Amid the recent boom in e-commerce in Turkey and an accompanying shift in advertisement to social media, Finance Minister Naci Ağbal said yesterday that all activities that bring a constant flow of income are subject to taxes.
"Whether one displays ads on their own sites or earns income by shooting videos and tweeting about them, everyone who makes money should pay their taxes regardless of where it comes from. We have no gaps in our tax legislation – you can call them internet phenomenona or whatever, if one says they do things from time to time and make money, then they, too, should pay taxes," Ağbal told Anadolu Agency (AA) in Ankara.
Ağbal said that the Revenue Administration (GİB) constantly monitors all websites, primarily e-trade platforms, and that a special department will be created within the soon-to-be-established Risk Analysis Center to monitor internet-based commerce and digital services.
The minister warned that if taxpayers do not declare their incomes earned online, including those from video sharing platforms, government agencies will track these activities and levy taxes. He added that legal guardians of those earning an income under the age of 18 should declare their income on their behalf.
E-commerce platforms operating outside Turkey are also subject to Turkey's tax legislation, Ağbal said, adding that the government currently monitors income obtained by offering services in Turkey.
"When we started this work, many companies operating abroad, including big firms, applied to pay their taxes. They saw the government's determination," he said.
A tax office in Istanbul has been allocated for such firms to ease their procedures, Ağbal said. He added that foreign e-commerce platforms are required to either designate a permanent representative in Turkey or open a local office.
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