Through the Digital Service Tax Application General Communiqué ("Communiqué"), published in the Official Gazette dated 20th March 2020 and No. 31074, the principles regarding the application of the Digital Service Tax ("DST") is determined.
Services covered by DST
The following services provided in Turkey within the scope of the Law:
- Any and all kinds of advertising services provided through digital media (including advertising control and performance measurement services, services such as data transmission and management regarding users, as well as technical services regarding the advertising);
- Sale of audio, visual or digital content through digital mediums (including computer programs, applications, music, videos, games, in-game applications and the like) and services provided through digital media aimed at listening, watching, playing or recording these contents via electronic devices through digital mediums or the use of those contents via such devices; and
- Services of the provision and operation of digital media enabling users to interact with each other (including services aimed at the sale or facilitation of sale of goods or services between users).
Intermediation services provided by digital service providers through digital media regarding the above services are also subject to DST.
Taxpayer of DST
The DST taxpayers are the digital service providers. The tax residency status of the digital service providers (i.e. whether they are considered full taxpayers or non-residents performing activities in Turkey through a permanent establishment or permanent representative) has no impact on the tax liability.
Tax Base and Rate
The base of the DST is the gross revenue generated during a taxation period. The DST would be applied as 7.5% over the gross revenue.
Those who generated revenues from digital services in the previous fiscal period that are below (i) TRY 20 million generated in Turkey or (ii) EUR 750 million generated globally or the Turkish lira equivalent thereof will be exempt from DST.
Declaration and Payment
The taxpayers and those held responsible to withhold taxes from their payments are obligated to submit their DST returns to the relevant tax offices by the end of the month following the taxation period (monthly periods).
The tax office where the service providers are registered for VAT purposes and the tax office designated by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance for those that are not VAT taxpayers assesses DST.
Taxpayers who are obligated to submit DST returns and those held liable for withholding taxes will pay the DST within the DST return submission period.
The Ministry of Treasury and Finance can decide to block access to services provided by digital services providers if they fail to duly comply with the DST declaration and payment requirements within 30 days from receiving a warning from the tax administration.
The Communiqué enters into force on the date of its publication, to be effective as of March 1, 2020.
You may find the full text of the Communiqué in Turkish version here.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.