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Turkey Finalizes Guidance on New Withholding Tax on Payments Relating to Online Advertising Services

Robert Sledz  

Robert Sledz  

On February 15, 2019, Turkey’s tax authority (Revenue Administration) published the final version of Communique No. 17, which entered into force on the same day. The guidance clarifies the Turkish withholding tax requirements for advertising services introduced by Presidential Decision No. 476 (discussed in the section below).

Articles 2 and 3 of the guidance set out the following withholding tax rates for online advertising services payments:

  • 15%, applied to payments to non-resident entities, individual service providers, or non-residents (whether an entity or individual) that intermediate the online services.
  • 15%, applied to payments to resident individual service providers, or resident individuals that intermediate the online services.
  • 0%, applied to payments to resident entity service providers, or resident entities that intermediate the online services.

The party that pays for the online services is responsible for the foregoing withholding taxes.

The withholding taxes apply to payments made on or after January 1, 2019, even if the underlying advertising services were provided prior to that date, pursuant to Article 2 of Communique No. 17.

Background

On December 19, 2018, Turkey published Presidential Decision No. 476 in its official gazette, pursuant to its authority in Article 11(7) of the Tax Procedure Law (TPL), which amends Article 94 of Turkey’s Income Tax Law and Articles 15 and 30 of the Corporate Tax Law to introduce a 15% withholding tax on payments to service providers (or agents) for advertising services made online. However, the withholding tax rate is zero, when the service provider (or agent) resides in Turkey and is subject to Turkish corporate income tax.

Editor’s Note: Article 11(7) of the TPL says that:

“The President shall be responsible for whether the taxpayer is obliged to make tax deduction according to tax laws, whether the subject of the payment is the purchase of the goods or services, whether it is realized in electronic environment, whether the payment is the subject of a reduction in the determination of the tax base; shall be entitled to determine different rates of interruption, provided that it is between the upper and lower limits specified in the tax laws relating to the taxable transaction, business groups, business types, sectors and commodity groups.”

Decision No. 476 entered into force on December 19, 2018, and applies from January 1, 2019.

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