Estonia, along with Hungary and Ireland, is one of nine countries not to back the OECD's global minimum corporate tax agreement which would see a 15 percent tax rate set.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Finance said the 139 OECD members discussed the issue on Thursday but Estonia could not agree to a 15 percent minimum corporate tax.
The reasons given were:
Firstly, the current version enables the state where the company's headquarters is located to tax the profit earned in Estonia if Estonia has not taxed the local subsidiary's profit within three to four years.
Estonia's proposal has been to implement a solution for countries that use a corporate income tax system similar to Estonia that would cover the entire economic cycle in order to enable the ability to pay dividends after unprofitable years. Estonian entrepreneurs have also supported such a solution.
Secondly, a minimum turnover rate should be set for the groups from which a minimum tax may be levied, rather than it being left open. The margins of the formula exclusion, which would allow companies with a genuine economic activity to be excluded from the scope of the minimum tax, were also too low. The original aim of the global minimum tax was to end the use of artificial tax schemes, but in the text presented for discussion, it has become a means of restricting tax competition that does not sufficiently take into account the interests of small countries.
Currently, there is zero corporate income tax on retained and reinvested profits in Estonia and a 14-20 percent tax on distributed profits.
However, Estonia did reaffirm its support for an international digital tax.
Editor: Helen Wright