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2016/11 Communiqué 4 on Asset Amnesty: Clarification on the Procedures and Principles of Application to Asset Amnesty
27.12.2016

Abstract

Turkish Government has published the Law Nr. 6736 on the Official Gazette which was put in force on August 19, 2016. This Law enables:

  • Restructuring of all sort of taxes and tax assessments including customs duties, administrative fines and all related interest as well as late payment charges related to period before June 30, 2016 (including this date) providing an opportunity to Turkish companies to close their accounts against potential tax audits.​

  • Tax base increase (corporate tax, withholding tax and Value added tax) where the taxpayers increase their tax bases for the years from 2011 to 2015 and pay additional taxes over the increased tax bases. Restructuring of taxes and duties and tax base increase options have been due as of November 30, 2016.

  • Asset amnesty, which is due on December 31, 2016 and expected to be extended for six months, enables taxpayers (both corporate and individual) bringing their assets abroad into Turkey without any taxation and without any inspection, assessment, investigation and prosecution.

Turkish Government recently introduced a new Communiqué for the clarification of the procedures and principles of application to asset amnesty which is covered below:​

Asset Amnesty Overview

Which law is the basis for "asset amnesty"?

  • Law numbered 6736 (generally known as "Tax Amnesty Law") is the basis for asset amnesty which is covered under the Tax Amnesty Law, published in the Official Gazette and become effective as of August 19, 2016, brings various advantages to taxpayers.

What is the advantage of benefiting from the asset amnesty?

  • One of these advantages brought by the Tax Amnesty Law is the "asset amnesty" enabling the corporate and individual taxpayers bring their certain assets (Cash, gold, foreign currency, securities and capital market instruments) abroad to Turkey or declare these assets to authorized Turkish institutions without any further taxation in Turkey.

  • Based on the provisions on asset amnesty, the taxpayers will not be questioned for the source of their assets and their accounts will not be subject to any inspection, investigation and prosecution as a merit of benefiting from the Tax Amnesty Law.

What is the deadline for application?

  • Taxpayers are to brought their assets into Turkey or declare them until December 31, 2016.

  • Although the deadline for application for an asset amnesty until the end of 2016, the Ministry of Finance was assigned as the authority to extend the deadline for up to 6-month period, which is June 30, 2017.

  • As the Government would like to have the assets abroad in Turkey as much as it can be, it is highly expected that the deadline for benefiting from asset amnesty will be extended for six months which will enable the taxpayers bring and/or declare their assets until June 30, 2017.

What has been brought by this new Communiqué Nr.4?

  • A recent General Communiqué with respect to asset amnesty was published on December 2, 2016. This Communiqué explained the procedures and clarified many questions in relation to the asset amnesty.

  • The clarification brought in relation to asset amnesty can be categorized as follows:

  1. Transfer of the assets into Turkey

  2. Valuation of the assets

  3. Tax inspection, assessment, investigation and prosecution 

Please see below the clarifications brought for the above listed matters with the Communiqué.

A.    Transfer of Assets into Turkey

Are the assets required to be physically brought into Turkey?

  • First of all, taxpayers will be able to freely dispose the assets that are brought to Turkey in the scope of Asset Amnesty

  • Cash and cash equivalents will need to be physically transferred to Turkey whereas securities and other capital market instruments are only required to be declared through the form attached to the Communiqué and this will be sufficient to benefit from the Law.

  • Immovable properties are not declarable assets in the scope of the Law however, can be converted into one of the declarable assets in the scope of the Law and can be included in the Asset Amnesty process

How will the assets be brought or declared in Turkey?

  • The assets can be transferred into an existing or a new bank account via bank/ intermediary institutions or can be physically brought to Turkey.

  • Taxpayers will obtain vouchers, slips from their foreign bank (where the securities/other capital market instruments are maintained/invested). These documents can be the confirmation/proof for the transfer of the assets to Turkey

  • Similarly, if the assets are physically imported into Turkey, the documents to be obtained from the Customs Administration with respect to the declaration will be able to be used as confirmation/proof of the transfer of assets into Turkey.

  • All these documents will be attached to the form (in the attachment of the Communiqué) with wet-ink/original signature by the taxpayers at the declaration of assets. The taxpayers who have already made declarations before the enactment of this Communiqué can opt for filing this form.

  • The documents to be attached to the Form will not be questioned by the bank or intermediary institutions. On the other hand, translation into Turkish and confirmation of the translation by a Turkish Consulate are not required.

Who will make the declaration?

  • Taxpayers are not required to make their own declaration; their legal representatives, partners or assignees/proxy holders will be able to make the declaration of the assets. These assigned persons will transfer the asset to the existing or a new bank account in the name of the Company. In such case, the assets are assumed to be transferred into Turkey by the Company itself. In such a case, a legal decision issued by the authorized organs of Company, the proxy letters or representation agreements will be attached to the Form.  

What are the responsibilities of banks/intermediary financial institutions?

  • Banks, intermediary institutions, Customs Administration and other institutions are required to maintain the declarations of assets by the taxpayers. But the banks, financial institutions or Customs Administration, and any other parties are not responsible for asking the source of any declared assets and they will not be questioning the treatment of these assets (purchase, sale, amortization of the assets and any income attached to such treatment).

  • Banks/intermediary institutions will not be making any research, inspection and will not be monitoring/pursuing these assets. Banks and intermediary institutions will not be asking for any documents other than the application form and the attached documents confirming/proving the transfer of assets. Banks/intermediary institutions are required to maintain the documents submitted by the taxpayers.  

B.    Valuation of assets

Assets (Cash, gold, foreign currency, securities and capital market instruments) to be brought into Turkey will be evaluated on the below basis as of the declaration or transfer date:

  • Cash in Turkish lira at nominal value;

  • Gold at market value;

  • Foreign currency at buying rates announced by the Turkish Central Bank;

  • Securities and other capital market instruments:

    • Stocks such as stock certificates at stock exchange price (if there is no stock exchange price then successively at market value, purchase price or nominal value)

    • Debt instruments such as bonds, treasury bills and Eurobonds at stock exchange price (if there is no stock exchange price then successively at market value, purchase price or nominal value)

    • Mutual funds participation certificates) at closing price in its relevant market

    • Derivative instruments such as future and option contracts at stock exchange price (if there is no stock exchange price then successively at market value, purchase price or nominal value)

  • Market value is defined as the purchase-sale price as of the declaration/transfer date of the assets by the taxpayers. The value of the assets should reflect the actual value of the asset;

  • The values in the domestic and foreign stock exchange markets that the asset is processed/treated as of the transfer/declaration date will be the basis In the determination of stock exchange price
     

C.    Tax Inspection, Assessment, Investigation and Prosecution

  • For the assets to be brought/transferred to Turkey, taxpayers or their representatives will not be subject to any retrospective inspection, tax assessment for any type of taxes, any research, investigation, prosecution for tax and other purposes (such as customs, foreign exchange or capital markets) and no tax or administrative monetary fines will be assessed either.

  • On the other hand, no inspections or assessments will be conducted with respect to any tax, duty and charges applicable at the import of these assets by virtue of benefiting from asset amnesty.

  • No tax inspections and assessment will be conducted on the gains / income generated in the past from the assets to be brought in Turkey and on any sources by which these assets were acquired in the past.  No information will be requested from the taxpayers or their representatives with respect to the assets brought/transferred to Turkey.

​Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any queries regarding the above.