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    Turkey plans tax exemption on citizens’ deposits in foreign banks

    HotNewsTurkey Staff
    11.10.2008 - 08:27 | Son Güncelleme:

    The Turkish government is working on a plan to implement tax exemption on its citizens' deposits kept in foreign banks in a bid to attract those funds to local banks, Vatan daily reported.

    The report said the government would not investigate or question the source of the money as well, a main reason behind the Turkish citizens’ preference to keep their deposits abroad.

     

    Economists and analysts say such move would help Turkey to rescue from the global crisis and would create financial resources to help the real sector, which is expected to be hardly hit by the turmoil.

     

    They, however, say unlimited government guarantee on the deposits should also be implemented to attract those deposits. In Turkey 50,000 YTL ($35,000) of deposits are under government guarantee.

     

    There is no official data on the total amount of the deposits the Turkish citizens keep in their accounts in the foreign banks, however it is estimated this amount to be around 100-150 billion dollars in the accounts of some 22,000 people.

     

    On Friday Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan confirmed that efforts are underway to attract the expatriates' funds and the bill would be submitted to the council of minister soon. He, however, did not elaborate the details of the legislation.

     

    Under the existing legislation, a five-year old tax investigation is held on the deposits that would be transferred to Turkey from foreign banks.

     

    The chairman of Millenium Bank said such decision would be a milestone for the Turkish financial system and be an important step to turn this crisis into an opportunity.

     

    "Under these circumstances, if we can, this would be the most important step that the government takes in the peak of crisis besides its statements to soothe concerns," Tezcan Yaramanci said, adding Turkey could attract as much as 30 billion dollars.

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