The Law Introducing Several Amendments in Different Laws to Improve the Investment Environment ("Amendment Law") has been published on the Official Gazette and thus entered into force on 9 August 2016 in order to relieve the investors and to boost the markets which have been suffering from the coup attempt as well as the terrorist attacks in 2016.
Following the Amendment Law's entry into force, in order to enlighten the investors regarding the so amended stamp tax practices, the General Communiqué on the Stamp Tax Law (Serial Number: 60) ("General Communiqué") has been published on the Official Gazette and thus entered into force on 29 September 2016.
Some of the striking amendments introduced by the Amendment Law and respectively clarified by the General Communiqué are as follows:
- In the event that a document, which is subject to fixed and/or proportional taxes, is executed in more than one copy, each copy will trigger a fixed stamp tax. However, proportional tax will be incurred only for one copy. Thus, the system in which each copy triggers proportional tax has been abandoned.
- If a document includes an ordinary guarantee and/or a guarantee commitment by a third person in favor of one or more of the contractors/signatories of such document, then such ordinary guarantee and/or the guarantee commitment is also taken into consideration when the stamp tax is calculated. However, as the result of the amendment, today, only one guarantee and/or guarantee commitment triggers stamp tax when there is more than one guarantor.
- The penalty clauses will no longer trigger stamp tax as long as such clauses are incorporated in the main document (i.e. not executed under an additional document). In this context, if an agreement with a value of transaction and a penalty clause is executed before 09.08.2016 (which is the date of the entry into force of the Amendment Law) both value of transaction and penalty clause will trigger stamp tax, however, if the same agreement is executed after 09.08.2016, then stamp tax will be accrued only for the value of the agreement.
- The financial lease agreements, as well as the transactional documents executed so as to transfer and/or amend such agreements, agreements executed by and between the lessor and the seller regarding the supply of goods subject to financial lease agreements and the documents executed to guarantee the same as well as any transactions to be conducted in this regard are exempted from stamp tax. However, on the other hand, the title deed transactions to transfer the real estate which is the subject of a financial lease agreement to the lessor have been excluded from the aforementioned stamp tax exemption.
- The list of the documents, which are exempted from stamp tax, has been extended. For instance, insurance, reinsurance and coinsurance agreements, individual pension agreements, documents related to insurance premiums and/or including commitment of insurance etc; the documents regarding the incorporation of joint stock companies, limited liability companies and investment funds as well as the documents regarding the transfer of shares, capital increase and time extension of such companies/funds; the documents regarding the transfer of the credits provided by banks, credit agencies operating overseas and international agencies as well as the documents regarding the transfer of claims arising from such credits are exempted from stamp tax.
- On the other hand, the list of the documents which are subject to stamp tax has also been extended and some agreements, such as tender agreements regarding the provision of goods or services to the governmental authorities; consumer agreements including but not limited to distant sales agreements (provided that such agreement are signed by secured electronic signature), subscription agreements, agreements regarding purchase on installment; preliminary agreement for real estate sale executed in official form, have been subjected to stamp tax.
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.