Cigarette smuggling causes 5 bln TL loss
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
The annual tax loss due to smuggled cigarettes has surpassed 5 billion Turkish Liras, an alarming level despite all measures, sector representatives say. DHA photoThe annual tax loss caused by smuggled cigarettes has surpassed 5 billion Turkish Liras, the head of the Turkish craftsmen confederation has said, warning that the problem has reached an alarming level despite all the measures taken against smuggling.
“The Finance Ministry collects 20 billion liras of its tax from cigarettes. When smuggling soars, losses also soar,” says Bendevi Palandöken, the head of the Confederation of Turkish Craftsmen and Tradesmen (TESK), in a written statement. “Craftsmen selling tobacco and paying taxes get hurt as well,” he added.
“While smuggled cigarettes are being sold for 1.5 to 2 Turkish Liras at street corners or in the bags of sellers, honest craftsmen are struggling to pay their fees and taxes,” Palandöken said.
His statement also said the ratio of smuggled tobacco had reached around 20 percent of all cigarettes in the market, despite steps taken by the authorities to expand the registered economy.
Turkish government, through its finance ministry has waged a tightened war against all kinds of tax evasion and smuggling to reduce the revenue losses to minimum.