© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The European Union flags flutter ahead of the gas talks between the EU, Russia and Ukraine at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Parliament overwhelmingly backed the European Union’s adoption of a global minimum tax for companies on Thursday and urged the bloc to allow a review after five years that could tighten controls.
Some 136 countries agreed a global deal in October 2021 to ensure big companies pay a minimum tax rate of 15% and make it harder for them to avoid taxation.
The European Commission proposal means companies with an annual turnover of at least 750 million euros ($788.8 million)will be subject to the minimum tax rate from 2023.
The EU lawmakers do want a review after five years, allowing for example the turnover threshold to be adjusted and assessing any impact on the tax revenues of developing countries.
They also want the Commission to monitor how EU countries are applying the rules and whether they are introducing measures to compensate for potential corporate tax increases.
Lawmakers backed a report on the minimum tax rate by 503 to 46 against.
The vote on Thursday established parliament’s opinion, which EU governments take into account when they adopt a final text, although they are not bound by it.
France, which holds the EU’s rotating six-month presidency, has pushed for a quick implementation of the deal in the 27-nation bloc, where tax issues require unanimous approval.
However, Poland is blocking a proposed compromise on how to implement the minimum tax, with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen seeking to convince Warsaw on Monday, but with no breakthrough.
($1 = 0.9508 euros)
EU lawmakers back minimum corporate tax, seek future review