Government to get cash back amid secrecy erosion
ANKARA- Anatolia News Agency
‘It’s time to bring back to Turkey the cash that our citizens have taken away,’ the Finance minister Mehmet Şimşek said. DHA photoThe timing for a new cash repatriation code in Turkey is perfect as it comes at the phasing-out process of global tax havens, the Turkish finance minister has said.
“Tax havens have been losing ground,” Mehmet Şimşek said during an interview broadcast on NTV news channel. “We, as Turkey, have made double taxation agreements comprising full information exchange with many tax havens.”
He said the perception of Turkey as a safe port to park money was already rising and it was time to withdraw Turkish citizens’ cash abroad as tax haven countries’ positions about secrecy had been weakening.
After the reveal of several scandals and the Greek Cypriot crisis, European countries have vowed to eradicate tax havens, urging countries traditionally known for their banks’ secrecy, including Luxembourg and Austria, to take actions against bank secrecy.
Şimşek said it was a good time to reintroduce a cash repatriation regulation that the government had announced it would introduce again to lure back $130 billion worth of citizens’ money from abroad.
“It’s time to bring back to Turkey the cash that our citizens have taken away to overseas or have been holding abroad due to a variety of concerns in the ‘70s, ‘80s or ‘90s,” he said.
He said the preparation of the draft regulation might be ready in a couple of days as the Finance Ministry would be working fast.
It is not forbidden for citizens to take or hold money abroad as long as they pay their taxes, he said.
A cash repatriation law designed to bring assets home came into force in 2008 during the beginnings of the global economic crisis, and the Turkish government is looking to benefit from the country’s increasing luster in the world by introducing a new one.