-PA) said that while the OECD project was originally intended to eliminate digital services taxes (DSTs), the burden of Pillar One will fall disproportionately on US companies. Some members at the hearing said the JCT report could provide an argument for the US to walk away from the project, but there was consensus that DSTs would proliferate if the OECD project falls apart.

The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors held a meeting on 28-29 February, at the conclusion of which the Chair issued a meeting summary underscoring the importance of enhanced international economic cooperation and reiterating the G20's focus on finalizing the BEPS 2.0 project. Before the G20 meeting, the OECD released the Secretary-General Tax Report to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, providing an update on international tax matters including progress on the BEPS 2.0 project, implementation of the minimum standards of the original BEPS project, tax development and tax transparency.

The Secretary-General Tax Report states that in regard to BEPS Pillar Two, the global minimum tax has been or will be implemented by more than 35 jurisdictions with effect in 2024. Also on Pillar Two, the Report notes that more than 70 developing countries in the Inclusive Framework are entitled to request inclusion of the subject-to-tax rule (STTR) in their treaties with Inclusive Framework members.

On Pillar One, the Secretary-General Tax Report states that the Inclusive Framework is working toward finalizing the text of the multilateral convention (MLC) on Amount A by the end of March 2024, with a view of holding a signing ceremony by the end of June 2024. It also indicates that the Amount B report was approved by the Inclusive Framework and released in February 2024 and has been incorporated into the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines. The Report further notes that additional work related to Amount B is ongoing, including work on the interdependence of Amount B and Amount A that will be undertaken prior to the signing and entry into force of the MLC. A Global Tax Alert provides details.

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Contact Information

For additional information concerning this Alert, please contact:

Ernst & Young LLP (United States), International Tax and Transaction Services, Washington, DC

Published by NTD’s Tax Technical Knowledge Services group; Carolyn Wright, legal editor