The New Year signals tax increases in Turkey and the changes have just been announced.

The official gazette, Turkey’s legal and legislation communication system, published details of the 2010 special consumption tax rates on the 31st December. The new tax rates will be applicable from 1 January 2010.

So what’s the damage this year?

Up in Smoke

First up and the tax on tobacco products has been increased by 8.6 percent. The tax now accounts for 63% of the price paid (58% before). This should add around 18 kurus to the price of a packet of 20 standard cigarettes and 28 kurus on premium brands.

Manufacturers however have added 1TL to a packet. Some brands though have remained at the old price so shop around.

Booze Up

The tax on beer is up by 34 percent from 26 kurus per litre to 35 kurus per litre a 10 kurus increase. The increase should add a further 5 kurus to the price of a 50 cl bottle of beer. Suppliers however have added around 30 kurus to the price of each bottle.

The good news for people who like imported wine is that the additional import tax has now been abolished as Turkey harmonizes its taxes with the EU. That should lead to a greater selection of wine on the shelves of the supermarkets in the future. This puts imported wine on the same tax regime with Turkish wine producers with a tax of 1.95 TL per litre levied.

The tax on a litre of Raki, the national drink, is up 10 percent. Other spirits have risen by 7TL.

Double Digit Increase on Fuel

Petrol and Diesel are up too. The tax on petrol is up by almost 12 percent adding a further 20 kurus to the price of a litre. Diesel is up by 13 percent adding a further 15 kurus to the price of a litre. The new increases ensure Turkey stays as the most expensive place to buy fuel in Europe.

The tax on gas for driving and home use has also gone up and a standard gas bottle now costs 52TL.

There is some good news for motorists though as the annual vehicle tax has increased by a below inflation rate of 3.3 percent.