Turkish gov’t has eyes on online portals not paying tax: Minister

Turkish gov’t has eyes on online portals not paying tax: Minister

Turkish gov’t has eyes on online portals not paying tax: Minister

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Finance Minister Naci Ağbal has said his ministry has launched a detailed examination into tax payments of global online portals, noting that tax avoiders were sent notifications demanding they pay their taxes.  

In an interview with state-run Anadolu Agency, Ağbal said the taxation of online portals has become a global issue and there are opposing views about to whom such companies pay their taxes, adding that the OECD is one of the leading organizations that has focused on placing standards regarding the issue. 

Saying that the Finance Ministry initiated an approach to stipulate people who earn in the country to pay taxes, he added that technical works and legal assessments were underway. 

“Our works have been performed in line with a model agreement by the OECD. The key point in this deal is where the workplace is located. The problem is here that in e-commerce sector there is not any physical workplace. E-commerce companies which have operations in Turkey make their business by hiring a permanent representative,” he said, as quoted by the news agency on April 23. 

According to the ministry, any e-commerce company active and making money in Turkey through representatives must pay their taxes from these earnings to Turkey, even if they are based elsewhere.

“We have made the required tax inspections. And we sent notifications to our addresses,” he added. 

“Some of them wanted to pay their taxes on agreed terms, while others sued us. We made our legal assessments. Against companies that do not want to pay taxes, we use the required tax control mechanisms. Some online portals launched offices in Turkey, became taxpayers and they are paying their taxes, as they saw Turkey’s clear position on this area. We, however, prepared detailed reports and sent them to others who have insisted on not opening an office in Turkey. Our tax officials are in talks with them. They need to pay their taxes here as well in accordance with the global taxing rules,” Ağbal said.