On March 18, 2020, President Erdoğan announced the government’s tax measures to help businesses during the coronavirus epidemic. The measures allow businesses in the most affected industries to postpone certain tax and social security payments without penalty or late payment interest. Other economic measures are focused on maintaining the level of employment, with extended partial operation measures. A tax bill giving effect to these measures is to be introduced shortly.
Measures related to tax payments
The package announced on 18 March provides a six-month deferral of tax payments to certain sectors, including retail, shopping malls, accommodation, logistics-transportation, food-beverage, textile-garment, iron-steel and automotive. Taxes included in this measure are value added tax and income withholding tax (i.e. payroll tax).
The deferral will apply on tax payments that are due for the tax filings of April, May and June. The tax filings related to the month of February are not covered by these exceptional measures. Accordingly, tax payments due for the month of February 2020 will have to follow the normal payment deadlines during the month of March.
The announcement released on the official website of Revenue Administration (www.gib.gov.tr) on 19 March provides a more clear and inclusive definition of the business types that make up the sectors that are covered by this measure.
Implementation of accommodation tax will be postponed to November 2020 from April 2020.
The VAT on domestic air travel will be cut from 18% to 1% for a temporary period of 3 months.
Measures related to social security payments
Employers in certain sectors can postpone payment of their social security contributions related to the months of April, May and June by 6 months. No penalty will be applied. The sectors covered by this measure include retail, shopping malls, accommodation, logistics-transportation, food-beverage, textile-garment, iron-steel and automotive. (same sectors covered under the tax deferral measure.)
Other economic measures include mainly:
Although it is not part of the measures announced by the President on 18 March, it is worth mentioning here that annual income tax filing and payment deadline for individuals related to the year 2019 has been postponed by one month to 30 April 2020, with the Circular released on 17 March 2020.
Tax Services, Director, PwC Turkey
Tel: +90 212 326 6454