Nov 23 2017

EU may blacklist Turkey as tax haven

The European Union may add Turkey to a blacklist of tax havens as early as next month, a move that may further increase political tensions between Ankara and Brussels.

An EU working group screening “non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes” has concluded that Turkey has failed to deal with issues of tax transparency and abolish “sweetheart tax regimes”, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing confidential documents and people familiar with the matter.

The Code of Conduct group may recommend  EU finance ministers to add non-compliant countries to a blacklist on Dec. 5. EU members are divided on whether sanctions should be used against uncooperative jurisdictions, Bloomberg said.

Britain has expressed reservations, but any decision to bypass Turkey’s inclusion could only be made at a political level, Bloomberg said, citing a participant in the meeting of the working group.

Turkey could still dodge inclusion, but time to provide sufficient commitments before the EU finance ministers’ meeting is running out.

EU ambassadors are due to discuss the list ahead of the meeting. As many as 36 countries could be included, including Serbia, Armenia, the Cook Islands, the Marshall Islands, Panama and Tunisia, according to a draft summary dated Nov. 21, Bloomberg reported

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