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Legal Alerts

COVID-19 Measures on Tax Obligations

Legal Alerts

Recent Development

On 18 March 2020, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed the nation following the coronavirus evaluation meeting, where he declared the following measures related to tax obligations:

  • postponing the April, May and June payments of withholding tax and reverse-charge VAT and social security premiums for the retail, shopping center, iron-steel, automotive, logistics-transportation, cinema-theater, accommodation, food-beverages, textile-confection and events-organization sectors for six months each
  • postponing the application of accommodation taxes until November
  • lowering the VAT rate applicable to domestic flights from 18% to 1% for three months
  • postponing the deadlines of withholding tax returns, which consist of payments of the deductions made at source such as withholding tax, for three months

Within this scope, the Revenue Administration has published the following announcements in its official website regarding coronavirus measures so far:

1.Explanations on the postponement of the payment of withholding tax and value added tax for six months 

  • Necessary actions regarding the postponement of withholding (any and all deductions declared with withholding tax returns including salary, rent and self-employment income) and value added tax (those concerning value added tax and value added tax deductions) payments of the taxpayers directly affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic due in April, May and June are being undertaken.
  • The main fields of activities of the taxpayers, the payments of which are postponed for six months within this scope, are summarized below:

Detailed explanations in relation to the fields of activities as well as the principles of application will be announced in statements to be made in the future.

  • Categories of taxpayers to benefit from the force majeure event
  1. Retail trade and shopping centersActivities intended for the retail sale of any and all products, such as markets, buffets, grocery stores, delicatessens, greengrocers, ice cream shops, millinery, butchers, building materials, small homeware and white appliances, furniture, home textiles, books and stationery, newspapers and magazines, shoes and garments, toy stores, medical and orthopedic goods, pharmacies, jewelers, florists, stallholders, fishermen, pastry shops and bakeries, personal care and cosmetics, as well as shopping centers and those engaged in retail sale therein.2. Iron steel and metal industry

    The manufacturing of iron, steel, aluminum, copper, lead, zinc and tin, and the sale thereof by manufacturers.

    3. Automotive

    The manufacturing, wholesale and retail sale of any and all motor land vehicles such as automobiles, trucks, vans, buses, minibuses, midibuses, tractors, motorcycles, trailers and caravans.

    4. Logistics-transportation

    Any and all logistics and transportation services such as any and all intra-city and international cargo and passenger transportation by air, road, rail, sea and any and all waterways; expressway, tunnel and bridge operatorship, storage and warehousing activities, and airport ground handling services.

    5. Cinema and theater activities

    Any and all artistic activities such as theaters, operas, ballets, cinemas and concerts.

    6. Accommodation

    Any and all accommodation and related activities such as hotels, motels, hostels, holiday villages, tour operatorships and travel agency activities, and booking agency services.

    7. Food and beverages services

    Services intended to offer any and all food and beverages such as restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, coffee shops, teahouses, canteens and buffets on transportation vehicles.

    8. Textile and apparel activities

    The manufacturing and sale of any and all kinds of textiles and apparel such as cloth and yarn manufacturing, manufacturing of finished products from all kinds of cotton, wool, angora, fiber and cotton, and manufacturing and sale of clothing and home textile products.

    9. Events and organizations

    The organization of performance shows, congresses, conferences, commercial fairs and events, and any and all events and organizational activities carried out at places such as internet cafes, amusement arcades, engagement/wedding ceremony halls and sports centers.

2.Announcement on certain measures adopted within the scope of coronavirus

  • All petitions required to be submitted to the tax offices until 10 April 2020 are required to be submitted electronically via the Interactive Tax Office application or through post. Within this scope, all petitions for employment, dismissal, branch opening/closing, tax clearance letters, taxpayer status letters, requests for deferral, requests for settlement, etc. will be electronically submitted via the Interactive Tax Office’s website ( or mobile application (GİB Mobil), or through post.
  • Returns for income from immovable assets, earnings from movable assets, salaries and other income and earnings will be solely submitted over the Prepared Returns System until 10 April 2020. As is well-known, the deadline for the filing of income tax returns due by 31 March 2020 has been postponed until 30 April 2020, and income tax returns pertaining to the specified items of income may be submitted over the web via the Prepared Returns System (, or by using the mobile application or through post.
  • Taxes, duties and administrative fines as well as payments regarding valuable paper fees which may be paid by credit card via the Interactive Tax Office or through contracted banks will be paid via the Interactive Tax Office or through contracted banks, instead of the pay desks of the tax offices, until 10 April 2020.
  • Tax payments of corporate income taxpayers will be made by using alternative payment channels (Interactive Tax Office, contracted banks and Turkish Post (PTT)) instead of the pay desks of the tax offices.
  • Non-Turkish citizens will submit their requests for a potential tax identity number over the web application of the Interactive Tax Office (, and the potential tax identity numbers will be electronically generated and the substantiating documents will be submitted to them over the said application. Accordingly, non-Turkish citizens are no longer required to physically apply to the tax offices in order to receive potential tax identity numbers.

3.Extended deadlines for filing returns, forms and payments

  • Pursuant to the Circular on Tax Procedural Law (Serial No. 125) dated 17 March 2020, the deadline for filing annual income tax returns pertaining to the 2019 calendar year, which were due by 31 March 2020, and the deadline for the payment of these tax returns have been postponed until 30 April 2020.
  • Pursuant to the Circular on Tax Procedural Law (Serial No. 126) dated 23 March 2020,
    • the deadline for filing value added tax returns, which were due by 26 March 2020, and the deadline for the payment of these tax returns have been postponed until 24 April 2020.
    • the deadline for filing BA/BS forms pertaining to the 2020/February period, which were due by 31 March 2020, have been postponed until 30 April 2020.
    • the deadline for issuing and signing e-books and the deadline for loading “Electronic Book Certificates” to the Revenue Administration’s Information Processing System, which was 31 March 2020 for both, have been postponed until 30 April 2020.

4.VAT rate for air passenger transport services decreased

  • As of 1 April 2020, the VAT rate for air passenger transport services was decreased to 1% until 30 June 2020.


In line with the President’s announcement, appropriate tax obligations measures are being taken to combat the adverse impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. We will continue to update you about legislative amendments and announcements regarding coronavirus measures.