Turkey remains off EU’s tax havens black list

The European Union finance ministers have kept Turkey off their list of tax havens on Tuesday, citing progress the country made on tax cooperation, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

The announcement was made by Portuguese Finance Minister Joao Leao during a news conference, the agency said.

“We were able to make progress in cooperation with Turkey on tax matter so it was not added to the list,” Leao said.

Turkey has been on the grey list of the bloc’s non-cooperative tax jurisdictions since 2017, a designation that allows time to introduce new laws to tackle tax deficiencies. 

The country was initially given until the end of 2020 to satisfy the requirements for tax transparency, but was expected to be placed on further deferral until the end of June 2021 to implement the necessary measures.

The EU is demonstrating weakness in its failure to designate long-time candidate country Turkey as tax haven, German politician and European Parliament member Sven Giegold said.

"Turkey belongs on the European list of tax havens,’’ Giegold said, according to the Daily Express, and the bloc is abdicating its responsibility to its 450 million citizens whileencouraging those seeking to evade tax payments in refusing to designate it as such.

Giegold’s remarks arrived ahead of the EU's updated list of tax havens.

"With every day that Turkey does not have to transmit tax data, the tax damage for Europe becomes greater,’’ the German MEP said.” The decision is weakening the already toothless EU tax haven list by giving Turkey this gratuitous extension.”

European governments' inconsistent approach in fighting against tax havens, Geigold said, makes the drive less credible and unsuccessful.