While in Ottawa, the EU representative wants to talk about the environment and world tax

After G20 leaders and global representatives met earlier this month at the UN COP26 Environment Summit in Glasgow, Gerassimos Thomas, Director-General for Taxation and Customs Union of the EU, is in Ottawa to meet key officials and discuss two key issues: global taxes and the environment.

Last month, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) got 136 countries to agree in principle to a two-pillar global tax treaty.

Pillar 1 seeks to increase tax rights and will force large companies to pay tax to a country even if they do not have an office there, while Pillar 2 would force them to pay a minimum corporation tax of 15 percent in 2023.

Each of the 136 countries must implement minimum corporate tax legislation, and the European Commission plans to present its proposals before Christmas, Thomas told iPolitics on Friday.

“We are moving extremely fast with this bill,” he said. “(Europe’s) finance ministers must agree to this as early as 4 January. … We are committed to having this agreement inden signed before the first half of next year. ”

Pillar 1 of the agreement includes Digital Services Taxes (DST), which would apply to companies like Google and Meta, formerly Facebook. Many issues in this part of the agreement are still outstanding. Leaders have promised to finalize the rules next year and implement summer time in 2023.

“These new international agreements, in particular Pillar 1, will include the redistribution of tax rights, which is legally complex,” Thomas said.

Canada was on track to implement its own summer time on 1 January 2022, but has postponed doing so until 1 January 2024 with the expectation that the OECD’s summer time will be approved before then.

READ MORE: Canada supports a 15 percent global tax on Big Tech

After COP26, Thomas says he is eager to have more conversations about the environment with Canadian officials.

“Previously, the environment was only (protected by) rules,” Thomas said, praising Canada for going the extra mile by pricing carbon.

“As we increase our ambition (to reduce) climate change and greenhouse gas emissions,” all countries and members need to “employ more policy tools,” Thomas said, including effective energy taxation.

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