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Legal Alerts

26/03/2020

COVID-19: Ministry of Treasury and Finance Declares Force Majeure

Legal Alerts
Tax
General

Recent Development

The Ministry of Treasury and Finance announced the General Communiqué on the Tax Procedural Law Serial No. 518, published in the Official Gazette dated March 24, 2020 and no. 31078 (“Communiqué”). The Communiqué provides benefits to taxpayers directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the related governmental responses, as foreseen in the force majeure provisions of the Tax Procedural Law No. 213.

Who Benefits from the Force Majeure Provisions?

Pursuant to the Communiqué, the following are considered to be subject to a force majeure event between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020 (both dates inclusive):

  • taxpayers liable to pay income tax due to gains derived from commercial, agricultural and self-employment activities;
  • taxpayers directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and primarily engaged in the following industries: retail, including shopping centers; healthcare services; furniture manufacturing; iron, steel and metal industry; mining and quarrying; building construction services; industrial kitchen manufacturing, automotive manufacturing and selling; manufacturing of parts and accessories for the automotive industry; car rental; logistics and transportation including warehousing activities; artistic activities such as cinemas and theatres; publishing and printing materials such as books, newspapers and the like; accommodation, including tour operatorship and travel agencies; food and beverages services, including restaurants and coffee houses; manufacturing and trading textiles and apparel; and events and organizations, including public relations; and
  • taxpayers primarily engaged in industries whose workplace operations were temporarily suspended within the scope of the measures adopted by the Ministry of the Interior.

In addition, pursuant to the measures adopted by the Ministry of Interior, taxpayers on whom a curfew is imposed due to being 65 years and older; who suffer from a chronic illness; who are certified public accountants; and who had certified public accountants submit their returns/declarations as per the “Intermediary and Liability Contract” effective on the publication date of the Communiqué are considered to have been subject to force majeure between March 22, 2020 and the last day of curfew (both dates inclusive).

Tax Liabilities Deferred Due to Force Majeure

  • Filing March-April-May/2020 Withholding Tax Returns (incl. Withholding Tax and Premium Service Returns) and Value Added Tax Returns
    • Regular deadlines: April 27, 2020, May 27, 2020 and June 26, 2020
    • New deferred deadline: by the close of business on July 27
    • Deadlines to pay the taxes accrued under these returns: by the close of business on October 27, 2020, November 27, 2020 and December 28, 2020
  • Filing March-April-May/2020 Ba-Bs Forms
    • Regular deadlines: by April 30, 2020, June 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020
    • New deferred deadline: by the close of business on July 27, 2020
  •  Issuance and signing of March-April-May/2020 e-Books; loading required March-April-May/2020 “Electronic Book Certificates” onto Revenue Administration’s processing system
    • Regular deadlines: by April 30, 2020, June 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020
    • New deferred deadline: by the close of business on July 27, 2020

Furthermore, the deadline for filing returns/declarations pertaining to the force majeure period, and the deadline for paying the taxes accrued thereunder were postponed until the close of business on the 15th day following the date of the last day of curfew.

Conclusion

The Ministry of Treasury and Finance declared force majeure for certain taxpayers directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures adopted with this scope, and deferred certain tax liabilities of these taxpayers. Taxpayers should pay close attention to the deadlines for the deferred tax liabilities.