Electronic notification systems are used worldwide to ease correspondence between parties but in Turkey, the system is a bit confusing. As a legal obligation, companies have to adapt to two different electronic notification systems. These two different electronic notification systems do not have any effect on each other and have different application procedures. In the following, we summarize the differences between the specific electronic notification system of tax offices and the electronic notification system for the rest of correspondences.
1) Electronic Notification System of Tax Offices
What is it?
According to the General Communique No:456 of the Tax Procedural Law, every corporate taxpayer has the obligation to apply to its registered tax office until April 1, 2016 to get notifications electronically. Failure of this obligation shall result in tax penalty according to article 9 of the Communique. Also, tax offices will take ex-officio action to generate user name and password for corporate taxpayers who did not apply to tax office for this purpose and start sending electronic notices. Corporate taxpayers are not allowed to opt out of the system. On the other hand, non-corporate taxpayers are free to use the electronic notification system.
How to apply?
The authorised signatory or the notarised proxy of the corporate taxpayer has to apply personally to the registered tax office. If the proxy files the application, then the notarised power to the proxy must specifically include the power to file for electronic notice application.
The applicant must fill the form (please see the link below) and attach the corporate taxpayer's signature circular and the documents showing the authorisation of the natural person applicant (e.g. resolution of the board of directors or notarised proxy for agents).
It is useful for the applicant to select one or both of the options on the application form to get additional notice by e-mail or SMS.
How to use?
The tax office generates username and password to the taxpayer upon application. If the taxpayer has already got username and password and access to the electronic tax office system, then the pre-generated username and password are valid and can be used.
Tax payers shall log on the following website by using the username and password and has the access to the notices sent by the tax office.
Furthermore, tax payers must on a continuous basis follow up the electronic notices (e-notices) on such electronic tax office system. A notice is deemed to have been communicated to the tax payer at the end of the fifth day following the electronic delivery of notice. If the tax payer has selected additional notice option on the application form, an additional notice will be sent by SMS or e-mail to the taxpayer for such notifications. It should also be noted that additional notices have no legal effect on the electronic tax office system. Therefore, although the notice is not sent to the applicant by e-mail or SMS, the notice sent via the electronic tax office system would be deemed valid and binding.
2) Electronic Notification System for the Public and Private Institutions and Organizations other than Tax Offices
What is it?
Based on article 7/a of the Notification Law No:7201 and article 18 of the Turkish Commercial Code, the Regulation on Electronic Notification and the Regulation regarding Procedures and Principals of the Registered Electronic Mail System have already been issued prior to the above mentioned legislation. According to such laws and regulations, joint stock companies, limited liability companies and limited partnerships divided into shares are required to get a registered electronic mail address (KEP) and they are not allowed to opt-out of the system. Except from above-mentioned, any other legal and real person is free to get a registered electronic mail address.
How to get a registered electronic mail address?
KEP can only be obtained from authorized KEP service providers (KEPHS) which are authorised by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (Please see the link for the list of authorised KEP service providers (KEPHS): https://www.btk.gov.tr/tr-TR/Sayfalar/KEP-Kayitli-Elektronik-Posta-Hizmet-Saglayicilar#).
The applicant has to apply to one of the KEPHS and submit the following documents to generate a KEP:
- Application form,
- Commercial activity certificate including company's "MERSİS" number or registry number issued by the affiliated registry of commerce,
- Notarised signature circular,
- Notarised proxy, if the natural person applicant is not the legal representative of the applicant company,
- Authorisation document issued by the representative of applicant company for the natural person applicant,
- Id, passport or driving licence of the natural person applicant.
KEP fee differs based on the type of services that the applicant wishes to receive. It is similar to prepaid mobile services. If the KEP user wishes solely to have a registered mail account, the user will only be allowed to receive electronic mail and the KEP fee will be trifling. On the other hand, if the KEP user also wishes to get services to send electronic mail or receive mobile notifications synced with the registered mail account, then the fee will be higher.
How to use?
Each KEPHS has its own interface for the KEP system. Therefore, it is important to be fully informed by your KEPHS. Also, most of the KEPHS offer additional SMS and e-mail notice services and it is useful for KEP users to have these services to follow up electronic notices.
In legal context, KEP users must follow up electronic notices through their KEP. A notice from a public institution is deemed to have been communicated to KEP users at the end of fifth day following the electronic delivery of notice (article 9 of the Regulation on Electronic Notification). On the other hand, it should be noted that, if a merchant KEP user sends a notice to another merchant KEP user, the notice will be deemed to have been served to the other party on the day following the electronic delivery unless it is read on the same day (article 12 of the Regulation regarding Procedures and Principals of the Registered Electronic Mail System).
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.