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Ireland says too soon to say whether global tax rate will be set at 15%

Ireland says too soon to say whether global tax rate will be set at 15% 1

DUBLIN (Reuters) -The global minimum corporate tax rate of 15% proposed by the Group of Seven wealthy nations is just a signpost and it is too early to say whether agreement can be reached on that or any figure, Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said on Thursday.

In a major step toward a global deal, G7 finance ministers agreed last weekend to squeeze more money out of multinational companies, in part by backing a minimum global corporate tax rate of at least 15%.

With a rate of 12.5% that has helped attract some of the biggest multinationals to the country, Ireland has more to lose than most from the overhaul and Donohoe said much further work was still required to reach a deal among Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development countries.

“It’s important to recognise that this is just a signpost. In the discussions that could yet develop in the OECD, other countries will be making the case for a rate that is higher than 15%,” Donohoe told a news conference.

“If the rate is higher than 15% it may well have an impact on a broader group of countries. It’s still too early at this point to be able to say that agreement can be reached on a figure and if it can that the figure is going to be 15%.”

Donohoe reiterated that he believed an agreement would be reached but not until later this year.

With OECD officials limbering up for a clash over exemptions and other carve-outs for specific sectors or types of economic activity, Donohoe said he anticipated any final deal will allow companies to offset part of their tax bills through research and development, an important aspect for Ireland.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries, writing by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Alex Richardson and Toby Chopra)

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