Brazil urges G20 ensure 'super-rich pay fair share' of taxes

Brazil urges G20 ensure 'super-rich pay fair share' of taxes

Brazilian Finance Minister Fernando Haddad speaks during the G20 finance ministers meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Brazilian Finance Minister Fernando Haddad speaks during the G20 finance ministers meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo: Nelson ALMEIDA / AFP
Source: AFP

Brazil's finance minister called Thursday for an international plan to ensure the world's super-rich pay their taxes, urging G20 nations to adopt a shared stance on preventing billionaire tax-dodging by July.

"It's an undeniable fact that the billionaires of the world are still evading our tax systems through a series of strategies," Finance Minister Fernando Haddad told his counterparts from the Group of 20 leading economies in Sao Paulo.

"I sincerely ask myself how we as G20 finance ministers can allow a situation like this to continue," he added, saying Brazil would seek to craft a joint G20 declaration on international taxation by the next ministerial meeting in July.

Brazil, the current president of the G20 -- whose members make up 80 percent of the global economy -- is pushing the group to cooperate on tax policy, amid global wrangling on how to deal with a so-called "race to the bottom," where some countries woo corporations and the super-rich with zero or ultra-low taxes.

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In 2021, G20 finance ministers endorsed a global tax-rule reform based on two "pillars": taxing large multinational corporations wherever they make their sales, to prevent "digital tax-dodging"; and a minimum corporate tax rate of 15 percent, regardless of where companies put their headquarters.

Countries are at different stages of implementing those reforms.

Some nations are now pushing for a "third pillar" that would tackle tax evasion by the super-rich.

Haddad cited a recent report by the EU Tax Observatory that found global billionaires are achieving effective tax rates of zero to 0.5 percent on their wealth, largely by using shell companies.

"Effective solutions to ensure the super-rich pay their fair share of taxes depend on international cooperation," said Haddad, a close ally of Brazil's leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

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The issue "could be the key to solving many of the challenges we face," he added.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told journalists Wednesday that Paris is pushing to "accelerate" international negotiations on a minimum tax on the ultra-wealthy.

Brazil invited a series of speakers to address the meeting on the issue, including French economist Gabriel Zucman, an expert on the link between tax evasion and inequality -- another key issue for Brazil in its G20 presidency.

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Source: AFP

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