Rethinking the minimum tax pact: Ireland is increasing Apple and Co.’s taxes

134 countries sign an agreement on a minimum tax rate for large corporations. In Europe, however, Ireland of all places is left out, which attracts many companies with its low taxes. But now the country is giving in. 1500 international corporations are facing higher tax bills.

Ireland now wants to join the OECD agreement on a global minimum tax rate of 15 percent for large corporations. The regulation is the “right” way, a “balanced” decision and a “fair compromise”, said Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe after a cabinet meeting. Estonia also announced the signing of the agreement.

The finance ministers of the G20 countries agreed in July on a global minimum tax for large corporations with an annual turnover of at least 750 million euros. In future, at least 15 percent corporate tax will be due everywhere for them.

Since then, 134 countries have signed the agreement negotiated under the aegis of the OECD. Ireland had long refused to do so. In the past, the country had attracted many large international corporations with a corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent, which is very low by international standards. For example, Google, Apple and Facebook have their European headquarters in Ireland, Airbnb and Amazon are also represented with large locations.

1500 foreign companies affected

According to Donohoe, 56 Irish companies with around 100,000 employees and 1,500 foreign companies with offices in Ireland and around 400,000 employees in the country will be affected by the future higher tax rate. The finance minister expects the new tax rate to come into force in 2023. He was convinced that Ireland would continue to remain “internationally competitive”.

A little later, Estonia also announced that it wanted to join the agreement. “We are joining the global tax agreement,” said Prime Minister Kaja Kallas. Nothing will change for most Estonian companies, she promised. Hungary is the last member country of the OECD that does not want to sign.