G20 finance ministers meet amid hopes for global digital tax deal

Signs are growing that the finance ministers of the G20 nations have worked out a deal for taxing businesses that trade across borders, perhaps putting an end to a long-running dispute.

The ministers are set to meet in an online session later on Wednesday at the invitation of Italy, the current chair of the group. It would be their second meeting this year.

The Ansa news agency has reported that a statement is expected at the end of this session, unlike after the one in February.

The proposed tax reforms have to solve two puzzles: How to set a tax for businesses that operate internationally; and how to set up a digital tax for internet giants like Amazon, Apple, and Google so that tax profits flow not only to the country where the business has its seat but also to those countries in which business is conducted.

There have been reports that Paris and Washington are nearing an agreement, which might clear a path for an international deal. France has in the past imposed a unilateral digital tax on some items, angering the US.

The ministers are also expected to discuss the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

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