Monetary Policy

Contracts Between Residents

A new presidential decree has been published on today’s official gazette regarding monetary policies.

According to this new regulation, contracts between residents of Turkey cannot be based on other currencies. Especially foreign currencies was commonly used in properties rental and sale contracts. But the change is not limited with these but includes all contracts including other sales, business and service contracts in the market. Thus new contracts shall be in TRY and old contracts that were based on other currencies shall be amended within 1 month.

Please remind that contracts in Tukey are subject to stamp tax once over the highest figure of the contract. Amendment of a contract may trigger additional stamp tax obligation even only the value is updated.


Customs Tax rate reduced to 0% on 1882 types of raw materials

A new Decision annex to Import Regime Decision has been published on the Official Gazetted dated June 27, 2018 which reduces the custom tax to 0% for 1882 different type of raw materials for producers.

The relief is made by adding all these products to annex “list V” of the mentioned decree, which means importer of these products must use these materials in their production and the customs tax will be suspended during the importation if they fulfil the necessary documentation that validate their use of these materials in the production.

Excise Tax

Change in Tobacco Excise Taxes

Tobacco products are listed in list 3-B of Excise Tax law. In general, excise taxation of tobacco products is calculated with the combination of “ad-valorem rate”, “fixed tax” and “minimum fixed tax”.

With a recent Decision of Council of Ministers published on official gazette dated 30/06/2018, some tobacco products’ ad-valorem rate is reduced to 63% (previously was 65,25%), fixed and minimum fixed tax amount is raised between 0,0096 and 0,095 TL. With this change, it is not expected to see a change on retail prices of most packed cigarettes. But, only low price cigarettes retail price may increase due to increase in minimum fixed tax amounts.

Excise Change Tobacco


Royalty Payments in the scope of Customs Value

Although Turkey is not yet part of the EU, as being a party to GATT and having customs union agreement between Turkey and EU, main principles of customs regulation in Turkey is designed in parallel with EU customs rules.

Accordingly, the primary basis for the customs value of import goods is defined as the transaction value, that is the price actually paid or payable for the goods when sold for export to the customs territory of Turkey, and adjusted, where necessary.

Adjustments of the transaction value is defined on articles 27 and 28 of the Customs Law. Besides others, as the subject of this article, royalty related adjustment is defined as below;

royalty and licence fees are to be added to the price actually paid or payable for the import goods where they are related to the goods being valued that the buyer must pay, either directly or indirectly, as a condition of sale of the goods being valued, to the extent that such royalty or licence fees are not included in the price actually paid or payable. Continue reading “Royalty Payments in the scope of Customs Value”

Digital Services VAT, VAT

Digital Services VAT Communiqué has been Published

January 31, 2017

Final version of the Communiqué has been published on the Official Gazette on 31th of January.

Important Updates

  1. New version of the communiqué allows (full or proportional) deduction of VAT on purchases directly related with the supplied digital service.
  2. Due to transition period, VAT declarations of January, February and March 2018 will be submitted between April 1 to 24th.
  3. Detailed explanation of services in the scope has been removed. So all digitally supplied services to non-taxpayer real persons in Turkey is considered in the scope.


In the draft version of the communiqué electronically supplied services were explained with below articles;

  1. Webpage operations related services (domain, hosting, and all other related services)
  2. Software and hardware distant maintenance, distant system management and online data storage services
  3. Sales of all kinds of softwares and digital products (firewalls, device drivers, antivirus softwares etc.) including access to them, download and update.
  4. Any kind of digital content providing services (e.g. financial/legal content service, online newspaper and publishings, blogs, web statistics services, search engine and indexing services etc.).
  5. All kind of service provided through applications or similar tools on computer or mobile devices such as online/offline game memberships, app download, music service provider app memberships, on-line broadcasting services etc.
  6. Distant education services with limited human involvement
  7. Radio and Television broadcast services,
  8. Other services that is similar to above and supplied through all electronic digital means.

In the published version, above service explanations have been removed. Therefore all digital services supplied to non-taxpayer real persons should be considered in the scope.

Platform Operator’s Responsibility

One of the most important explanation in the communiqué is that platform operators held responsible of the payment of Turkish digital service VAT in case the original service provider is explicitly disclosed on the platform or on the service engagement or on the billing information of the service. Continue reading “Digital Services VAT Communiqué has been Published”

Digital Services VAT, VAT

Withholding VAT Mechanism in Turkey

According to VAT Law Article 8, VAT liability is originally on;

  • seller of the product or provider of the service
  • importer of goods or services
  • carrying or customs responsible of the transit trade
  • and some specially determined parties in the law (i.e. postage service provider, TV radio broadcaster etc.)

Accordingly, in sales transactions that take place in Turkey, seller of the service or product is liable with collecting and declaring the VAT on the transaction.

However, Article 9 of the same law defines Tax Responsibility as;

“In case the liable taxpayer does not have a legal or business center or workplace in Turkey and in other cases which Ministry of Finance finds necessary, other parties that are also involved in the transaction may be held responsible with the payment of the tax.”

With this power provided by the law, MoF determined different type of Withholding VAT mechanisms in Turkey. There are not voluntary basis application. Thus if a transaction falls under one of the below scope of services or deliveries, the withholding VAT application becomes mandatory. Continue reading “Withholding VAT Mechanism in Turkey”

Excise Tax

Excise Taxes in Turkey

Excise tax in Turkey is applicable on different group of products. Different than VAT, this tax is applied only once to a product. After tax is applied once, even the product is delivered again to other traders, excise tax is no more applicable on the same product.

“With a recent law amendment, soda waters with flavor is included in the scope of Excise Tax and this change is applicable as of 1/1/2018.”

Products in the scope of Excise Tax is categorised under 4 lists. Below you may find the scope of each list and general taxation rule applicable.

List I – Fuels and Other Oil Products

Excise list I consists of 2 sub-group of products;

List I (a) includes motor and heating fuels. This group is the main scope of the Excise Tax. Continue reading “Excise Taxes in Turkey”