EU to give Turkey until end of year to avoid tax blacklisting

The EU has given Turkey until the end of the year to comply with the bloc’s demands on tax transparency, or else risk being added to a list of countries that could be slapped with financial sanctions, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

Turkey currently doesn’t comply with the EU requirements and Ankara has until the end of the year to fall in line, 27 EU finance ministers determined in a meeting in Brussels, it quoted Austrian Finance Minister, Gernot Bluemel, as saying. 

The bloc released a blacklist of tax havens in December 2017 to encourage transparency and fairer tax competition, while preventing and stopping tax fraud, evasion and avoidance.

Those on the blacklist are said to allow widespread tax evasion by corporations and individuals, and fail to meet the EU's deadlines for reform.

“If Turkey continues to violate the rules, we’ll argue for it to get on the blacklist,” the Austrian finance minister said. “We’ll monitor until the end of the year and make a decision then”.

The tax haven debate is one of numerous issues between the EU and Turkey, whose full membership talks to the bloc has come to a halt since 2016 due to concerns over its democratic and human rights record in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt.