(Adds details on G7 tax talks)
BERLIN, June 2 (Reuters) - Germany expects finance ministers of the Group of Seven nations to make “significant progress” in their fight against corporate tax dumping during talks in London later this week, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.
Britain will host the in-person meeting in its capital on Friday and Saturday, with British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak hoping he can broker a deal on a joint approach to business taxation after the United States dropped its resistance.
The new U.S. administration has proposed a global minimum corporation tax rate of at least 15%, well below G7 levels, but above those in some countries such as Ireland. However, Britain remains concerned the plans do not go far enough on taxation of tech giants such as Amazon, Google and Facebook.
Speaking to Reuters in the gardens of the finance ministry in Berlin, Scholz said he was optimistic that an international agreement could be reached in the course of this summer also in the wider negotiations at the G20 and OECD level.
“In any case, it is a great step forward that the U.S. government has set a mark with its 15 percent plus X,” Scholz said, adding he expected the international debate to move towards this figure for a global corporate minimum tax rate.
Scholz said he also backed Sunak’s goal of reaching an agreement on new rules for big digital companies to prevent them shifting profits into low-tax countries through cross-border schemes.
“We also need progress in the taxation of the large, digital companies,” Scholz said.
Officials are currently discussing various ideas including a U.S. proposal which would see the 100 most profitable companies be subject to the new digital tax rules.
Scholz said it would make sense to look at profitability, but insisted that any agreement had to guarantee that all large digital companies would be covered by the new rules.
“And this means all of them and without exception,” he said.
“It’s becoming clearer now that there can be a consensus on this issue as well, so that we indeed reach our goal that all major digital companies will be taxed.” (Reporting by Michael Nienaber Editing by Madeline Chambers and Nick Tattersall)