Tax champion Koç slams tax evasion and high taxes
Jale Özgentürk ANTALYA / RadikalTurkey’s recently-named tax champion, Honorary Chairman Rahmi Koç, has said his family’s domination of the top six spots of Turkish taxpayers was not because they had the highest income, but simply because they pay more tax than the others.
“This picture emerges not because we earn so much. It is because we pay tax. The informal economy is large and taxes are high,” he said, speaking to daily Hürriyet in Antalya, where he was attending the Ladies European Tour (LET) golf tournament.
According to a list of the top 100 income tax payers announced by the Finance Ministry’s Income Administration office on May 4, all top six spots in the ranking are held by Koç family members, who paid a combined total of around 120 million Liras in income tax in 2013.
Koç said he did not want to be unfair to other high earners, and suggested that they might not be distributing dividends so their income stays within their companies. “When they don’t deliver dividends, money stays within the firms. Some companies don’t have their name [on the list], but they are important businesses,” he said. When asked about the low rate of tax collection in Turkey, Koç said “maybe the taxes are too high” and suggested that this might drive taxpayers abroad. He added that his group had often complained about tax rates.