GloBE Proposal and Possible Carve-Outs: Is There a Future for Preferential Tax Regimes?

The GloBE proposal intends to comprehensively address the remaining BEPS challenges and tax competition issues ensuring that the profits of multinational enterprises are subject to a minimum effective tax rate. Nonetheless, the public consultation held in November 2019 gave evidence of different views among the stakeholders around the scope of the new rules. The aim of this article is to explore the idea of carve-outs to exclude the preferential tax regimes in compliance with BEPS Action 5 from the new measures. The analysis of the GloBE proposal involves not only the interplay with BEPS Action 5 and tax competition, but also other variables of the international tax framework, including tax neutrality, tax equity, and tax sovereignty. The results provide serious arguments to support the possibility of carve-outs to limit the scope of the new rules for some preferential tax regimes that comply with the standards developed by the Forum on Harmful Tax Practices. Based on the fact that the future of such regimes should be preserved for fundamental policy reasons, it is suggested to redefine the path towards the minimum effective tax on the ground of new balancing elements: the parameter of the fiscal residue and the principle of proportionality.