Tax Guide in Turkey
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 Income
Companies Subject to Tax
- ➢ Companies with Share Capital: Joint stock companies (Anonim Şirket, (A.Ş.)), limited liability companies (Limited Şirket, (Ltd. Şti.)) and limited partnerships in which the Capital is divided into shares and similar foreign entities,
- ➢ Cooperatives,
- ➢ State Economic Enterprises,
- ➢ Commercial, industrial and agricultural organizations,
- ➢ Economic entities owned by foundations and associations,
- ➢ Joint Ventures.
Those taxpayers whose legal or business centers are Turkey are qualified as residents and are subject to taxes on their worldwide income. If the legal address which is stipulated in the Articles of Association and the business where business activities are concentrated and managed are not in Turkey, then the company is subject to tax only on income generated within Turkey.
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 make the adjustments required by the tax laws. Non-deductible expenses are added, whilst the tax exempt income and losses carried forward are deducted.
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 or 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, registration duties and municipal 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 and are 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 depreciation 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 sufficient 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 length 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.
Any kind of reserves is not deductible.
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 length principle, and
Travel expenses incurred by authorized persons sent from foreign countries in connection with the auditing and supervision of a branch in Turkey.
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.
The corporate income tax rate is 22.
Withholding Tax on Dividends
When dividends are paid out to shareholders, the company is required to make a withholding from the dividends. The rate of withholding tax is 15%. Dividends paid to a Turkish resident entity (i.e. Turkish holding company) or a Turkish branch of a foreign company is not subject to the withholding tax. A share capital increase by the company using the retained earnings would not be considered as dividend distribution. 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, which earn commercial or professional income and which are obliged to file annual corporate income tax return, are also required to file ACIT return at 22% on the basis of the actual quarterly profits. ACIT is not a requirement for the multi-year construction works being subject to taxation on the basis of completed project basis. ACIT paid during the year is offset against the final taxes 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 filed 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 filed. ACIT returns 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 dividend 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;
- (I) is petroleum products, natural gas, lubricating oil, solvents and derivatives of solvents,
- (II) is related to land, air and sea vehicles (cars and other vehicles, motorcycles, planes, helicopters, yachts etc.),
- (III) is related to alcoholic beverages and cola, soda pops, cigarettes and other tobacco products,
- (IV) is related to other consumption goods (caviar, furs, mobile phones, white goods and other electrical household machines etc.).
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.
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 individuals; and royalty, license and service fee payments to non-residents.
|O.G. Date-Number||Validity Period||Amount|
INCOME TAX TARIFF
Rates to be applied to all incomes beside salaries for year 2018;
|Up to TRY 13.000 TL||15%|
|For TRY 14.800 out of TRY 34.000 - TRY 2.200 and above||20%|
|For TRY 34.000 out of TRY 80.000 – TRY 6.060 and above||27%|
|Above TRY 80.000, for TRY 80.000 – TRY 18.480||35%|
Rates to be applied to only salaries for year 2018;
|Up to TRY 14.800||15%|
|For TRY 14.800 TL out of TRY 34.000 – TRY 2.200 TL, and above||20%|
|For TRY 34.000 TL out of TRY 120.000 – TRY 6.060 and above||27%|
|Above TRY 120.000, for TRY 120.000 – TRY 29.280||35%|
INCOME TAX WITHHOLDING RATES
|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
|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
|01.01.2018 - 31.12.2018||TRY 2.029,50||TRY 15.221,40|
SOCIAL SECURITY PREMIUM RATES
Rates For Employees Working Within the Scope of 4/a (SGK)
||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|
(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
|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 58,80|
|Corporate Income Tax Return||TRY 78,50|
|Withholding Tax Return||TRY 38,80|
|VAT Returns||TRY 38,80|
|Other Tax Returns (Excluding Stamp Tax Returns)||TRY 38,80|
|Declarations to Munipalities and Provincial Special Administrations||TRY 28,90|
|SGK Declarations to Social Security Institution||TRY 28,90|
|Declarations to Customs||TRY 78,50|
|Balance Sheets||TRY 45,40|
|Income Statements||TRY 21,80|
The ones that 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 22% 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
|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|
TAXATION OF JOINT-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 are 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 are 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. 302||For 2018||TRY 12.000|
|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 RECEIVING AND ISSUING AN INVOICE AND SIMILAR DOCUMENT/ NOT COMPLYING OTHER PROVISION OF PROCEDURES||TRY|
|353/1||Not receiving and issuing invoice, note of expenses, procedure receipt, freelance receipt||240|
|353/1||Total fine can be imposed in one fiscal year for each document type||120.000|
|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||240|
|353/2||Total fine for each type of document, for each determination||12.000|
|353/2||Total fine can be imposed in one fiscal year for each document type||120.000|
|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||240|
|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||5.700|
|353/7||Not using the tax ID obligated to use in government offices||290|
|353/8||Print offices that are obliged to inform tax authority but not performing about printed legal documents||900|
|353/8||Total fine can be imposed in one fiscal year in compliance with this article||180.000|
|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||1.200|
|T.P.L. Dup. Article 355||NOT RECEIVING AND ISSUING AN INVOICE ND SIMILAR DOCUMENT / NOT COMPLYING WITH OTHER PROVISION OF PROCEDURES|
|Dup. Art. 355/1||First Degree Traders and Self-Employed||1.600|
|Dup. Art. 355/2||Second Degree Traders, Bookkeepers||800|
|Dup. Art. 355/3||The one tht beside above||400|
|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.||1.200.000|
(T.P.L. Article 352)
|TAXPAYERS||FIRST DEGREE 2017||SECOND DEGREE 2017|
|1- Companies with share capital||TRY 148,00||TRY 80,00|
|2- First Degree Traders and Self Employed||TRY 90,00||TRY 45,00|
|3- Second Degree Traders||TRY 45,00||TRY 21,00|
|4- Income Taxpayer with Return beside above ones||TRY 21,00||TRY 12,00|
|5- Single Entry Bookkeepers||TRY 12,00||TRY 5,70|
|6- Craftmen exempt from tax||TRY 5,70||TRY 3,20|
LOSS OF TAX
Loss of tax means that the tax is not 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. (T.P.L Article 341)
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)
|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.
||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|
FILLING OF BA-BS FORMS AND IMPOSING PENALTY
Taxpayers should 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 to last day’s evening.
For 2018, TRY 1.600,00 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 2018, TRY 320,00 which is 1/5 of TRY 1.600,00)
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.
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 not documenting the payments and collectings via banks and suchlike finance corporations.
Revaluation rate for 2018 (T.P.L – G.C NR. 484) %14,47
If the value of goodwills, equipments and fixtures are less than Depreciation Limit (TRY 1.000,00 for 2018) 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 identifying 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 16/02/2016 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 the decision.
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 1.000,00 for the year 2018.
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.
Crowe Horwath Turkey - TAX GUIDE IN TURKEY 2017
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