Government to introduce tax reform

Government to introduce tax reform

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
A draft income tax code making significant changes to the tax system will be submitted today to the Economic Coordination Council, Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek announced yesterday.

“The framework of this draft is for the tax base to be broadened. The number of taxpayers will be increased. We have conducted a serious study on tax exemption and exceptions,” Şimşek said, speaking on a private TV channel.

The draft will be submitted to the Cabinet, and then to Parliament, after first being discussed at the council, which is headed by Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan.

“Firstly, we have merged the income and corporate tax codes,” he said, adding that this was in line with best practices in many countries.

“Our goal in legislative work is to make laws simple, comprehensive and predictable. We have decreased the number of articles from 250 to less than 100 [by combining the two codes],” Şimşek said.

Another important issue is tax exemptions and exceptions, he added. “For example, football players in the Super League earn very well and the tax rate is only 15 percent. But if you are a senior executive in a company, your tax rate climbs to 35 percent. We have reviewed such exemptions,” he said.

It is highly likely that some walks of life that do not pay tax at all, or pay only a little, will be subject to normal tax rates, Şimşek said, adding that the goal of the tax reform was to ensure justice in taxation policy. No new taxes will be imposed, and there will be no change in the rates, he said.

“We will naturally practice an approach aimed at encouraging the economy, particularly entrepreneurship, investments, agricultural production, and employment. Energy saving will also be encouraged, in a bid to narrow the current account deficit,” Şimşek said.