Corporate Taxes Poised to Rise After 136-Country Deal

 
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Nearly 140 countries agreed Friday to the most sweeping overhaul of global tax rules in a century, a move that aims to curtail tax avoidance by multinational corporations and raise additional tax revenue of as much as $150 billion annually.

But the accord, which is a decade in the making, now must be implemented by the signatories, a path that is likely to be far from smooth, including in a closely divided U.S. Congress.

The reform sets out a global minimum corporate tax of 15%, targeted at preventing companies from exploiting low-tax jurisdictions.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the floor set by the global minimum tax was a victory for the U.S. and its ability to raise money from companies. She urged Congress to move swiftly to enact the international tax proposals it has been debating, which would help pay for extending the expanded child tax credit and climate-change initiatives, among other policies.

“International tax policy making is a complex issue, but the arcane language of today’s agreement belies how simple and sweeping the stakes are: when this deal is enacted, Americans will find the global economy a much easier place to land a job, earn a living, or scale a business,” Ms. Yellen said.

The agreement among 136 countries also seeks to address the challenges posed by companies, particularly technology giants, that register the intellectual property that drives their profits anywhere in the world. As a result, many of those countries established operations in low-tax countries such as Ireland to reduce their tax bills.

The final deal gained the backing of Ireland, Estonia and Hungary, three members of the European Union that withheld their support for a preliminary agreement in July. But Nigeria, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Pakistan continued to reject the deal.

The new agreement, if implemented, would divide existing tax revenues in a way that favors countries where customers are based. The biggest countries, as well as the low-tax jurisdictions, must implement the agreement in order for it to meaningfully reduce tax avoidance.

Overall, the OECD estimates the new rules could give governments around the world additional revenue of $150 billion annually.

The final deal is expected to receive the backing of leaders from the Group of 20 leading economies when they meet in Rome at the end of this month. Thereafter, the signatories will have to change their national laws and amend international treaties to put the overhaul into practice.

The signatories set 2023 as a target for implementation, which tax experts said was an ambitious goal. And while the agreement would likely survive the failure of a small economy to pass new laws, it would be greatly weakened if a large economy—such as the U.S.—were to fail.

“We are all relying on all the bigger countries being able to move at roughly the same pace together,” said Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. “Were any big economy not to find itself in a position to implement the agreement,  that would matter for the other countries. But that might not become apparent for a while.”

 

Congress’ work on the deal will be divided into two phases. The first, this year, will be to change the minimum tax on U.S. companies’ foreign income that the U.S. approved in 2017. To comply with the agreement, Democrats intend to raise the rate—the House plan calls for 16.6%—and implement it on a country-by-country basis. Democrats can advance this on their own and they are trying to do so as part of President Biden’s broader policy agenda.

The second phase will be trickier, and the timing is less certain. That is where the U.S. would have to agree to the international deal changing the rules for where income is taxed. Many analysts say that would require a treaty, which would need a two-thirds vote in the Senate and thus some support from Republicans. Ms. Yellen has been more circumspect about the schedule and procedural details of the second phase.

Friction between European countries and the U.S. over the taxation of U.S. tech giants has threatened to trigger a trade war.

In long-running talks about new international tax rules, European officials have argued U.S. tech giants should pay more tax in Europe, and they fought for a system that would reallocate taxing rights on some digital products from countries where the product is produced to where it is consumed.

The U.S., however, resisted. A number of European governments introduced their own taxes on digital services. The U.S. then threatened to respond with new tariffs on imports from Europe.

The compromise was to reallocate taxing rights on all big companies that are above a certain profit threshold.

Under the agreement reached Friday, governments pledged not to introduce any new levies and said they would ultimately withdraw any that are in place. But the timetable for doing that has yet to be settled through bilateral discussions between the U.S. and those countries that have introduced the new levies.

Even though they will likely have to pay more tax after the overhaul, technology companies have long backed efforts to secure an international agreement, which they see as a way to avoid a chaotic network of national levies that threatened to tax the same profit multiple times.

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The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which has been guiding the tax talks, estimates that some $125 billion in existing tax revenues would be divided among countries in a new way.

Those new rules would be applied to companies with global turnover of €20 billion (about $23 billion) or more, and with a profit margin of 10% or more. That group is likely to include around 100 companies. Governments have agreed to reallocate the taxing rights to a quarter of the profits of each of those companies above 10%.

The agreement announced Friday specifies that its revenue and profitability thresholds for reallocating taxing rights could also apply to a part of a larger company if that segment is reported in its financial accounts. Such a provision would apply to Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud division, Amazon Web Services, even though Amazon as a whole isn’t profitable enough to qualify because of its low-margin e-commerce business.

The other part of the agreement sets a minimum tax rate of 15% on the profits made by large companies. Smaller companies, with revenues of less than $750 million, are exempted because they don’t typically have international operations and can’t therefore take advantage of the loopholes that big multinational companies have benefited from.

Low-tax countries such as Ireland will see an overall decline in revenues. Developing countries are least happy with the final deal, having pushed for both a higher minimum tax rate and the reallocation of a greater share of the profits of the largest companies.

 
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11 Self-Sabotaging Phrases To Drop From Your Vocabulary

Sometimes we say things to ourselves that aren’t in our self-interest. Calling yourself a loser or saying “I’m such an idiot” every time you make a mistake isn’t having a positive effect on your self-esteem (on the other hand, you should definitely try affirmations), but beyond the obviously negative self-talk, there are a host of things we say that hold us back more quietly.

While not as plainly negative as “I suck at everything,” these phrases sabotage us in a sneakier—but still damaging—way. Here are some words and phrases that work in the background to stealthily undermine us; things we’d be better off leaving behind when trying to reach our goals.

“I don’t have time”

Consider that it’s a misconception that we do or don’t “have time” for something, because we control what we prioritize. In actuality, we have time for things we make time for. Sometimes, “I don’t have time” can be a smokescreen for: “I don’t want to” or “I’m afraid.” When it comes to pursuing life goals, it’s easy to cite lack of time as a reason to not get started. But what if you dedicated just 10 or 20 minutes a day to start work on your next big goal?

“I don’t know how”

And where would we be if we only did things we knew how to do? Somewhere between Boringtown and Dead Inside-ville. It’s normal we don’t all know how to write a book proposal or run our own business. No one does when they first start. Instead of resting on the excuse that we don’t have some magical fount of necessary knowledge, we can get going on the what, and learn how as we go.

“I’m not ready”

This excuse is gold because it lets us off the hook. Most people will sympathize or corroborate our ironclad reasons for not taking action yet. The problem with “I’m not ready,” however, is that it assumes there is some magical time off in the future when we will be. But there isn’t.

Even if we earn more money, get more experience, or “settle down,” we still may not feel ready. Because it’s not really about those things, anyway. It’s about our relationship to fear, change, and the unknown. By all means, prepare before leaping. But if we spend spend too much time preparing, we may find ourselves in the same spot a year—or ten—from now.

“I’ll try”

In the words of the eternally wise Master Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.” Yoda uttered these words when training a young Luke Skywalker out of his surly lack of belief in himself. The concept applies to us non-Jedi knights as well. The words “I’ll try” contain an implicit lack of commitment.

It’s more comfortable to say we’ll “try” to do something, but it’s much more productive when we pick a side and hold ourselves accountable for taking the actions necessary to do the thing we said we’d do.

“Maybe”

“Maybe” is a great word to keep us stuck in the comfortable malaise of indecision. To avoid committing to bringing that casserole to book club, “maybe” away. But when it comes to bigger ambitions, there’s no better way to stop us in our tracks than with a weak-ass maybe. Saying “maybe” to something is still making a choice—a choice that leaves us in limbo and pushes the same choice further down the road. What if we decided now?

“I should…”

The word “should” is made of judgment. It implies that something is the right thing to do, and if it isn’t done, there will likely be negative consequences. Instead of using “should,” replace it with “I will.” After declaring what we will do, we can enjoy the empowered feeling of making a choice from possibility, rather than fear.

“If it happens, it happens”

While this phrase can at times be useful as an exercise in letting go of the outcome after putting your heart and soul into something. As a standalone, it implies we have zero self-agency or impact on a given outcome. The things we want most don’t just “happen.” They require vision, commitment, and repeated action.

“But so-and-so really needs me”

It’s a wonderful thing to help others. But there is such a thing as giving so much as to put us in a perpetual martyr position where there is no time, resources, or bandwidth left to improve ourselves. Are there places in your life where you’re over-functioning for someone or something else? Commit to taking back some of that time for you.

“I’m not smart/talented/brave enough”

As the story goes, Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because his editor felt he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Where would we be today if he had internalized that feedback?

We all “lack” in some areas and are stronger in others. The good thing is, we don’t need to be champions of intellect, courage, financial prowess, and beauty to achieve things. Instead of comparing ourselves to others and despairing about our interpretation of the results, we can focus on what we know are our strengths. (P.S. Courage comes from practicing being brave. If we do little things we’re afraid of, our bravery muscle will grow.)

“Just my luck”

We might say it when there’s “crazy traffic” and we end up being late, but saying things are “just my luck” puts us solidly in the victim position, as if there’s nothing that can be done to change what “happens to” us.

Take the last thing that you were mad about. What could you have done differently to improve the outcome? Empowered change starts with taking full responsibility for our choices—and their consequences—both good and bad, rather than habitually blaming “bad luck.”

“If only…”

These two words often lead into a wish, hope, or a complaint. “If only I was younger.” “If only my rent were lower.” “If only I’d gone to a better college.” Phrases like these keep us in a state of fantasy and helplessness. They presume a certain set of conditions or circumstances that would perfectly set us up for a successful, happy life. (Recognizing this is impossible is actually quite freeing.)

Try shifting this statement into one of declarative action. “When I get my Master’s…” or “Tomorrow, I will…” and follow it up with one step you will take towards your goal.

Source: 11 Self-Sabotaging Phrases to Drop From Your Vocabulary

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How to Start Recovering from Depression or Anxiety

 

 

Conquer Your Self-Doubt in Meetings

Self-doubt can afflict anyone, especially in meetings. Individuals may overreact to others’ reactions or compare themselves to what they see of others. As a result, they self-edit their contributions, robbing themselves and the team of ideas and hiding their true feelings which fester into further feelings of doubt and resentment.

But there are ways you can sidestep self-doubt in the moment and make your contributions count in meetings. First, claim space with an announcement. Second, name your point of view, either to yourself or to the group, to define your thought better. Third, explain your idea — and why it matters now. Last, invite feedback from others, so they can pause to appreciate and think more deeply about what you’ve just shared.

Recently promoted to her outgoing manager’s job, Rhianna often compares herself to her new peers — five women she looks up to. She wonders if she belongs in this room of senior executives, but there is no doubt in her manager’s mind about her qualifications. Rhianna has a PhD, has won awards in her field, has built a strong team, and is loved by her clients. Nevertheless, she is filled with self-doubt. When left unchecked, her thoughts devolve into demons of imaginary disasters.

Recently, Rhianna suggested a new idea during a leadership team meeting. No one responded. The conversation moved on. But Rhianna remained stuck in place, telling herself she wasn’t smart enough, her idea was insipid, and wasn’t this the case with all her contributions? They weren’t interesting or strategic enough to impress her colleagues. Such thoughts made her remain silent for the rest of the meeting and hesitant to speak up thereafter.

Many of my clients — successful executives in positions of authority — mask their inner scripts of doubt and fear. Their internal lashing is often the result of being overly calibrated to others’ reactions or too frequently comparing themselves to what they see of others. As a result, they edit their contributions, robbing themselves and the team of ideas and hiding their true feelings, which fester into further doubts and resentment.

Self-doubt can afflict anyone. Successful strategies to confront it need to help no matter the cause or context. On the basis of my work with Rhianna and other clients, I’ve identified four strategic ways to sidestep self-doubt in the moment and make your contributions count in meetings.

Claim space with an announcement. It’s easy to go unnoticed when everyone is excited about a topic. Owing to her natural diffidence, Rhianna would start speaking either too softly or too fast and lose her audience before she completed the first sentence. To avoid that pitfall, announce your contribution before launching into your subject.

For example, you might ask, “Can we pause to look at this from the customer’s perspective?” “Let’s step back and take a longer-term view of these metrics,” or “How might we think differently about our actions if we viewed them in the context of market microtrends?”

We create a drumroll by first announcing what we’re going to cover – it turns people’s attention our way, and they don’t miss the initial sentences of our idea. By framing the concept, we not only claim space for our contribution but also help focus the discussion.

Name your idea. Before sharing your thoughts, give your point of view a name. Because she wasn’t convinced of her own value, Rhianna shied away from taking up space; her body language, infrequency of speaking up, and paucity of words when she did made her blend into the background. Rhianna has since adopted techniques to name her thoughts, such as reviewing meeting notes for patterns.

She looks for underlying themes and tries to come up with an acronym or find a wordplay on a common phrase. During a recent meeting, phrases like “North America only,” “cultural blindness,” and “high-growth markets” allowed her to name her underlying idea “ROW together,” standing for “Rest of the world together.”

Use the name to anchor yourself — or if you want to, share it. Speak it out loud, and for wordplay like “ROW together,” present it with a little humor to alleviate your tenseness. It’s not always easy to do  on the spot, but naming your thought will define it better, give it more weight, and allow it to take up more space.

Explain your idea. Articulate only the skeleton of your proposal once you have announced and named it. Like a frame around a painting, this focuses your audience’s attention where you want it. Then, as you flesh out the thought, explain why it is important, and why now. Every idea vies with our calendars. Amid busy schedules, why should we care about this topic?

One of Rhianna’s ideas that she had not yet articulated related to the return to a hybrid work environment. Her company is debating various options, and her contribution, if acted on immediately, would address a common employee concern. Without a sense of timeliness, expect a polite golf clap but no momentum. When your audience is convinced that they need to act now, your suggestion will receive more attention.

Entertain feedback. When we doubt ourselves, we yield to our colleagues’ cues if they don’t follow up on what we’ve said. That was certainly true of Rhianna. The lack of response from others confirmed her worst fears: that her suggestions weren’t interesting and she wasn’t smart enough.

Before you relinquish the floor, offer a hook to involve others. Explicitly ask for feedback with questions like, “How many of you feel this way?” “What are your thoughts on this topic?” or “What stands out to you?” When you issue an invitation with an open-ended question, others can pause to appreciate and think more deeply about what you just shared.

As Rhianna has practiced these strategies, she’s been surprised. Even before examining her underlying fears more deeply, she says she’s found her voice. She’s no longer afraid to propose ideas and speak up in meetings and finds greater success when she does. By implementing techniques to land her perspectives, she’s found first-hand evidence that it wasn’t her ideas that lacked stickiness; it was her delivery, shaded by her self-confidence.

After altering how she presented her thoughts, she gained greater purchase on self-worth. Once colleagues adopted her proposals, she naturally adopted a more confident stance. When we doubt our own minds, digging deeper inside exposes more of the same faulty logic. By taking external action, we can liberate ourselves from the web of self-castigation and clear space for our creativity and that of our audience.

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Source: Conquer Your Self-Doubt in Meetings

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Critics:

Barriers to effective communication can retard or distort the message or intention of the message being conveyed. This may result in failure of the communication process or cause an effect that is undesirable. These include filtering, selective perception, information overload, emotions, language, silence, communication apprehension, gender differences and political correctness.

This also includes a lack of expressing “knowledge-appropriate” communication, which occurs when a person uses ambiguous or complex legal words, medical jargon, or descriptions of a situation or environment that is not understood by the recipient.

Communication to a great extent is influenced by culture and cultural variables. Understanding cultural aspects of communication refers to having knowledge of different cultures in order to communicate effectively with cross culture people. Cultural aspects of communication are of great relevance in today’s world which is now a global village, thanks to globalisation. Cultural aspects of communication are the cultural differences which influence communication across borders.

  1. Verbal communication refers to a form of communication which uses spoken and written words for expressing and transferring views and ideas. Language is the most important tool of verbal communication. Countries have different languages. A knowledge of languages of different countries can improve cross-cultural understanding.
  2. Non-verbal communication is a very wide concept and it includes all the other forms of communication which do not use written or spoken words. Non verbal communication takes the following forms:
    • Paralinguistics are the elements other than language where the voice is involved in communication and includes tones, pitch, vocal cues etc. It also includes sounds from throat and all these are greatly influenced by cultural differences across borders.
    • Proxemics deals with the concept of the space element in communication. Proxemics explains four zones of spaces, namely intimate, personal, social and public. This concept differs from culture to culture as the permissible space varies in different countries.
    • Artifactics studies the non verbal signals or communication which emerges from personal accessories such as the dress or fashion accessories worn and it varies with culture as people of different countries follow different dress codes.
    • Chronemics deals with the time aspects of communication and also includes the importance given to time. Some issues explaining this concept are pauses, silences and response lag during an interaction. This aspect of communication is also influenced by cultural differences as it is well known that there is a great difference in the value given by different cultures to time.
    • Kinesics mainly deals with body language such as postures, gestures, head nods, leg movements, etc. In different countries, the same gestures and postures are used to convey different messages. Sometimes even a particular kinesic indicating something good in a country may have a negative meaning in another culture.

The A-Z of How to Write a Business Proposal

How to Write a Business Proposal

Success for small businesses is about getting new business. That’s what a business proposal is designed to do. These tips help you to organize, put your best business foot forward and close deals when you get a request for proposal (RFP).

How to Write a Business Proposal

Meet with The Client

To understand what a client is really looking for you need to meet with them before you write the proposal up. This is the best way to get some general information about the business, its management and employees.

Brainstorm

Understanding the best approach means brainstorming some options within your small business. Here you’ll need to tackle on some practical items like how much to charge the client to make it worth your while. A good rule of thumb is to multiply the costs by 1.5 to account for any unseen issues.

Your team needs to tackle questions like who will do the work, what needs to be done, how it will be accomplished and what the scheduled milestones are.

Organizing all the information you’ve gathered is easy using digital tools like Evernote.

Start Writing

Once you gone through the previous steps you’re ready to start writing your proposal. Although some of the details might vary, most of these business proposals follow a traditional template.

Create an Introduction for Your Business

Here is where you introduce your company again to the potential client. Include the name of your company, the nature of your business, and a quick industry profile.

Restate the Issue

This is a good place in any business proposal to repeat the problem or issue that prompted your prospect to ask for a proposal in the first place. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that the tone and style make a big difference. Plain language is always better than more colorful words.

Remember the old adage that you don’t need to use a five dollar word when a five cent one will do.

Be Specific About Methods and Goals

Being specific helps when you outline the goals that you hope to accomplish. This is a part of any business proposal that other businesses are listening to closely. Outline the methods you’re going to use here to but remember to be direct and to the point.

Keep in mind you don’t want to leave anything out . It’s very important to go through each and every step in your methods.

Be Clear about Costs and Time to Completion

There’s more meat and potatoes stuff. Transparency is one of the biggest ingredients to landing any deal with a good business proposal. That means you’ll need to be clear about how much time each and every step will take and what it will cost.

Explain Why You’re Qualified

Here’s the part of your business proposal where you sell your company. Again, you want to keep away from flowery language and stick to the facts. Don’t forget to stick with plain English. Keep in mind here that if this is your first business proposal, writing in journalistic simple style might be a challenge.

Hiring a proposal writer can grease the wheels of the whole process so you close the deal quicker. If you’re planning on using graphs and charts, you might want to hire a freelance designer too.

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