Jul 2, 2021 - Economy

Global minimum tax vs. S&P 500 profits

Illustration showing a suit with a tie of a $100 bill.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The 15% minimum corporate tax rate agreed upon Thursday by 130 countries will have a limited impact on big U.S. corporations, analysts say.

Why it matters: Large companies with sophisticated accounting departments exploit generous overseas tax policies in their efforts to minimize taxes and maximize profits.

How it works: The minimum tax will apply to large multinational companies. Any profitable firm with revenue over €20 billion ($24 billion) will be included from the start, with that number expected to decline to €10 billion ($12 billion) in time.

  • The rules will be brought into domestic law in 2022 and will take effect in 2023.

What they’re saying: In an analysis published on June 7, Goldman Sachs analysts estimated that a global minimum tax rate of 15% that took effect in 2022 would "represent a downside of just 1%-2%" to S&P 500 earnings.

  • "At the sector level, Info Tech and Health Care would face the greatest earnings risk, but even those sectors appear to face aggregate downside of less than 5% relative to current consensus estimates," they wrote.

What's next: Big companies will begin announcing their Q2 financial results in the coming weeks. Expect at least some executives to address questions about how a global minimum tax would affect the bottom line.

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