On October 24, 2019, a legislative proposal regarding the tax regulations for various sectors has been adopted by the Plan and Budget Committee in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The adopted regulations include the Digital Services Tax Law ("the Law"). According to the law; domestic and foreign digital service providers that generate an income in the digital environment in Turkey will pay 7,5% of their revenue as tax. The President is authorized to increase the tax rate up to 100 % or to reduce the tax rate up to 1 percent according to the type of services.
According to the law, the revenue obtained from the following services offered in Turkey (regardless of the location of the service provider) are subject to digital services tax;
- All types of online advertising services offered in the digital environment,
- Sale of any audio, visual or digital content in the digital environment,
- 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 revenue from the provision and management services of the digital environments that allow the users to interact with each other,
- Brokerage services to be provided in the digital environment related to these services.
Digital Services Tax is be applicable to companies with revenues TRY 20.000.000 (Approximately 3.125 million euros) obtained within Turkey and companies with a revenue worldwide revenue of € 750.000.000. Therefore, technology giants, gaming companies, streaming services will be affected.
The Directorate of Revenue Administration can send notifications to digital service providers that do not pay the Digital Services Tax via e-mail or any other method of communication. Further the names and information of the digital services providers who do not pay the digital services tax will be announced on the website of the Directorate of Revenue Administration.
Access to the services of providers who do not fulfill their obligations within 30 days of the announcement will be blocked by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority and access providers upon the proposal of the Ministry of Treasury and Finance.
It should also be noted that, if the digital service provider is not domiciled within Turkey, the Ministry of Treasury and Finance may take measures to ensure that the digital tax is paid and may collect the digital tax from payment intermediaries (banks, online payment platforms etc.) or others that are party to the transaction.
Therefore, all digital service providers that provide services to parties in Turkey must review their obligations that come with the Law, make necessary declarations to tax authorities and pay the digital services tax in order to continue to provide services in Turkey.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.