Turkey to ring in 2015 with hikes in fines, taxes

Turkey to ring in 2015 with hikes in fines, taxes

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Turkey to ring in 2015 with hikes in fines, taxes

Labor Minister Faruk Çelik announces net monthly minimum wage during a meeting on Dec. 30. AA Photo

The new year will witness increases in fees, stamp taxes and official fines for traffic and tax offences in Turkey.

Details of the new penalties have emerged just as the government met with unions and employers in Ankara to discuss raising the monthly minimum wage, a move which would affect around 5 million people in Turkey.

The net monthly minimum wage was announced at 949 Turkish Liras ($408) Dec. 30 for the first half of 2015 and 1,000 liras ($430) for the second half of the year, much lower than the amount recommended by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) of 1,424 liras ($615).

The net minimum wage rose 5 percent to 846 liras per month in the first half of 2014. In Turkey, the minimum wage is calculated in terms of monthly pay, not hourly.

People will face having to pay more than 10 percent more in government fines and fees in 2015, such as on passport costs or speeding fines, according to adjustments made by the Finance Ministry, based on Turkey’s inflation rate over the last 12 months.

According to an announcement in the Official Gazette, motor vehicle taxes for passenger cars with engines between 1,300-1,600 cc will increase from 859 to 946 liras ($408).

The Finance Ministry did not reveal how much new revenue it was expecting to generate from the fee hikes.

The cost of a Turkish passport for a one-year period is set to increase from 140.50 to 154.70 liras ($67). Currently, the government charges 534 liras ($230) for 10-year passports, which is already higher than the fees in many other countries.

The fine to be paid by Turkish drivers who go 30 percent of less over the speed limit will be 189 liras ($82). Drivers who exceed the limit by over 30 percent will pay 392 liras ($170). The fine for running a red light will rise from 172 to 189 liras ($82).

The penalty for drunk drivers will be 800 liras ($345) for first-time offenders and 1,003 liras ($432) for second-time offenders.