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Yellen Presses Ireland on 'Once in a Generation' Tax Reform

Sept. 23, 2021
Ireland is a key holdout in ongoing efforts by the OECD and 134 countries to set an international tax floor of 15%.

U.S. Treasury Janet Yellen stressed the need to finalize a global agreement on taxation to end the "race to the bottom" in a meeting with Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.

Both officials called the discussion late Wednesday "constructive," but earlier this week Donohoe said his country would not agree to a deal until it was in the best interests of Ireland.

In her conversation with the Irish official, who also serves as Eurogroup President, Yellen "emphasized the goal of stabilizing the international tax system and stopping the race to the bottom through this once-in-a-generation opportunity offered by the OECD Inclusive Framework," according to a Treasury statement. 

Ireland has been a haven for major multinational companies seeking to lower their tax burden, and has resisted signing onto the OECD initiative to set a tax floor of 15 percent, which has support of 134 countries.

The Irish Finance Ministry said the two officials discussed the efforts "to address tax challenges arising from digitalization and globalization." 

"The ultimate ambition for us all is to arrive at an equitable agreement which gives certainty and stability in the international tax framework," the statement said. 

Copyright 2021, Agence France-Presse

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