The Netherlands would only support European Union members unilaterally implementing a minimum tax on multinationals as a last resort, as this risks creating divisions within the bloc.
The Hague would only support this option “if we come to the worst and that is the only alternative, as a last resort,” Marnix van Rij, state secretary for tax affairs, told Bloomberg during a visit to Brussels.
“We have the EU to avoid unilateral measures like this because you run the risk of countries making changes.”
The OECD-led agreement to impose a 15% minimum tax on large multinationals, the so-called pillar 2 of the deal, remains stalled in the EU due to opposition from Hungary. Tax proposals generally require unanimous support.
The European Commission – the EU’s executive arm – and member states are exploring ways to break the deadlock, including asking a group of willing capitals to step forward on their own in implementing measurement work.
Another option would be to approve the proposal by qualified majority, as has been the case in other tax-related files such as the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, Van Rij said.
Meanwhile, technical work to conclude Pillar 1 of the OECD agreement to allow taxing the profits of certain multinationals, including tech giants, is progressing at a slow pace internationally, and the proposal could still be derailed following the results of the US midterm. -term elections.
“I am a bit more cautious” with Pillar 1, said Van Rij, although “we hope that a final agreement will be found at the technical level”.
Still, he said the commission should start preparing a back-up plan “preferably in the first half” of next year to implement a digital tax in the EU in case the international route fails to deliver results. .