Turkey sees 1 bln lira tax boost from wealth amnesty

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Turkey will see its tax take boosted by at least 1 billion lira ($520 million) this year thanks to a wealth amnesty scheme which aims to lure back funds kept abroad, the Finance Ministry said on Thursday.

Turks have so far declared 50.5 billion lira in the first phase of the scheme, introduced earlier this year, under which they pay just two percent on eligible funds and avoid taxes that could otherwise reach up to 40 percent.

Those taking part also avoid investigation into whether the wealth was generated in Turkey and improperly kept overseas.

The deadline to submit applications has been extended to the end of October, meaning the final additional tax take could be above 1 billion lira, the ministry said in a statement.

Turkey’s growth rate fell to 2.2 percent last year and government officials have said this year’s 4 percent target mayalso need to be revised down.

The wealth amnesty scheme was last used in 2009 when Turkey was in the economic doldrums. Then it drew back around 50 billion lira ($28 billion at current exchange rates), although some of that was also from domestic funds, boosting the country’s tax take by 1.56 billion lira.

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