Law on Amending the Tax Procedure Law and Certain Laws (“Law No. 7338“), published in the Official Gazette No. 31640 dated October 26, 2021, introduced new tax regulations for social media content producers sharing content on social networks and those developing applications for mobile devices.
What Do the New Rules Say?
- Income derived by social media content producers who generate income by sharing content such as text, images, audio and video through social network providers on the internet, and those who develop applications for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets through electronic application sharing and sales platforms will be exempt from income tax.
- In order to benefit from this exemption, producers and developers must open an account in a bank established in Turkey and receive all of their income related to these activities exclusively through this account.
- Banks are obliged to withhold 15% of the revenue transferred to these accounts as of the transfer date and to pay the withholding tax under the general provisions. The President has the authority to reduce the withholding rate of 15% to zero or increase it to up to 30% based on each activity type.
- The fact that producers and developers have earnings or revenues from other activities will not prevent them from benefiting from this exemption.
- Producers and developers who do not collect their revenue through an exclusive Turkish bank and those whose total related income exceeds the fourth tranche of the income tax tariff (TRY 650,000 for 2021) cannot benefit from the exemption.
- If the conditions regarding the exemption are not fulfilled, the tax that has been accrued incompletely will be collected together with the delay interest and the tax loss penalty.
- Delivery and services subject to content sharing and application developing are also exempt from value-added tax.
- This provision entered into force on October 26, 2021 and will be applicable on income obtained as of January 1, 2022.
The income tax exemption for social media content producers and application developers for mobile devices and the withholding obligation for the banks aim to make the taxation of earnings of those undertaking these activities more simple, understandable and practical.