Ruling Party Rushes Through Controversial Tax Code Amendments

On April 19, the Georgian Parliament rushed through the third and final reading of amendments to Georgia’s Tax Code that make it easier to transfer assets from tax havens to the country. 73 MPs voted in favor of the amendments, while nine voted against.

The amendments relieve all natural persons of their recognized unpaid tax arrears incurred before January 1, 2021, and exempt from all taxes the transfer of assets from tax haven entities to Georgian entities, provided that this occurs before January 1, 2028, and that both the offshore and the receiving entity are wholly owned by the same Georgian owner. 

Some opposition MPs said there was a link between these amendments and the so-called “foreign agents law.” They believe that the country’s tax code was amended to shield the ruling Georgian Dream party, particularly its founder and honorary chair, Bidzina Ivanishvili, from possible international sanctions. Others expressed the opinion that the changed tax regime could also be used by Russians sanctioned by the EU and the U.S. to transfer their assets to Georgia.

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