Turkey country profile

Turkey country profile

Key tax factors for efficient cross-border business and investment involving Turkey.

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EU Member State

No

Double Tax Treaties

With:

Albania  France  Luxembourg  Serbia 
Algeria  Gambia Macedonia  Singapore 
Australia  Georgia  Malaysia  Slovakia 
Austria  Germany  Malta  Slovenia  
Azerbaijan  Greece  Mexico  South Africa 
Bahrain  Hungary  Moldova  Spain 
Bangladesh  India  Mongolia   Sudan 
Belarus  Indonesia  Montenegro  Sweden 
Belgium  Iran  Morocco   Switzerland 
Bosnia &  Rep. of Ireland  Netherlands  Syria 
Herzegovina  Israel  New Zealand  Tajikistan 
Brazil  Italy  Norway  Thailand 
Bulgaria  Japan  Oman  TRN Cyprus 
Canada  Jordan  Pakistan  Tunisia 
China  Kazakhstan  Palestine Turkmenistan 
Croatia Rep. of Korea  Philippines UAE 
Czech Rep.  Kosovo  Poland  UK  
Denmark  Kuwait  Portugal  Ukraine 
Egypt  Kyrgyzstan  Qatar  US 
Estonia  Latvia  Romania  Uzbekistan 
Ethiopia  Lebanon  Russia  Vietnam
Finland  Lithuania  Saudi Arabia  Yemen 

Most important forms of doing business

Joint-stock corporation (Anonim Sirket - AS)
Limited liability company (Limited Sirket - Ltd)

Legal entity capital requirements

AS: TL 50,000
Ltd: TL 10,000

Residence and tax system

A company is resident if either its legal seat or its effective place of management is located in Turkey. Resident companies are taxed on their worldwide income.

Compliance requirements for CIT purposes

Generally, fiscal year is the same as calendar year. Corporate tax declarations are made on an annual basis through a corporate tax return. This return can be filed until April 25 following the close of the fiscal year. Companies must file advance tax returns for their quarterly profits. Total corporate taxes declared through the advance tax returns are offset against the final corporate tax payable. Advance tax returns can be filed and paid until the 14th of the second month following the end of each quarter.

Corporate income tax rate

The standard corporate income tax rate is 20 percent. Reduced rates may be available for companies who have certificate for incentivized investments.

Withholding tax rates

On dividends paid to non-resident companies

15 percent.

On interest paid to non-resident companies

Rates vary from 0 percent to 10 percent depending on the type of interest and type of the receiving entity.

On patent royalties and certain copyright royalties paid to non-resident companies

20 percent.

On fees for technical services

20 percent.

On other payments

20 percent.

Branch withholding taxes

15 percent.

Holding rules

Dividend received from resident/non-resident subsidiaries

Dividends received from resident subsidiaries are exempt from corporate tax without further conditions. Dividends received from non-resident subsidiaries may be exempt under certain conditions; otherwise credit method is applicable:

  • Participation requirement: 10 percent of the paid-in capital of the subsidiary;
  • Minimum holding period: one year as of the date that earnings are generated; 
  • Taxation requirement: 15 percent (including corporate and dividend taxes), or 20 percent (if financing, insurance or capital investments companies); 
  • Dividends should be transferred to Turkey before the corporate tax filing date of the related fiscal year.

Capital gains obtained from resident/non-resident subsidiaries

Subject to tax at 20 percent. Exemption (75 percent) of capital gains derived from disposal of shares and immovable property held for two full years, subject to certain conditions. Specific exemption (100 percent) related to sale of shares in foreign subsidiaries (10 percent minimum shareholding) held for two full years subject to certain conditions. 

Tax losses

Losses can be carried forward for a five-year period. Loss carry-back is not possible.

Tax consolidation rules/Group relief rules

No

Registration duties

0.04 percent fund payable on capital contribution.

Transfer duties

On the transfer of shares

No

On the transfer of land and buildings

2 percent for seller and buyer separately over the sales amount.

Stamp duties

Agreements are normally subject to stamp tax at 0.948 percent (capped at TRY 1,800,000 for 2016) but there are certain exemptions which may apply based on certain conditions.

Real estate taxes

For buildings: 0.1 percent, 0.2 percent and 0.4 percent of the value calculated by using the value per square meters set by the Authorities. For land and plots: 0.1 percent, 0.2 percent, 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent (depending on the location of property).

Controlled Foreign Company rules

Yes (foreign subsidiaries that are at least 50 percent controlled by Turkish residents may be qualified as a CFC under certain conditions).

Transfer pricing rules

General transfer pricing rules

According to Transfer Pricing rules, if companies enter into transactions with related individuals/parties by setting prices or amounts that are not in line with the arm’s length principle, related profits will be treated as if they were wholly or partially distributed

Documentation requirement

Yes, Transfer Pricing rules set forth detailed documentation requirements to explain and support the determination of the transfer prices with related parties. Submission (upon request) of a transfer pricing report is required if: the company is a large company (based on annual net sales) registered with VIP tax office the company is not a large company but has transactions with foreign-related parties.

Transactions between domestic parties do not require a transfer pricing report for small and medium-sized companies.

Thin capitalization rules

3:1 for related party companies and 6:1 for related party banks and financial institutions.

General Anti-Avoidance rules (GAAR)

Substance over form principle applies.

Specific Anti-Avoidance rules/Anti Treaty Shopping Provisions

CFC, thin capitalization rules, transfer pricing rules, taxation of payments to low tax jurisdictions.

Advance Ruling system

Yes

IP / R&D incentives

R&D Incentives - 100 percent deduction in the CIT calculation; also exemption from income tax and social security contribution of R&D employees.

Other incentives

Incentives under Investment Incentive Regime (Reduced rate corporate tax, VAT, Customs duty, Social security, Income tax) available for investments under certain conditions and subject to an Investment Incentive Certificate.

VAT

The standard rate is 18 percent, and the reduced rates are 8 and 1 percent.

Other relevant points of attention

Turkey also has special tax exemptions for holding companies that are established for investment in foreign subsidiaries.

Contact us

Ayhan Ustun
KPMG in Turkey
T: +90 21 668 19 000
E: ayhanustun@kpmg.com

Cakmak Timur
KPMG in Turkey
T: +90 31 249 17 231
E: tcakmak@kpmg.com

Asli Melek Gulseren
KPMG in Turkey
T: +90 21 668 19 000
E: agulseren@kpmg.com

 
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