Recent Development 

On April 30, 2018, the Draft Law on the Restructuring of Tax and Certain Receivables and Amending Certain Laws ("Draft Law") was submitted to the Turkish Parliament.

This legal alert lays out the most essential provisions introduced by the Draft Law regarding the restructuring of tax receivables enforced by the Ministry of Finance. The Draft Law may be amended prior to its enforcement.

What Does the Draft Law Say?

The Draft Law covers tax receivables related to the period before March 31, 2018 in general, the delay interest and tax penalties arising from these tax receivables, and other penalties not derived from an original tax.

The Draft Law excludes income tax installments to be paid after March 31, 2018 and advance taxes to be paid in 2018 through offsetting from income/corporate income tax, as well as second installments of the 2018 motor vehicle tax.

1. Finalized tax receivables

Regarding tax receivables not paid on time and tax receivables whose payment period has not yet expired as of the promulgation date of the Law,

  • if the taxpayer pays the entire original tax as well as the amount to be calculated based on the Producer Price Index ("PPI") monthly rates until the promulgation of the Law and in accordance with the Law, the entire tax penalty and delay interests will be written off.
  • if the taxpayer pays 50% of a penalty not derived from an original tax or arising from participation and the amount to be calculated based on the PPI monthly rates until the promulgation of the Law and in accordance with the Law, the remaining 50% of the penalty and the entire delay interests will be written off.

2. Tax receivables that are not finalized or are in litigation

a) Tax assessments in litigation before first degree courts or whose deadline for filing a lawsuit did not expire as of the promulgation of the Law

If the taxpayer pays 50% of the original tax as well as the amount to be calculated on 50% of the original tax amount based on the PPI monthly rates until the promulgation of the Law and in accordance with the Law, the remaining 50% of the original tax amount, the entire tax penalty including delay interests and other penalties arising from the original tax as well as delay interests related to these penalties) will be written off.

Taxes under reconciliation, taxes where the reconciliation date is undetermined or taxes where reconciliation cannot be reached and the deadline for filing a lawsuit has not expired fall within the above scope.

b) Tax assessments whose deadline for filing an appeal or objection did not expire, are in appeal, in correction of decision, or the deadline for the correction of mechanism did not expire

In these situations, the amounts written off depend on whether the last court decision rendered before the promulgation of the Law relates to cancellation, approval or reversal.

  • In cases where the first degree court cancels​ the tax assessments, if the taxpayer pays 20% of the original tax as well as the amount to be calculated on 20% of the original tax amount based on the PPI monthly rates until the promulgation of the Law and in accordance with the Law, the remaining 80% of the original tax, delay interests and the entire tax penalty (for penalties not derived from an original tax if 10% of the penalty is paid, the remaining 90%) will be written off.
  • In cases where the first degree court approves the tax assessments, if the taxpayer pays 20% of the original tax as well as the amount to be calculated on 20% of the original tax amount based on the PPI monthly rates until the promulgation of the Law and in accordance with the Law, the remaining 80% of the original tax, delay interests and the entire tax penalty (for penalties not derived from an original tax if 50% of the penalty is paid, the remaining 50%) will be written off.
  • In cases where the Council of State or the Regional Administrative Court reverses the first degree decision, if the taxpayer pays 50% of the original tax as well as the amount to be calculated on 50% of the original tax amount based on the PPI monthly rates until the promulgation of the Law and in accordance with the Law, the remaining 50% of the original tax, delay interests and the entire tax penalty (for penalties not derived from an original tax if 25% of the penalty is paid, the remaining 75%) will be written off.​

3. Taxes under tax inspection or assesment

Tax inspections and assessment that were initialized but are incomplete by the promulgation date of the Law will continue to be carried out. Once these tax assessments are completed, if the taxpayer pays the first 50% of the original tax amount and the amount to be calculated on 50% of the original tax based on the PPI monthly rates until the promulgation of the Law and in accordance with the Law, the remaining 50% of the original tax, delay interests and the entire tax penalty (for penalties that do not derive from an original tax if the 25% of the penalty is paid, the remaining 75%) will be written off.

4. Tax/tax based increase mechanism

The Draft Law also introduces tax/tax base increase mechanism for income/corporate income tax, VAT and certain withholding taxes.

a) Corporate income tax base increase

No corporate income tax inspection or corporate income tax assessment will be conducted on taxpayers for the taxation period in which they increased their corporate income tax bases by no less than (i) 35% for 2013; (ii) 30% for 2014; (iii) 25% for 2015; and (iv) 20% for 2016 by the end of the second month following the promulgation date of the Law.

The increased tax base will be subject to a corporate income tax rate of 20%. This rate is reduced to 15% if the taxpayers (i) filed their corporate income tax return in due time for the fiscal year of which they want to increase the corporate income tax base; (ii) duly paid the taxes due; and (iii) do not benefit from the tax amnesty for tax receivables at the litigation stage or finalized tax receivables provided in the Law.

If the corporate income tax return shows that the company is operating at a loss, no tax base is created due to reductions and exemptions, or no corporate income tax return was filed at all, the increased tax bases cannot be less than TRY 36,190 for 2013; (ii) TRY 38,323 for 2014; (iii) TRY 40,701 for 2015; and (iv) TRY 43,260 for 2016.

Although the Draft Law does not currently include the year 2017 in the corporate income tax base increase mechanism, we expect that the corporate income tax base increase mechanism will include the year 2017 once the Turkish Parliament officially approves the Law.

b) VAT increase

No VAT inspection or VAT assessment will be conducted for VAT taxpayers for the taxation periods in which they increased their VAT calculated in their VAT returns for each taxation period by no less than (i) 3.5% for 2013; (ii) 3% for 2014; (iii) 2.5% for 2015; (iv) 2% for 2016; and (v) 1.5% for 2017 by the end of the second month following the promulgation date of the Law.

5. Business records correction

The Draft Law allows taxpayers to correct their business records without triggering any tax penalty or delay interests.

a) Inventory, machinery, equipment and fixed assets not recorded in the company’s books but are physically held in the enterprise

n order to benefit from this provision, income and corporate income taxpayers should declare these assets to their tax office through an inventory list that details the assets and their fair market values by the end of the third month following the promulgation of the Law. If those assets are normally subject to an 18% general VAT rate, they should declare a 10% VAT through a reverse charge mechanism and paid over the declared value of the assets within the declaration period. If the assets are subject to a reduced VAT rate, the half rate of the reduced VAT rate should be used while calculating the VAT to be declared and paid.

b) Recorded assets that are not physically present in the enterprise

Income and corporate income taxpayers will be able to correct their business records for their recorded assets that are not physically present in the enterprise by (i) issuing an invoice including the gross profit rate determined according to the current year's figures for the same type of commodity; and (ii) fulfilling the related tax liabilities by the end of the third month following the promulgation of the Law.

c) Recorded cash balance and receivables from shareholders that are not present in the enterprise

Corporate taxpayers can correct their business records regarding the cash balance and receivables from shareholders recorded in their balance sheet as of December 31, 2017, but which are not present in the enterprise by declaring them to their registered tax office by the end of the third month following the promulgation of the Law. These amounts will be taxed at a rate of 3%.

6. Payment methods

In order to benefit from the Law's provisions, taxpayers must apply to their tax office by the end of the second month following the promulgation date of the Law. In conjunction with their application, they must pay the required amounts stipulated, either at once or in a maximum of 18 equal installments (in which the installments will be paid on a bi-monthly basis), whose first installment period is the fourth month following the promulgation date of the Law.

If taxpayers prefer to pay the required amount in installments, they must do so in 6, 9, 12, or 18 installments. In this case, the required amount will be multiplied by (i) 1.045 for the 6 equal installments option; (ii) 1.083 for the 9 equal installments option; (iii) 1.105 for the 12 equal installments option; and (iv) 1.15 for the 18 equal installments option.

If taxpayers pay the whole required amount within the scope of the Law at once and in due time for the first installment, the above ratios will not be calculated and 90% of the amount to be calculated based on the PPI monthly rates until the promulgation date of the Law will be written off.

Conclusion

As the Turkish Parliament will be in recess from May 17, 2018 due to presidential and parliamentary elections which will be held on June 24, 2018, we expect that the Law will be passed before May 17, 2018.