Treasury and Finance Minister speaks on BloombergHT: Tax to equities will come but with the next tax package,

Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek made evaluations on the main issues of the economy in Bloomberg HT-Habertürk broadcast.

Minister of Treasury and Finance Mehmet Şimşek made important statements on key economic issues during a joint broadcast on Bloomberg HT and Habertürk. These statements provide important insights into the government’s economic goals and strategies.  Here are the highlights:

Exiting the Gray List
– Turkey’s exit from the gray list was the result of a team effort.
– The support of the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice was crucial for exiting the gray list.
– Exiting the gray list is a significant achievement for the healthy and reputable functioning of our financial system.
– A letter was written to FATF to prevent political considerations from coming into play.

– Combating the financing of terrorism has been made a priority, and Turkey was unanimously removed from the gray list in this regard.
– MASAK’s (Turkey’s watchdog for black money) capacity will be increased, and artificial intelligence will be implemented.

Financial Situation and Reserves
– There has been a strong inflow of funds in recent months.
– Foreign exchange reserves have approached IMF criteria, with net reserves excluding swaps rising to $12 billion.
– The Turkish Lira has appreciated somewhat in real terms. The goal is to ensure stability in nominal exchange rates by permanently reducing inflation.

Current Account Deficit
– Rational policies and structural reforms are increasing investor confidence.
– The current account deficit fell from $57 billion in May 2023 to around $26 billion in May 2024.
– The current account deficit will be permanently reduced with active state industrial policies.

EYT (a form of retirement scheme) and Budget Deficit
– The annual cost of EYT was 724 billion TL.
– The budget deficit will be controlled and reduced to below 3% of GDP next year.
– There has been a continuous decline in currency denominated deposit accounts (KKM), and the tax advantage for companies has been removed.

Inflation and Employment
– The main source of inflation is growth driven by domestic demand.
– Real wage increases will be ensured with the reduction of inflation.
– The minimum wage that was hiked by 49% in January will be showing a real increase as CI inflation (currently at 75,5%) is expected to fall below 42% by the end of the year.
– The minimum wage in Turkey is among the highest in developing countries.

– Inflation is expected to decrease, with the first drop in June and significant drops in July, August, and September.

Tax Policies
– The focus will be on broadening the tax base, not introducing new tax burdens.
– A 15% minimum corporate tax will be introduced for multinational companies.
– Tax exemptions for REITs will be removed, and a 30% tax will be applied to build-operate-transfer companies.
– Crypto assets will be included in the tax scope.

– Taxation of capital gains in the current package requires further work. We believed that a transaction tax on the stock market would have undesirable consequences. The stock market is not part of this package but will be the subject of the next package.
– Artificial intelligence will be used in tax audits, and penalties for tax evasion will be increased.

– Work on tax packages is ongoing and not yet completed.