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World Blacklist of tax havens. The European Union gives Turkey one last chance

17:15  16 february  2021
17:15  16 february  2021 Source:   ouest-france.fr

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Ankara has obtained a suspension to supply the elements requested by the Europeans. Failure to do so by October, the European Union could include Turkey on its list of tax havens.

European Union postponed to October a possible listing of Turkey on its black list of tax havens and has put Ankara on formal notice to respect its commitments in terms of tax evasion by June, several diplomats said Tuesday, February 16, 2021.

Turkey is accused of failing to comply with international standards for automatic exchange of tax information.

A year ago, Brussels asked Ankara to come into good standing before the end of 2020. But Turkey has failed to meet this deadline, citing laborious checks to determine the tax residency of its millions of EU nationals.

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Five European countries impose an ultimatum on Ankara

Faced with this lack of cooperation, a group of five countries (Austria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Denmark) defended a hard line, demanding at least strict conditions, with specific dates , to grant a new delay which would then be the last.

Another group, around Germany, categorically refused to be blacklisted at this point and wanted "a little less strong language" .

A compromise was adopted ahead of a meeting of EU finance ministers (Ecofin) on Tuesday. According to several European diplomatic sources, he plans to force Ankara to set up, by June, the automatic exchange of tax information with the six EU countries for which it does not exist. again.

In addition, by September 1, Turkey must have communicated the information for the year 2019 to all Member States.

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In the event of non-compliance, it will be subject to entry on the blacklist of tax havens in October, during the next update of this list, which takes place twice a year.

A context complicated by tensions between Greece and Turkey

Relations between the EU and Turkey have been strained since Ankara has carried out several gas explorations in Greek waters in recent months, causing a diplomatic crisis with Athens. Turkey and Greece, however, resumed dialogue at the end of January.

Some Member States wanted the blacklist decision to take into account the diplomatic context and European interests beyond just tax issues. Others fear, on the contrary, that it will turn into a political weapon, when its criteria were supposed to be technical and objective.

This list, supposed to fight against the tax evasion of multinationals and big fortunes, was created in December 2017 after several scandals, including the "Panama Papers" and "LuxLeaks" . Sanctions against "blacklisted" countries may include the freezing of EU funds.

On Tuesday, the EU decided to remove Barbados from the blacklist and add Dominica, which joins eleven other countries: Anguilla, American Samoa, Fiji, Guam, Palau, Panama, Samoa, Seychelles , Trinidad and Tobago, the US Virgin Islands and Vanuatu.

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