Contents page 1 — The money in the world is new page 2 distributed — Scholz argues for a global minimum tax On a page

have A dispute over control of the galactic to follow read. Star Wars Fans know that. The war between the “Republic” and the “trade Federation”, the whirled in the Film, the existing order, started with a profane dispute over the taxation of trade routes. The argument escalated, and a fierce battle began.

A bit so it is straight in reality. A taxation question, which sounds vile, moved in these days the international community is in an uproar. “In the digital economy, companies can no longer avoid the increasingly the tax authorities because the existing rules fit,” says John Becker, a tax expert at the University of Münster. Therefore, the world should be divided into financial and political. The Finance Ministers from 128 countries want to negotiate about, where companies have to pay in the future, how much tax and make sure that you are somewhere at all taxes. It’s a lot of money: In the 36 countries of the Organisation for economic co-operation and development (OECD) transfer the company today per year, nearly $ 1.2 trillion to the state.

The first round in this global distribution battle will be ushered in next week. The German Finance Minister, Olaf Scholz, then meets at the spring meeting of the International monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington on his Finance Minister counterparts from the other regions of the world. At the end of the talks, there will be countries that can expect more money – and those who have to make do with less. Possible that Germany will be among the losers.

The tax system has been by an official from the Reich Finance Ministry

embossed designed The international tax system has been in its present Form 100 years ago. At that time, the community found a solution to the Problem of international taxation. The League of Nations, the precursor organization of the United Nations, had to decide on the question of how we should tax the companies that were operating in many countries. There, where they had their headquarters? Or where you sold your products? To date, quite a mess – and as a result, many companies have been taxed twice.

So, the League of Nations in 1925, called a Committee of 13 experts, which should solve the problem. Belonged to Herbert thorn, a top official from the Reich Finance Ministry, which dealt for years with the international tax law. In the newly created Committee, he quickly became the driving force. Thorn, so it shows a picture from that time, was a man with a serious face, hat and walking stick. Today he is almost forgotten. Maybe because his career experienced a sudden break, when the national socialists came to Power. Thorn, who was considered a Jew, had to flee to Switzerland. To this time he had developed, however, the international tax policy is crucial.

This article dates back to the TIME no 14/2019. Here you can read the entire issue.

thorn coined at the time, a concept that is still used today. Simplified, it says that a state may only require control of a company, if the facilities or employees in the country – in Tax a permanent establishment. At the time, it was a good idea. A company that wanted to sell something in a country that needed a rule, a Store with salesmen, an office with employees, a warehouse, a construction site. With the digitalization has changed the but fundamentally. A social network like Facebook or a search engine such as Google can win in the world users and advertising clients without a physical presence would be mandatory.

The consequences. Groups can press their taxes sent by moving their profits, preferably in countries with low taxes. However, the Finance Minister want to do something. They deal also with the question of how the tax revenue among the States to be divided. The small Finland, for example, has a booming Gaming industry. Many of the leading developers of computer games have their place of operation. From Finland, you can sell your games in the whole world, taxes you pay, but often only in Finland. This is nice for the Finnish tax authorities. All other countries will go out empty, even if the game makers there earn more money than in the domestic market.

The 100-year-old concept of a physical place of operation will be perceived by many States, therefore, as obsolete, says the tax professional Becker. One Argument is that The users of digital services contribute also to the creation of value. What is a social network like Facebook without its users value the parts of constantly new images, news and messages about it would be? Therefore, the States in which these users are located would not have been entitled to a portion of the taxes, even if the group is sitting there.