Turkey passes 'wealth amnesty' law to lure back funds from abroad


The Turkish parliament passed a "wealth amnesty" law late on Tuesday designed to lure back funds held abroad by affluent Turks without punitive taxes and fines. Under the legislation, Turks will pay just two percent on eligible funds, avoiding taxes that could otherwise reach 30-40 percent. They will also avoid an investigation into whether the wealth was generated in Turkey and improperly kept overseas. In order to benefit from the amnesty, Turkish individuals or companies will be obliged to declare their wealth before the end of July. Turkey last used such a programme in 2009 to help mitigate the effects of the global financial crisis, drawing backing about 50 billion lira ($28 billion at current exchange rates). Turkey was Europe's fastest-growing economy in 2011, expanding 8.5 percent, but growth slowed sharply to 2.2 percent last year and the government is keen to see a recovery ahead of an election cycle beginning next year.