Alphabet CFO backs higher taxes, global minimum tax


Dive brief:

  • The Biden administration’s proposed global minimum corporate tax and millionaire tax hikes should be supported, Ruth Porat, chief financial officer of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, said during the Washington Post “Women in Tech” Conference Wednesday. “We have to do our part,” said Porat, whose salary in 2020 was just under $ 51 million.

  • The intention to pay more taxes, according to Porat, is to implement a critically needed infrastructure program, which Google is committed to supporting.

  • “Sustainable growth, which is positive for everyone, must be inclusive growth, and we must each do our part,” Porat said. “I think that’s true across the board in everything we do as business leaders … and I feel the same now as an individual.”

Dive overview:

Porat, Alphabet’s CFO since 2015, is no stranger to crises. She began her career at Morgan Stanley a few weeks before the 1987 stock market crash.

According to Forbes, she was “the chief architect behind the debt financing that saved Amazon from near collapse in the dot-com crash in 2000”.

During the 2007-08 recession, Porat led Morgan Stanley’s global coverage of financial institutions and governments, and advised the Treasury Department and the New York Federal Reserve.

“I saw very clearly from 8 o’clock you need a team that has been through a crisis before and has a side view,” Porat said on the panel. “In a crisis, the facts aren’t clear, and you try to piece things together, so you basically have a tapestry with all of these disparate dots, none of which single-handedly tells you the story.

Porat said it takes a strong team to be successful in the face of challenges. “Google’s coordinated approach has been key” to its response to the pandemic, she said. “It’s that side view, weaving together what’s happening across states. And those kinds of lessons are important. Sadly, it won’t be the last pandemic we have.”

Have a seasoned team, know your source of vulnerability, protect yourself against it, act quickly and aggressively, she said. “These are the lessons.”

Taxes required

Biden has proposed increase the maximum federal rate on long-term capital gains and eligible dividends to nearly 40%, from 20%, for the richest 0.3%, taxpayers with annual income exceeding $ 1 million.

On the business side, tThe Biden administration’s “Made in America” tax plan would raise taxes on U.S. multinational corporations in 2022 by 81% to $ 104 billion and 72% over the next decade to $ 1.2 trillion. according to a Study of the Fiscal Foundation.

It would also impose an average 9.4% surtax on the overseas activities of U.S. multinationals on top of the taxes they pay overseas, among other changes intended to keep more business money in the U.S. United.

Porat said she and Alphabet support paying more corporate taxes, as proposed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and supported by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Google supports the OECD “a lot”, she said. “We believe this creates a lasting solution and ensures that we are doing the right things across the United States”

“Google is already one of the biggest taxpayers in the United States. We actually pay taxes in line with the OECD average,” she said. “We brought our [intellectual property] returned to the United States a few years ago. So we have a good structure.

As for the series of stimulus checks given to households during the pandemic, Porat believes they are making a significant difference, “throwing a lot of cash into the market.”

“I was very worried at the start of the depth [the pandemic] could go, ”she said. “The continued support, especially for small and medium enterprises and the most marginalized, has been essential. “


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