Dündar Sır Quarterly 2021/2

The Quarterly is prepared every quarter of a year in order to point out significant legislative amendments under Turkish law and the developments in case-law.
The Quarterly is prepared every quarter in order to point out significant legislative amendments under Turkish law and substantial case laws.

1. Corporate tax rate which is applied as 20% in 2020 has been increased for 2021 and 2022.
As per the Provisional Article 13 added to the Corporate Tax Law No. 5520, the corporate tax rate shall be applied as 25% for corporate income of 2021, and 23% for corporate income of 2022.

2. Tax Amnesty is once again in force.
New legislation provides a limited time opportunity (until August 31, 2021) for taxpayers to enable them to restructure their own tax debts. Such restructuring opportunity includes the following debts: Income, Corporate, Customs, Real Estate and Sanitation, VAT, Motor Vehicles and Special Consumption Taxes, all administrative fines, and Treasury receivables which were accrued before 30.04.2021. It is necessary to apply to the relevant administration until 31.08.2021 to benefit from the restructuring opportunity.

3. Asset Peace applications have been extended for 6 more months.
Individuals and legal entities can freely dispose of their money, gold, foreign exchange, securities and other capital market instruments held abroad without being subject to a tax audit or a tax assessment, if they duly notify these assets to Turkish banks or intermediary institutions by 30.12.2021.

4. The period for decreased value-added tax (VAT) application on certain goods and services has been extended.
The period for application of 8% VAT rate for workplace rentals has been extended to 31.07.2021. It has been also decided to apply 1% VAT for accommodation, food & beverage services until 31.07.2021.

5. The period for decreased withholding tax rate application on rental income has been extended.
The withholding tax rate on rental income shall continue to be applied as 10% until 31.07.2021.


6. The Regulation Prohibiting the Use of Crypto Assets in Payments entered into force on April 30, 2021.
The Regulation stands out as the first regulation on crypto assets in Turkey. However, a very important point to state here is that the Regulation does not prohibit trade of crypto assets (purchasing or selling crypto assets), but it bans the use of crypto assets as a payment tool.

The purpose of the Regulation is to prevent any damages to be arisen out of use crypto assets (such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Dogecoin) in payments due to the facts that (i) they are not subject to any regulation and control mechanism, (ii) the market is extremely volatile, (iii) they may be used in illegal activities due to their anonymous nature, (iv) wallets can be stolen or used illegally without the knowledge of their owners, and (v) transactions are irreversible.

7. The Turkish Competition Board launches investigation into 32 companies across Turkey due to the gentlemen's agreements regarding the labor market.
With the investigation, it will be examined so-called the gentlemen’s agreements claimed to exist and concluded among prominent companies in technology, e-commerce, media and entertainment industries, such as Google, Zomato, Yemek Sepeti and Trendyol to prevent transfer of employees from one company to another.

8. COVID-19 measures in labor law will end as of 01.07.2021.
(i) Short-term employment allowance,
(ii) Prohibition on termination of employment,
(iii) Unpaid-leave.

9. Human Rights Action Plan was published on 30.04.2021.
The purpose of the Human Rights Action Plan (“Action Plan”) is to give momentum to the efforts towards harmonization with the European Union regulations and raise human rights standards in line with the vision of “Free Individual, Strong Society, and a More Democratic Turkey”.

i. 15th Civil Chamber of Court of Cassation, File No: 2020/1470, Decision Dated 10.09.2020: The Court ruled that claimant’s argument for invalidity of arbitration clause is deemed as abuse of the right since the claimant also filed a counterclaim before the arbitral tribunal; thus, the law shall not protect that behavior as per the “good faith principle”.
ii. Personal Data Protection Board, Decision No: 2021/389, Decision Dated 20.04.2021: Board has imposed an administrative fine on an insurance company due to the facts that (i) data subject who wanted to have an individual retirement contract with the company, was compelled to consent to the processing of its personal data through a checkbox on the company's website and (ii) if this checkbox is not clicked, it was not allowed to take further steps.
iii. Constitutional Court, File No: 2020/71, Decision Dated 29.04.2021: The presidential decree on formation of the staff of university lecturers was revoked by the Constitutional Court. It is emphasized in the decision that (i) universities are defined as institutions where scientific studies are carried out and science is taught, and that they are deemed differently from other public institutions by having scientific and administrative autonomy and (ii) universities are required to establish by law, and the organs of higher education institutions, their functions and their elections, duties, authorities and responsibilities, titles, appointment, promotion and retirement, discipline and penal affairs, personal rights etc. are required to be regulated by law as well.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries regarding the above matters.
Best Regards.

Selim DÜNDAR, Attorney-at-Law