Published On: Sat, May 28th, 2011

Is the Tax System in Turkey Complicated?

OPINIONThis short article is meant to provide a brief idea for those who might be interested in doing business in Turkey and would like to be in the picture about the Turkish fiscal system. For further and more precise details we would highly recommend to study the official site of the Turkish State.

The tax system in Turkey could be referred to as quite complicating and troublesome for tax-payers as tax offices in Turkey require them to keep/produce an excessive number of documents to accompany tax statements on a monthly, quarterly and also yearly basis – which is exhausting enough for the taxpayer, on its own.

As for TYPES OF TAXES companies are obliged to pay, the following could be listed as MAIN ITEMS;

Companies pay a tax under the name of CORPORATE TAX which corresponds to 20% over their annual profit before tax.

Another tax under the name of INCOME TAX is applied at the stage of profit distribution at a rate of 15% over distributed earnings (after having spared reserve funds).


VAT (Value Added Tax) with a rate of 18% (for most goods and services) over the value of goods and services (with differences). This does not bring a burden to the company as with global practices.

Another type of tax is collected by tax-paying company (on behalf of the tax office, to be further refunded to the office) at source (called stoppage) for services such as rent, labor income (deducted from brut salary by employer) and self-employment income generated by self employed people providing services etc. This type of tax does not bring any burden to the company, either.


So far it might sound quite similar to current practices in Europe. However as the state has a problem of confidence with tax-payers, the tax office requires tax-payers to regularly prepare and produce and innumerable number of term reports with and/or on top of above mentioned main statements.

As an example together with the corporate tax statement, income statement and balance sheet should be enough to tax the payer.

However, together with the corporate tax statement tax offices requires a large number of additional documents having to do with details such as “foreign exchange position of the company, foot note information about income statement and balance sheet, hidden earnings statement, profit distribution form and many more”.

Furthermore, the taxpayer is obliged to keep/produce records about a lot of details pertaining to monthly transactions which in return brings an unbelievable work load to accounting departments.

This is not to include work regarding VAT returns which is even multiple times more exhausting.

To cut the story short, accounting professionals in Turkey, have a hard job to do.


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