Turkey is one of the most competitive countries in corporate tax rates among the OECD countries. The new Corporate Tax Law, enacted on 21 June 2006, brought new concepts to tax legislation as well as important changes to existing practices. With the new Corporate Tax Law introduced, the provisions of the Turkish Corporate Tax Legislation have been defined much more clearly and are arranged in objective provisions in line with international standards.
The Turkish tax regime can be grouped under three main headings:
1.1. Income Taxes
In Turkey, income taxes are levied based on all income for domestic persons and companies, as well as foreign individuals residing in Turkey and international companies. Incomes of the persons residing abroad, including employment, ownership of property, business transactions, revenue or income derived by other activities within Turkey, are subject to taxes with the condition that they're earned in Turkey.
1.1.1. Corporate Income Tax
The basic corporate income tax rate levied on commercial profits is 20% in Turkey. The withholding taxes levied on some payments of the resident companies are as follows:
A withholding tax is also levied on some payments of non-resident companies (residing abroad):
1.1.2. Individual Income Tax
Individual income tax rates range from 15% to 35%. Tax rates applied on annual gross earnings since 2011 are as follows:
1.1.3. Social Security
Social security contribution is the payroll obligation of the employer rather than a tax. Employer and worker; contributes together to the social security system consisting of sickness, work accidents, unemployment, retirement payments and other programs.
1.2. Taxes on Expenditure
1.2.1. Value Added Tax (VAT)
The generally applied VAT rates are set at 1%, 8%, and 18%. Commercial, industrial, agricultural, and independent professional goods and services, goods and services imported into the country, and deliveries of goods and services as a result of other activities are all subject to VAT.
1.2.2. Special Consumption Tax (SCT)
There are four main product groups that are subject to special consumption tax at different tax rates:
1.2.3. Banking and Insurance Transaction Tax
Banking and insurance company transactions remain exempt from VAT but are subject to a Banking and Insurance Transaction Tax. This tax applies to income earned by banks, such as loan interest. Although the general tax rate is 5%, some transactions, such as interest on deposit transactions between banks, are taxed at 1%, and 0.1% for interest applies to sales from foreign exchange transactions.
1.2.4. Stamp Duty
Stamp duty applies to a wide range of documents, including contracts, notes payable, capital contributions, letters of credit, letters of guarantee, financial statements, and payrolls. Stamp duty is levied as a percentage of the value of the document at rates ranging from 0.165% to 0.825%.
1.3. Taxes on Wealth
There are three types of wealth taxes: inheritance and gift tax, property taxes, and motor vehicle tax. The buildings and lands owned in Turkey are subject to real estate tax at the following rates:
2. Tax Incentives
Tax Exemptions and Discounts
VAT exemptions include, but are not limited to, the following transactions: