Tax Guide in Turkey - 2017

Ketenci&Ketenci provides advice on Turkish tax law and tax related matters to international and multinational clients in Turkey. This detailed tax guide aims to provide an insight on the latest Turkish tax law and its practice for corporations engaging activities in Turkey.

Taxes on Corporate

Companies Subject to Tax

  • - Companies with Share Capital: Joint Stock companies, limited liability companies and limited ocmpanies with shares which are founded under the Turkish Commercial Code and similar foreign companiesi,
  • - Co-operative companies,
  • - State Economic Enterprises,
  • - Commercial, industrial and agricultural organizations,
  • - Economic entities owned by foundations and associations,
  • - Joint Ventures.

Territoraility

Those taxpayers whose legal or business centers are in Turkey, are subject to taxes on their worldwide income. If the legal address which is shown in the Article of Associaton and the business where business activities are concentrated are not in Turkey, then the company is subject to tax only on income generated within Turkey.

Taxable Income

Taxable income is defined as the difference between the net worth at the end of the year and the net worth at the end of the preceding year, with certain adjustments, mainly to eliminate capital items and to recognize special statutory allowances and disallowances. Turkish companies must compute their taxable income by starting with the balance sheet income included in their annual statements (so called commercial balance sheet) and then maket he adjustments required bu the tax laws. Non-deductible expenses are added, whilst the tax exempt income and losses carried forward are deducted.

Allowable Deductions

  • - Some expenses items relating to the operating of the business may cause the income tax to decrease. The tax law provides that all general expenses incurred with the purpose of generating and maintaining commercial income are tax deductible. Then the law lists all other tax-deductible expenses. Non-deductible expenses are also seperately determined.
  • - Charges to Turkish companies for management expenses by a parent tor sister Corporation are tax deductible as long as they comply with Turkish transfer pricing regulations.
  • - Taxes imposed on goods such as taxes on real estate, stamp tax, registraiton duties and munipicial fees, are deductible.
  • - Payments of royalties for the use of patents, copyrights, know-how and trademarks are deductible.
  • - A specific bad debt reserve is allowed where:
    a) The dispute on the receivable is under review by the Courts, or
    b) Miscellaneous receivables which have not been paid after a formal notarized or written request to pay
    c)The Banking Law and related regulations have special reserve requirements for non-performing loans.
  • - Expenses incurred for business entertainment are deductible on condition that bills, which state the purpose and the names of the guests, support them.
  • - Travel expenses (including meals and lodging) are deductible if they are incurred for business purposes anda re reasonable as compared with the importance of business. By Budget Law each year per diem allowances are set out for government employees at each wage level. Payments by an employer to an employee in excess of the amount paid to government officials earning the same salary levels are subject to taxation as remuneration. However, if an employer pays actual meal and lodging expenses, based on receipts issued by the third parties, such payments are not taxable.
  • - Employee salaries and payment to the chairman, directors and auditors are deductible. Payments may be in the form of allowances, fees, premiums and bonuses. Payments in kind are also tax deductible but are deemed as salary and taxed as such.
  • - Interest costs; either as a direct charge or as description allowance when capitalized.
  • - Fees paid to the Employer’s Union are deductible with the condition that monthly fees paid should not exceed the daily total payments of salaries.
  • - A loss incurred in any financial year can be carried-forward for 5 years against future profits for purposes of corporation tax. It cannot be carried back.
  • - In addition to the usual deduction of R&D expenses, 100% of R&D costs incurred for eligible projects can be entitled as a deduction from the taxable profits subject to certain conditions. The amount, which is not deducted in the relevant period due to the lack of sufficent taxable profits, can be carried forward to the following accounting periods provided that they are under the scope of Law number 5746 regarding with R&D activities.

Non Allowable Deductions

Disguised Profit Distributions through Transfer Pricing

If a taxpayer enters into transactions regarding sale or purchase of goods and services with related parties, where the prices are not set in accordance with arm’s lenght principle, then related profits are considered to be distributed in a disguised manner through transfer pricing. Such manner through transfer pricing are not accepted as tax deductible for corporate income tax purposes.

Legal Reserves

Any kind of reserves is not deductible.

Cost Allocation

  • - Amounts related to the generation and continuation of income in Turkey and allocated in line with the cost allocation keys determined in accordance with the arms lenght principle, and
  • - Travel expenses incurred bu authorized persons sent from foreign countries in connection with the auditing and supervision of a branch in Turkey.

Thin Capital

Interest, foreign exchange losses and other similar expenses related to the borrowings from related parties which are regarded as thin capital are treated as non-deductible expenses for corporate income tax purposes.

The Corporate Tax Law imposes a specific debt/equity ratio of 3:1 for consideration of thin capital. If the borrowing obtained directly or indirectly from shareholders or persons related to shareholders exceed three times the shareholders’ equity of the company at any time during the relevant year, the exceeding portion of the borrowing will be treated as thin capital.

Corporate Taxation

The corporate income tax rate is %20.

Withholding Tax on Dividends

When dividends are paid out, the company is required to make a withholdingfrom the dividends. The rate of withholding tax is 15%. Dividends paid to a Turkish resident entity or a Turkish branch of a foreign company is not subject to the withholdinh tax. A share capital increaseby the company using the retained earnings would not be considered as. The bilateral income tax treaties provides special tax rates, therefore, the above rates needs to be confirmed with the sihned bilateral treaties.

Withholding Tax on Branch Profits

There would be a withholding tax on the branch profits of non-resident companies upon remittance of such profits to the headquarters. The rate of withholding tax is 15% effective which is applied on the amount after the deduction of corporate income tax from taxable branch profits. The bilateral income tax from taxable branch profits. The bilateral income tax treaties provides special tax rates, therefore, the above rates needs to be confirmed with the signed bilateral treaties.

Advanced Corporate Income Tax (ACIT)

All resident and non-resident companies, who earn commercial or Professional income and who are obliged to file annual corporate income tax return, are also required to file ACIT return at 20% on the basis of the actual quarterly profits. ACIT is not a reqirement fort he multi-year construction works being subject to taxation on the basis of completed project basis. ACIT paid during calculated on the annual corporate income tax return. Any excess payment may be offset against other tax liabilities, and in the absence of such liabilities it is refundable upon the claim within one year.

Tax Returns and Payments

The normal fiscal year-end is December 31st. Where the calendar year is not appropriate bacause of the nature of business, permission can be obtained from the Ministry of Finance for an alternative fiscal period. Annual corporate income tax returns must be field, within the period from 1st to 25th days of the fourth month following the end of the fiscal year and corporate income tax is payable (after the offset of ACIT and other available tax credits) until the end of the month in which the tax return must be filed by the 14th of the second month following the quarter end and is payable on the 17th of the same month. Withholding tax on dividends has to be filed by the 23rd of the month following the didend payments to shareholders and paid on 26th of the same month.

Major Transaction Taxes

Value-Added Tax (VAT)

According to Turkish tax system; VAT is a general consumption tax and covers all goods and services. It is called “Katma Deger Vergisi” in Turkish.

Liability for VAT arises;

  • - When a person or entity performs commercial industrial agricultural or independent professional activities within Turkey
  • - When goods or services are imported into Turkey

VAT is levied at each stage of the production and the distribution process. Although liability for the tax falls on the person who supplies or imports the goods or services, the real burden of VAT is borne by the final consumer.

Special Consumption Tax

Special consumption tax (SCT) is levied only for once at one stage of consumption process of the goods within the scope of four lists annexed to the SCT Law No. 4760;

  • - List (I) is related to petroleum products, natural gas, lubricating oil, solvents and derivatives of solvents,
  • - List (II) is related to land, air and sea vehicles (cars and other vehicles, motorcycles, planes, helicopters, yachts etc.),
  • - List (III) is related to alcoholic beverages and cola soda pops, cigarettes and other tobacco products,
  • - List (IV) is related to other consumption goods (caviar, furs, mobile phones, white goods and other electrical household machines etc.).

Stamp Tax

Stamp tax applies to a wide range of documents, including but not limited to, contracts, agreements, notes payable, letters of credit and letters of guarantee, financial statements and payrolls.

Stamp tax is calculated on the highest value stated or calculable from the taxable paper or on the maximum amount stated on the paper.

Withholding Tax

Under the Turkish tax system, certain taxes are collected through withholding, for example in the hands of the service recipient tax-registered entities making the payments in Turkey in order to secure the collection of taxes. These include income tax on salaries of employees, lease payments to individual landlords, independent professional service fee payments to resident individiuals; and royalty, license and service fee payments to non-residents.

MINIMUM SALARY

O.G.  Date-Number Validity Period Amount
 30.12.2016-29934  01.01.2017-31.12.2017  1.777,50 TL

INCOME TAX TARIFF

Rates to be applied to all incomes beside salaries for year 2017;

Up to TRY 13.000 TL 15%
For 13.000 TL out of 30.000 TL – 1.950 TL, and above 20%
For 30.000 TL out of 70.000 TL – 5.350 TL, and above 27% 
Above 70.000 TL, for 70.000 TL – 16.150 TL 35%

Rates to be applied to only salaries for year 2017;


 Up to TRY 13.000  15%
 For 13.000 TL out of 30.000 TL – 1.950 TL, and above  20%
 For 30.000 TL out of 110.000 TL – 5.350 and above  27%
 Above 110.000 TL, for 110.000 TL – 26.950 TL  35%

INCOME TAX WITHHOLDING RATES

Article Description Rate (%)
 2.a.  Payments for freelance business (copyrights) including into scope of I.T.L Article18  17
 2.b.  Payments from others (income and corporate taxpayers) to self-employed (CPA, Lawyer, Doctor, Engineer etc.)  20
 5.a.  Rental Payments, rental payments for goods and rights written in I.T.L Article 70  20
 6.a. Dividends from taxpayer corporate ton on-taxpayers according to I.T.L Article 75-2/1,2,3 (Capitalizing the profit is not considered as dividend)  15 

STATUTORY CAP FOR SEVERANCE PAYMENT

YEAR
PERIOD
STATUTORY CAP
 2017  01.01.207-30.06.2017 TRY 4.426,16 TL 

NOTICE PAYMENT

SERVICE LENGTH
NOTICE
AMOUNT
Less than 6 months  2 weeks  14 days salary
Between 6 months-1,5 years   4 weeks  28 days salary
Between 1,5 years-3 years  6 weeks  42 days salary
More than 3 years  8 weeks  56 days salary

MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM LIMITS OF SOCIAL SECURITY PREMIUM BASE

PERIOD MINIMUM LIMIT
MAXIMUM LIMIT
 01.01.2017-31.12.2017  TRY 1.777,50  TRY 13.331,40

SOCIAL SECURITY PREMIUM RATES

Rates For Employees Working Within the Scope of 4/a (SGK)

INSURANCE TYPE
EMPLOYEE SHARE (%)
EMPLOYER SHARE (%) TOTAL (%)
Short Term Insurance Premium  -  2  2
Disability Old Age and Death Insurance Premium  9  11  20
General Health Insurance Premium 5  7,5  12,5
 TOTAL  14  20,50  34,50

VAT RATES

(VAT Law Article 28)

Vat rates to be applied to delivery of goods and service render

  • a) Transaction subjected to VAT excluding the lists, 18%
  • b) For goods and services at List(1), 1%
  • c) For goods and services at List (2), 8%

STAMP TAX RATES-

SOME OF STAMP TAX RATES AND AMOUNTS
RATES/AMOUNTS
Charges (including advance payments) 7,59 per thousand
Receipts and Quittance Given to Government Offices 9,48 per thousand
Contracts, Letter of Undertakings and Letter of Conveyances (Containing Specific Sum) 9,48 per thousand
Rental Contracts (Over the amounts according the rental period) 1,89 per thousand
Bailments, Warranties and Pledge Certificates (Containing Specific Sum) 9,48 per thousand 
Bond of Arbitration and Negotiated Settlements (Containing Specific Sum) 9,48 per thousand
Certificate of Annulments (Including the documents containing specific sum) 1,89 per thousand
Annual Income Tax Return TRY 51,40
Corporate Income Tax Return TRY 68,60
Withholding Tax Return TRY 33,90
VAT Returns TRY 33,90
Other Tax Returns (Excluding Stamp Tax Returns) TRY 33,90
Declarations to Munipalities and Provincial Special Administrations TRY 25,30
SGK Declarations to Social Security Institution TRY 25,30
Declarations to Customs TRY 68,60
Balance Sheets TRY 39,70
Income Statements TRY 19,10

PROVISIONAL TAX

The ones has commercial gain and self-employment pay quarterly provisional tax which will offset from fiscal year taxation. Self-employed taxpayers pay 15% provisional tax. Corporates pay 20% provisional tax.

Taxpayers liable to Provisional Tax;

  • - Commercial Gainers
  • - Self-Employed Earners
  • - Corporate Income

Earning that are not subject to Provisional Tax;

  • - Gains determined by single entry
  • - Gains from Long Term Construction Contracts (I.T.L. Article 42)

Provisional Tax Periods

For those who has standart fiscal year

PERIODS
FILING
PAYMENT
 January-February-March May 14th  May 17th
 April-May-June August 14th   August 17th
 July-August-September November 14th  November 17th
 October-November-December February 14th  February 17th

TAXATİON OF JOİNG-STOCK COMPANY SHARE TRANSFER PROFIT

In terms of Income Tax;

If share certificate or interim certificate printed; profit is exempt from income tax for the shares that held for more than 2 years. If share certificate or interim certificate is not printed; Profit from share transfer is subject to income tax as capital gain (Income Tax Law. Dup. Article 80/4). To calculate the profit, the acquisition cost of shares is subjected indexing and the tax-exempt amount deducted.

In terms of Corporate Tax;

75% of profit of share transfer is exempt from tax if the share held for more than 2 years. This exemption will be applied in the year of sale. (Corporate Tax Law Article Nr. 5/1-e) The exempted part of the profit should be kept in special fund account for at least 5 years.

Also, the amount of sale should be collected till the end of 2nd year. The taxes that are not accrued because of exemption will be a loss of tax if the exempted part drawn from company or transfer to abroad before 5 years end (except adding the fund to capital).

CAPITAL GAIN EXEMPTION AND CALCULATION


ITL G.C Nr. 296 For 2017  TRY 11.000 
ITL G.C Nr. 290 For 2016 TRY 11.000
ITL G.C Nr. 287  For 2015 TRY 10.600
ITL G.C Nr. 285  For 2014 TRY 9.700
ITL G.C Nr. 284 For 2013 TRY 9.400
ITL G.C Nr. 280 For 2012 TRY 8.800

Profit from sales of securities and other capital market instruments (Shares acquired with out charge and shares held more than 2 years belongs to legally obligated companies excluded)

Profit from sales of real estate within 5 years after acquisition no matter the type of acquire.

SPECIAL IRREGULARITY FINES

(T.P.L. Article 353 / Dup. Article 355)

T.P.L. Article 353   NOT RECEİVİNG AND ISSUİNG AN INVOİCE AND SİMİLAR DOCUMENT (NOY COMPLYİNG OTHER PROVİSİON OF PROCEDURES) TRY 
353/1  Not receiving and issuing invoice, note of expenses, procedure receipt, freelance receipt 210 
353/1  Total fine can be imposed in one fiscal year for each document type  110.000
353/2  Not issuing, using and providing retail receipt, cash register receipt, passenger receipt, packin glist, passenger list and other documents that are obligated by Ministry of Finance  210
353/2  Total fine for each type of document, for each determination  11.000
353/2   Total fine can be imposed in one fiscal year for each document type  110.000
353/3  Not receiving invoice, note of expenses, producer receipt, freelance receipt, retail receipt, cash register receipt, passenger receipt by final consumer  42
353/4  Absence, not recording on Daily basis, not presenting to authorities of the legal boks that are obligated by Ministry of Finance 210 
353/6   Not complying with determined accounting standarts, uniform chart of accounts, procedures and principles related to financial statements and rules and standarts of producing a software concerning accounting  5.000
353/7   Not using the tax ID obligated to use in government offices  260
353/8   Print offices that are obliged to inform tax  authority but not performing about printed legal documents  800
353/8   Total fine can be imposed in one fiscal year in compliance with this article 160.000 
353/9   Not performing the obligated inform tax authority duty within the time limits and with determinated standarts about transactions in compliance with Law Nr. 4358 1.100 
T.P.L. Dup. Article 355  NOT RECEUVİNG AND ISSUING AN INVOICE ND SIMILAR DOCUMENT / NOT COMPLYING WITH OTHER PROVISION OF PROCEDURES   
Dup. Art. 355/1   First Degree Traders and Self-Employed  1.400
Dup. Art. 355/2   Second Degree Traders, Bookkeepers  700
 Dup. Art. 355/3 The one tht beside above   350
   Total fine can be imposed within one fiscal year to the ones that are obligated to but not documenting the payments and collections via banks and suchlike finance corporations.  1.100.000

IRREGULARITY FINES

(T.P.L. Article 352)

TAXPAYERS FIRST DEGREE 2017 SECOND DEGREE 2017
 1- Companies with share capital TRY 130,00  TRY 70,00
 2- First Degree Traders and Self Employed TRY 80,00  TRY 40,00
 3- Second Degree Traders TRY 40,00  TRY 19,00
 4- Income Taxpayer with Return beside above ones TRY 19,00   TRY 11,00
5- Single Entry Bookkeepers  TRY 11,00  TRY 5,00
6- Craftmen exempt from tax  TRY 5,00  TRY 2,80

LOSS OF TAX

Loss of tax means that the tax is accrued on time or lack of accrual because of taxpayer is not performing the taxation duties on due time or performing deficiently.

Causing a lack of tax accrual or unfairly return with false declarations about personal, marital status and family status informations is under the heel of loss of tax.

It’s not hindrance to impose penalty for above mentioned actions if the tax accrued or completed or retrieved the unfair return.

LOSS OF TAX PENALTY

(T.P.L Article 344)

Loss of tax penalty is imposed to infractors and it’s first time of the loss of the tax amount. Causing loss of tax with actions mentioned in Article 359 needs to impose a 3 times penalty of the loss of tax amount, attendant to these actions imposed first time penalty of loss of tax amount. For the returns that are filed after due time before tax inspections start, penalty is 50% of the loss of tax amount.

Amount adjusted to agreed amount after negotiation. (T.P.L. Article 344)

DISCOUNT ON THE LOSS OF TAX AND SPECIAL IRREGULARITY PENALTIES

(T.P.L. Article 376)

Taxpayers can be benefited from the following discount if they state that they will pay the loss of tax, irregularity and special irregulatrity fines within 30 days after the notification date regarding to additional, ex officio and management assessment or tax differences.

The half of the loss of tax penalty on the first time, 1/3 on the following penalties.

1/3 of the irregularity or special irregularity fines,

If the taxpayer do not pay the taxes and tax penalties on the stated due date or litigate on this, they cannot benefit from provision of this article.

Above provisions can be applied to the irregularity fines that not tied to (T.P.L. Article 376)

TAX PENALTIES


ACTION PENALTY
Actions as for T.P.L Article 341   First time of the loss of tax amount
Last Clause of T.P.L Article 344 “According to this article penalty will be imposed 50% to those tax payers who filed the returns after due date before tax inspections start over them”   50 % of the loss of tax amount
Action. as for T.P.L Article 359  Third time of loss of tax amount
Attendants to the the actions as for T.P.L Article 359  First time of the loss of tax amount

LATE PAYMENT INTEREST – LATE PAYMENT FEE RATES

Late Payment Fee

It is the amount that calculated over the date of tax payment after due date.

Late Payment Interest

It’s the amount that calculated over the deferring duration between effective date of assesment and normal due date of additional, ex officio, administrational assesments.

Late payment fee and and late payment interest calculated on daily basis.

EFFECTIVE DURATION
RATE C.M.D / G.C.
 From 19.10.2010  %1,40  Collection G.C. / C-2
 From 19.11.2009  %1,40  C.M.D 2009/15565

FILING OF BA-BS FORMS AND IMPOSING PENALTY

Taxpayers shoukd declare “Purchases of Services and Goods (Form BA) and “Sales of Services and Goods (Form BS)” above a certain limit on a monthly basis.

Taxpayers are liable to declare the purchase/sales of services goods above TRY 5.000,00 (VAT Excluded) starting from the following month’s 1st day tol ast day’s evening.

For 2017, TRY 1.400,00 special irregularity fine will be imposed to taxpayers who is not declared within the time limit/declared incomplete or incorrect information.

If the declarations that are filed in normal time limit amended within ten days, special irregularity fine will not be imposed. If the amendment filed within 15 days following the 10th day, special irregularity fine would be (For 2017, TRY 280,00 which is 1/5 of TRY 1.400,00)

PENALTIES TO BE IMPOSED IN CASE OF NOT FILED E-RETURN

As a penalty for those taxpayers whom not filed the returns within time limit before tax inspections start over them, 2 times of first degree irregularity fine and 50% of loss of tax fine will be compared on amount basis and the one which is more will be imposed. If the returns filed with a repentance, then only first degree irregularity fine will be imposed.

Besides, special irregularity fine stated in Tax Procedure Law Dup. Article 355 will be imposed to taxpayers who did not fill the returns electronicaly within statutory time limit.

Accordingly;

If the returns filed within 30 days starting from the due date of return, 1/10 of special irregularity fine.

Following next 30 days after first 30 days over, 1/5 of special irregularity fine would be imposed.

Amendments are not subject to fine.

DOCUMENTING OF PAYMENTS AND COLLECTING

Following taxpayers are obligated to document the payments and collectings and advances over TRY 7.000 via banks and suchlike finance corporations with receipts and accounts statements after 01.08.2003;

  • - First and Second Degree Traders,
  • - Single Entry Bookkeepers,
  • - Bookkeeper Farmers,
  • - Self-Employed,
  • - Craftmen exempt from tax

Partially payments to avoid the documenting will not be accepted and each payments to each person or corporation in one day will be considered as whole. Special irregularity fine will be imposed to taxpayers that are npt documenting the payments and collectings via banks and suchlike finance corporations.

REVALUATION RATES

Revaluation rate for 2016 (T.P.L – G.C NR. 474) %3,83

DEPRECIATION-AMORTIZATION

If the value of goodwills, equipments and fictures are less than Depreciation Limit (TRY 900,00 for 2017) can be booked as directly expense. For those that has economical and technical integrity, the limit is considered as a whole. (Tax Procedure Law Article Nr. 313)

CONDITIONS OF BEING SUBJECT TO INDEPENDENT AUDIT

The conditions of identfying the companies subject to independent audit are redetermined with Council of Ministers Decision numbered 2016/8549 which changes the Council of Ministers Decision numbered 2012/4213 and published in the Official Gazette dated 16/2/2016 According to Council of Ministers Decision;

  • a) Net Assets – TRY 40 million above
  • b) Net Sales Revenue – TRY 80 million and above
  • c) Employee – 200 and above

Companies subject to independent audit at following fiscal year in case of 2 years continously exceeded minimum 2 criteria out of 3 stated in decision.

INVOICING

Invoicing

Delivery of goods or performance of services should be invoiced within 7 days.

Moreover, recipients of the supplies must retain copies of the invoices. The limit to issue an invoice is TRY 900 for the year 2017.

Foreign-currency invoices

An invoice issued for a domestic sale must be issued in Turkish lira (TRY). The invoice may also show the invoiced amount in a foreign currency if the TRY equivalents are stated. However, an invoice issued for an export sal emay be issued in a foreign currency.

SOURCES:

Crowe Horwath Turkey - TAX GUIDE IN TURKEY 2017
http://www.gib.gov.tr/sites/default/files/fileadmin/taxation_system2016.pdf
http://www.invest.gov.tr/en-US/investmentguide/investorsguide/Pages/Taxes.aspx
https://www.oecd.org/mena/competitiveness/45573653.pdf


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