Chancellor Rishi Sunak targets ‘fair’ tax measures for digital firms at G7 finance summit

Rishi Sunak outlines 'some of the world's most pressing economic challenges' the G7 meeting will address

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will target 'fair' tax measures for digital companies when he welcomes overseas ministers in London for the first in-person G7 finance meeting since the start of the pandemic.

Ministers from the US, Japan, France, Canada, Germany and Italy will attend the two-day meeting at Lancaster House in London, ahead of the leaders’ summit in Cornwall next weekend.

They will discuss measures to tackle climate change as well as efforts to secure an international agreement on how digital companies are taxed.

Earlier this week, ITV News revealed the eight biggest digital firms - such as Google, Apple and Amazon - collectively avoided paying an estimated £1.5 billion in tax on their profits in the UK in 2019.While the UK taxes corporate profits at 19% (a rate that is set to rise to 25% in 2023), in Ireland Corporation Tax is paid at 12.5% while in Bermuda it’s zero.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak meets with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Credit: Hannah McKay/PA

In a statement outside the meeting on Friday, Mr Sunak said the meeting would address "some of the world's most pressing economic challenges".

These include providing support to vulnerable countries affected by coronavirus, making sure carbon emissions meet net zero targets and tackling climate change, and ensuring all businesses including digital companies are fairly taxed.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Sunak said: “The G7 is a hugely important grouping and it’s an honour to be welcoming my counterparts to London with a renewed spirit of multilateral cooperation.

“Even before holding the G7 Presidency we’ve been clear on our priorities – protecting jobs, ensuring a green and global recovery and supporting the world’s most vulnerable countries.

“Securing a global agreement on digital taxation has also been a key priority this year – we want companies to pay the right amount of tax in the right place, and I hope we can reach a fair deal with our partners.

“I’m determined we work together and unite to tackle the world’s most pressing economic challenges – and I’m hugely optimistic that we will deliver some concrete outcomes this weekend.

“Together we can make a real change and help steer the international community through the next stage of our recovery.”