October 24, 2019
Subject: Turkish Draft Digital Services Tax Bill
The Draft Digital Services Tax Bill has been presented, the main objective of which is to meet the challenges posed by the taxation of the digital economy. The Bill introduces a new tax named as Digital Services Tax (DST). The DST is set as an indirect tax, which is consistent with the international Tax Treaties and VAT, and it would be deductible from Income/Corporate Tax bases.
Taxable Events/ Digital Services Revenue
The DST will be imposed at a rate of 7,5% (The President is authorized to reduce the rate down to 1% or increase by twofolds for each type of digital services) on revenues generated from the following digital services that are performed in Turkey;
All types of online advertising services (including advertising controlling and performance measurement services, services relating to the transmission and management of user data, technical services relating to the presentation of the advertisements),
The sale of audio, video or any digital content in the digital environment; or any services performed in the digital environment that enable such content to be listened, watched, played in the digital environment; recorded or used in the electronical devices,
The provision and management services of the digital environments that allow the users to interact with each other (including the services that are performed to allow or facilitate the sales of goods or services among the users),
The intermediary services performed in the digital environment in relation to the aforementioned services.
Such digital services will be deemed to be performed in Turkey if any of the following conditions are met;
The services are performed in Turkey,
The services are benefited from in Turkey,
The services are perfomed aiming at the persons in Turkey,
The services are accounted for in Turkey (If the payments in return for the services are made in Turkey or if the payments in return for the services are made outside Turkey but recorded or deducted in the Turkish books, such services will be deemed to be accounted for in Turkey. Online advertising services that are performed aiming at persons located outside Turkey are excluded.)
The taxable revenue will include the total gross revenues whereby no deductions of expenses, costs or taxes will be allowed. Such revenue to be derived from the aforementioned digital services performed in Turkey will be subject to DST regardless of how the revenue is named such as sales price, service price, transaction value, subscription fee, commission fee etc and regardless of whether or not such fees are collected. The DST will not be indicated separately on the invoices or similar documents.
The taxpayers of the DST are those who are performing the digital services regardless of whether or not they are tax residents in Turkey or whether or not such services are performed through their Turkish Permanent Establishments (PEs) in case the service provider is a non-resident.
Additionally, it is stated that in case the service provider is a non-resident, the Ministry of Treasury and Finance (the Ministry) may hold those, who are parties to such transactions or those who act as an intermediary of such transactions or payments, liable of payment of the taxes.
Under the Draft, only those with annual worldwide revenue of €750 million or more (TRY equivalent is considered) during the previous fiscal year and with a total amount of taxable revenues from the digital services obtained in Turkey exceeding TRY20 million will be subject to DST. (The President is authorized to reduce the thresholds down to 0 or increase by three folds for each digital service type either separately or collectively) on In the case of entities belonging to a group, the thresholds above shall be established by reference to the group.
If both of the thresholds are exceeded in the relevant fiscal year, the exemption will cease to exist and DST will start to apply starting from the fourth taxation period following the taxation period in which the thresholds are exceeded. In the determination of whether or not the thresholds are exceeded, the quarter-end digital service revenues shall be considered on a cumulative basis. On the other hand, DST liability will start again beginning from the subsequent fiscal year, if either of the two thresholds is not met in two consecutive fiscal years.
Compliance and Other Obligations
The taxpayers are required to meet all the notification and documentation requirements within the due dates following the announcements of the Ministry. Unless such requirements are duly fulfilled, the service provider will not benefit from the said exemption.
The DST will be declared on a monthly basis. The Ministry is authorized to determine the taxation period on quarterly basis depending on the type and volume of the digital services. The DST tax returns will be declared and paid until the end of the following month.
In case tax filing and payment obligations are not fulfilled within the due dates, the Ministry will notify the digital services providers or their legal representatives in Turkey to fulfill their obligations and this status will also be announced on the official website of Directorate of Revenue Administration. If the obligations are not fulfilled within 30 days starting from the date of the announcement, the Ministry is authorized to decline the access to such services of digital services providers until the date their obligations are duly fulfilled. Accordingly, the Ministry will inform the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA), followed by the notification by ICTA to be made to the relevant digital service providers. The access will be declined within 24 hours starting from the notification by ICTA.
For further information with respect to this subject, please contact Arzu Akçura Değer.
Director – International Tax
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