Alcoholic beverage taxes exceed budget of Turkey's seven ministries

Responding to the parliamentary motion, Turkey's Treasury and Finance Minister Lütfi Elvan announced that in 2020, 16.5 billion TL ($2 billion) of special consumption tax was collected from alcoholic beverages.
Thursday, 01 April 2021 10:27

Ömer Fethi Gürer, MP from the main opposition CHP, asked the Ministry of Treasury and Finance to explain the amount of the special consumption tax collected from alcoholic beverages in a written motion.

Gürer asked the total amount of tax levied on packaged alcoholic beverages in 2019 and 2020, the separate sales volumes of packaged products defined as alcoholic beverages as domestic and imported production, the tax amount levied on businesses selling alcoholic beverages and the total number of these businesses, the number of taxable drinking entertainment venues in the country, and the total amount of customs tax levied on the entry of imported drinks into the country in 2019 and 2020.

Answering some questions in the motion given by Gürer, Elvan said, "Our Ministry of Finance General Directorate published data showed that in 2019 and 2020 at 14.7 billion TL ($1.78 billion), respectively, alcoholic beverages and 16.5 billion TL Special Consumption Tax collection has been provided”.

CHP Deputy Ömer Fethi Gürer reminded that the rate of special consumption tax, which is already high in alcoholic beverages, was increased by 17.07 percent by the beginning of 2021. Noting that the high rate of special consumption tax in alcoholic beverages increases the smuggling and the production of counterfeit drinks. Gürer said, "According to official figures, it is announced that more than 1 million liters of moonshine have been seized in the first nine months of 2020."

Indicating that the production of moonshine has also increased, Gürer pointed out that 145 people died in 2019 and 2020 due to fake alcoholic drinks and said, “Many citizens, as a result of the continuous increase in the special consumption tax on alcoholic beverages and the increase in the prices of alcoholic beverages, unfortunately, those who produce their own drinks and moonshine appeared. Unfortunately, this results in sad consequences such as loss of life”.

Gürer compared the budgets of some ministries for the same year with the special consumption tax collected from alcoholic beverages in 2020. According to the evaluation made by Gürer, it was also revealed that the special consumption tax of alcoholic beverages, which was collected last year at 16.5 billion TL ($2 billion), was more than the budget of seven ministries, including the Ministry of Interior, Foreign Affairs, and Trade.