Olaf Scholz negotiated it as Finance Minister, and now his successor must implement tax reform for large corporations. It could fill up the cupboards a bit.
The planned minimum tax for large corporations should bring the state several hundred million euros annually from 2026 onwards. This stems from a bill by Finance Minister Christian Lindner. The minimum tax is intended to prevent companies from shifting their profits to tax havens. “Making profits in Germany and then paying almost no tax anywhere else – this business model is coming to an end,” the FDP politician said on Tuesday.
The minimum tax rate is one of two parts of the global corporate tax reform that has been passed by 138 countries. In the future, international companies with annual sales of more than 750 million euros will have to pay taxes of at least 15 percent. This includes 600 to 800 German companies.
The scheme is independent of where the profits are made. The state in which the parent company is located can take after-tax profits from the tax haven by 10 percent. At the same time, the so-called licensing barrier will be abolished. Until now, this was intended to prevent large corporations from selling licenses or patents to subsidiaries in tax havens and then leasing them from them for high fees.
The law is still in the drafting stage. Germany must implement EU directives. However, the ministry said that care is being taken to ensure that this is done with the least possible effort for the company. The Chemical Industries Association warned of significant additional expenses. “Let there not be a bureaucratic monster – otherwise there will be more disadvantages to the site compared to the United States and China.” As a result, more investments can flow in. The bill shows the right approaches, but there is a risk that the United States is not yet on board.
For Germany, the ministry expects additional income in the three-digit million range – but only from the second year after its introduction. In the first year, 2025, costs may rise to about 50 million euros. In 2026, about 910 million should flow into the cash register, in 2027 about 535 million and in 2028 about 285 million.
The second part of the tax reform, a new regulation of digital companies, is coming a long time ago. The ministry said negotiations are still ongoing here. Digital companies must pay taxes where they make their profits.
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