From: Exit Staff
Albanian Government Continues with Consultations Over Fiscal Amnesty Law

The Albanian government is planning to proceed with consultations on the controversial fiscal amnesty law despite the European Commission slamming it and considering it a risk of money laundering.

Under the proposal, any foreign citizen or Albanian can deposit up to €2 million in non-declared money into the Albanian banking system while enjoying full legal immunity and a tax of between 5-10%. A previous version of the law which does not significantly differ from this one was slammed by the EU and the IMF while this one was criticised by the Commission last week.

European Commission Comes Out Against Fiscal Amnesty Draft

An invitation was sent to a group of Albanian business representatives, announcing a conference with Prime Minister Edi Rama at the Palace of Congress on 15 July.

“Under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Albania Mr. Edi Rama, the Ministry of Finance and Economy is pleased to have you participate in a public consultative meeting within the framework of the approval of the draft law ‘On Fiscal and Criminal Amnesty for the subjects of the Voluntary Declaration of Assets'”, the invitation states.

“Given the importance that this draft law represents for the economic development of the country, we would greatly appreciate your presence and would like to use this opportunity to share our common views and opinions with all interested parties, within the framework of the approval of this the draft law aiming at its better implementation,” it continues.

A statement distributed by the EU delegation in Tirana expressed concerns that the draft would weaken controls against money laundering causing worry for the EU and member states.

“The commission highlighted serious concerns about the current draft law on fiscal amnesty. It would weaken Albania’s anti-money laundering controls while doing little to enhance the tax administration’s ability to improve future compliance with tax requirements,” the press release said.

“Because non-tax residents, including Albanians living in the EU or the Western Balkans, fall within its scope and are required to import cash in order to benefit from the amnesty, the current draft of the law raises serious concerns for EU member states- and other partners, as well as a substantial reputational risk for the country,” it added.