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Ireland may not decide on global tax deal until later this year, minister says

·1 min read

DUBLIN, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Ireland may not be in a position to decide whether to sign up to a proposed overhaul of global corporate tax rules until later this year, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said on Thursday.

Ireland, the low tax European headquarters for many of the world's largest multinationals, has so far declined to sign up to an agreement struck by over 130 of 139 negotiating countries that G20 finance ministers are due to finalise in mid-October.

Donohoe said earlier this week that many countries were closely watching whether a deeply-divided U.S. Congress will accept President Joe Biden's proposed tax increases before seeing if a final agreement is possible.

A report by officials in Donohoe's department noted last week that it was uncertain whether sufficient support can be achieved in Washington before the mid-October deadline.

"In any decision that lies ahead, there are consequences that will be very meaningful for our economy that the government and I will have to consider if we get to a point in the coming weeks or maybe later on in the year of deciding to enter the agreement," Donohoe told a parliamentary committee.

Agreement from Ireland, one of the countries that has benefited most from low corporate taxes with multinational firms employing around one in eight workers, would be a boost for the project to impose a minimum global rate.

Ireland and other holdouts cannot block the proposed changes, but if Ireland were to maintain its lower tax rate, companies that book profits there could be forced to pay additional tax elsewhere. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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