Turkey introduces another tax amnesty
The Turkish Parliament ratified a Tax Amnesty Law (the Law) on May 11 2018. It is expected that the Turkish president will approve the Law before the forthcoming early election of June 24.
The Law aims to reduce the tax burden of the private sector which may have financial difficulties. The Law allows taxpayers to pay their public debts through instalments (up to 18 months) and covers the principal taxes and their auxiliaries.
As in previous tax amnesties, the Turkish government also seeks the repatriation of assets held in foreign accounts by Turkish individuals and corporates.
The scope of the tax amnesty
The scope of the new restructuring programme for public receivables contains the following:
Individual and corporate income taxes, tax penalties, default interest and late payment interest regulated under the Turkish Tax Procedure Code and related to tax periods earlier than March 31 2018 (except for the advance individual and corporate income taxes of 2018 and individual income taxes to be paid after March 31 2018);
Custom duties and their tax penalties, default interest and late payment interest and administrative penalties related to the periods earlier than March 31 2018;
Social security premiums and other social security payments (unemployment contribution premiums) related to the periods earlier than March 2018; and
Public receivables within the Law on Municipal Revenues (including all types of default interest, late payment interest and administrative penalties).
Some other public receivables related to certain laws (e.g. the Law on the Regulation of Public Financing and Debts and the Law on Special Provincial Administrations) and tax periods earlier than March 31 2018 are also within the scope of the Law.
In terms of unpaid taxes or public receivables, default interest, late payment interest, tax penalties relating to principal tax, and late payment interest of tax or administrative penalties, are not to be collected if a taxpayer is eligible for the restructuring programme.
However, the taxpayer will pay their taxes or public receivables together with the amount computed on the 'Domestic Production Price Index' (YI-UFE) in accordance with the pre-defined terms.
Notable aspects of a tax amnesty
No tax audit will be carried out by the Turkish tax authorities on the financial years between 2013 and 2017 if taxpayers voluntarily increase their tax base for these financial years.
To claim tax inspection immunity, a taxpayer must increase their tax base by at least 35% for FY2013, 30% for FY2014, 25% for FY2015, 20% for FY2016 and 15% for FY2017, respectively.
Another condition for increasing the tax base under the tax amnesty is that the taxpayer applies to the tax office within the period of two months after the Law is published in the Official Gazette.
Repatriation of foreign assets
The Law also allows taxpayers to repatriate their foreign assets (e.g. cash, gold, foreign exchange, or securities). In this regard, if a taxpayer declares and transfer their foreign assets before Turkish financial institutions by July 31 2018, there will be no tax applicable. However, if a taxpayer prefers to declare and transfer their foreign assets between dates of August 1 and November 30 2018, there will be 2% tax applicable.
Taxes will be collected and paid by financial institutions by December 31 2018 upon the declaration of foreign assets.
It is important to underline that taxpayers have to repatriate their foreign assets to Turkey to benefit from the tax amnesty within three months of their declaration.
Dr. Burçin Gözlüklü (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ramazan Biçer (email@example.com)
Tel: +90 216 504 20 66 and +90 216 504 20 66