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Incentives 

Turkey's Investment Incentives System

 

The new investment incentives scheme is specifically designed to encourage investments with the potential to reduce dependency on the importation of intermediate goods vital to the country’s strategic sectors.

 

Amongst the primary objectives of the new investment incentives scheme are: reduce the current account deficit; boost investment support for lesser developed regions; increase the level of support instruments; promote clustering activities; and to support investments that will create the transfer of technology.

 

Effective as of January 1, 2012, the new investment incentives system has been comprised of four different schemes. Local and foreign investors have equal access to:

 

1-      General Investment Incentives Scheme

2-      Regional Investment Incentives Scheme

3-      Large-Scale Investment Incentives Scheme

4-      Strategic Investment Incentives Scheme

 

The support instruments to be provided within the framework of the various investment incentives schemes are shown in the following table:

 

Support Instruments

General Investment

Incentives Scheme

Regional Investment

Incentives Scheme

Large-Scale Investment

Incentives Scheme

Strategic Investment

Incentives Scheme

VAT Exemption

+

+

+

+

Customs Duty Exemption

+

+

+

+

Tax Reduction

 

+

+

+

Social Security Premium Support

(Employer’s Share)

 

+

+

+

Income Tax Withholding Allowance *

 

+

+

+

Social Security Premium Support

(Employee’s Share) *

 

+

+

+

Interest Rate Support **

 

+

 

+

Land Allocation

 

+

+

+

VAT Refund***

 

 

 

+

 

*Provided that the investment is made in Region 6.

**Provided that the investment is made in Regions 3, 4, 5 or 6 within the framework of the Regional Investment Incentives Scheme.

***For construction expenditures of strategic investments with a minimum fixed investment amount of TRY 500 million. 

 

 

Region 1

 

Region 2

 

Region 3

 

Region 4

 

Region 5

 

Region 6

 

Ankara

Adana

Balıkesir

Afyonkarahisar

Adıyaman

Ağrı

Antalya

Aydın

Bilecik

Amasya

Aksaray

Ardahan

Bursa

Bolu

Burdur

Artvin

Bayburt

Batman

Eskişehir

Çanakkale

(Bozcaada & Gökçeada excluded)

Gaziantep

Bartın

Çankırı

Bingöl

Istanbul

Denizli

Karabük

Çorum

Erzurum

Bitlis

Izmir

Edirne

Karaman

Düzce

Giresun

Diyarbakır

Kocaeli

Isparta

Manisa

Elazığ

Gümüşhane

Hakkari

Muğla

Kayseri

Mersin

Erzincan

Kahramanmaraş

Iğdır

 

Kırklareli

Samsun

Hatay

Kilis

Kars

 

Konya

Trabzon

Kastamonu

Niğde

Mardin

 

Sakarya

Uşak

Kırıkkale

Ordu

Muş

 

Tekirdağ

Zonguldak

Kırşehir

Osmaniye

Siirt

 

Yalova

 

Kütahya

Sinop

Şanlıurfa

 

 

 

Malatya

Tokat

Şırnak

 

 

 

Nevşehir

Tunceli

Van

 

 

 

Rize

Yozgat

Bozcaada & Gökçeada

 

 

 

Sivas

 

 

  

1- General Investment Incentives Scheme

 

Regardless of the region where investment takes place, all projects meeting both the specific capacity conditions and the minimum fixed investment amount are supported within the framework of the General Investment Incentives Scheme. Some types of investments are excluded from the investment incentives system and would not benefit from this scheme.

 

The minimum fixed investment amount is TRY 1 million in Region 1 and 2, and TRY 500,000 in Region 3, 4, 5 and 6.

 

Major investment incentive instruments are:

 

1) Exemption from customs duties:

Customs tax exemption for imported machinery and equipment for projects with an investment incentive certificate.

 

2) VAT exemption:

VAT exemption for imported or domestically purchased machinery and equipment for projects with an investment incentive certificate. 

 

2- Regional Investment Incentives Scheme

 

The sectors to be supported in each region are determined in accordance with regional potential and the scale of the local economy, while the intensity of support varies depending on the level of development in the region.

 

The minimum fixed investment amount is defined separately for each sector and region with the lowest amount being TRY 1 million for Region 1 and 2, and TRY 500,000 for the remaining regions.

 

The terms and rates of support provided within the Regional Investment Incentives Scheme are shown in the following table.

 

Regional Investment Incentives Scheme Instruments

Incentive Instruments

Region

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

VAT Exemption

YES

Customs Duty Exemption

YES

Tax Reduction

Tax Reduction Rate (%)

30

40

50

60

70

90

Reduced Tax Rate (%)

14

12

10

8

6

2

Rate of Contribution to Investment (%)

Out of OIZ*

10

15

20

25

30

35

Within OIZ*

15

20

25

30

35

40

Social Security

Premium Support (Employer’s Share)

Support Period

Out of OIZ*

-

-

3

years

5 years

6 years

7 years

Within OIZ*

-

3 years

5 years

6 years

7 years

9 years

Upper Limit for Support (%)

Out of OIZ*

10

15

20

25

35

No limit

Within OIZ*

15

20

25

35

No limit

No limit

Land Allocation

YES

Interest Rate Support

TRY Denominated Loans (points)

N/A

N/A

3 points

4 points

5 points

7 points

FX Loans (points)

1 point

1 point

2 points

2 points

Social Security

Premium Support (Employee’s Share)

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

10 years

Income Tax Withholding Allowance

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

10 years

 

*OIZ: Organized Industrial Zones 

 

Contribution Rate to Investment Applicable During Investment / Operating Periods

Under Regional Investment Incentives Scheme

Regions

Investment Period

Operating Period

I

50 %

50 %

II

55 %

45 %

III

60 %

40 %

IV

65 %

35 %

V

70 %

30 %

VI

80 %

20 %

 

The new investment incentives system defines certain investment areas as “priority” and offers them the regional support extended to Region 5 by the Regional Investment Incentives Scheme, regardless of the region of the investment. If the fixed investment amount in priority investments is TRY 1 billion or more, tax reduction will be applied by adding 10 points on top of the “rate of contribution to investment” available in Region 5. If priority investments are made in Region 6, the regional incentives available for this particular region shall apply.

 

Fields of investment with specific priorities to be supported with Region 5 instruments regardless of the investment’s region are:

 

  • Tourism accommodation investments in Cultural and Tourism Preservation and Development Regions and investments that could benefit from regional incentives with regard to thermal tourism
  • Mine extraction and/or processing investments
  • Mining exploration investments to be made in the licensed areas by investors with a valid Exploration License or Certificate issued pursuant to the Mining Law
  • Railroad and maritime freight or passenger transportation investments
  • Investments in the defense industry to be made with respect to the project approval received from the Undersecretariat for Defense Industry.
  • Test centers, wind tunnels, and similar investments made for the automotive, aerospace or defense industries
  • Investments made by the private sector for kindergartens and day-care centers, as well as preschools, primary, elementary, and high schools
  • International trade fair investments with a minimum indoor area of 50,000 square meters (excluding accommodation and shopping center units)
  • Investments for the manufacturing of products or parts developed by an R&D project that is supported by the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology, TUBITAK or KOSGEB
  • Investments in the motor vehicles main industry worth a minimum amount of TRY 300 million, engine investments worth a minimum amount of TRY 75 million, and investments for motor engine parts, transmission components/parts and automotive electronics worth a minimum amount of TRY 20 million
  • Investments for power generation where metals stated in the 4-b group of Article 2 of the current Mining Law No. 3213 within the scope of a valid mining license and permit issued by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources are used as inputs
  • Energy efficiency investments that would reduce energy consumption in unit production by a minimum of 20 percent for at least 5 years in existing manufacturing facilities with an annual consumption of least 500 tons of oil equivalent (toe) energy
  • Investments for electricity generation through waste heat recovery in a facility (excluding natural gas-fired electricity generation plants)
  • Liquefied natural gas (LNG) investments and underground gas storage investments with a minimum amount of TRY 50 million
  • Investments for the production of carbon fiber or composite materials made from carbon fiber provided that it takes place along with carbon fiber production
  • Investments for the production of items in high-tech industry segment stipulated in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) definition for technology intensity 
  • Priority investments with a minimum fixed investment amount of more than TRY 3 billion are considered to be strategic investments. Yet, the amount of interest support for these investments cannot exceed TRY 700,000
  • Investments for the production of turbines and generators used in renewable energy generation, as well as investments for the production of blades used in wind energy generation

 

3- Large-Scale Investment Incentives Scheme

 

12 investment subjects, which will potentially foster Turkey’s technology, R&D capacity and competitiveness, are supported by Large-Scale Investment Incentives Scheme instruments. 

 

Large-Scale Investments

 

Investment Subject

Minimum Fixed Investment Amount

(million TRY)

1

Production of refined petroleum products

1,000

2

Production of chemical products

200

3

Harbors and harbor services

200

4

a)      Automotive main industry

b)      Automotive supply industry

 

200

50

5

Production of railway and tram locomotives and/or tram cars

50

6

Transit pipeline transportation services

7

Electronics industry

8

Production of medical, high-precision and optical equipment

9

Production of pharmaceuticals

10

Production of aircraft and spacecraft and/or related parts

11

Production of machinery (including electrical machinery and equipment)

12

Mining (including metal production)

 

The terms and rates of support provided within the Large-Scale Investment Incentives Scheme are shown in the following table.

 

Large-Scale Investment Incentives Scheme Instruments

Incentive Instruments

Region

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

VAT Exemption

YES

Customs Duty Exemption

YES

Tax Reduction

Tax Reduction Rate (%)

30

40

50

60

70

90

Reduced Tax Rate (%)

14

12

10

8

6

2

Rate of Contribution to Investment (%)

Out of OIZ*

20

25

30

35

40

45

Within OIZ*

25

30

35

40

45

50

Social Security

Premium Support (Employer’s Share)

Support Period

Out of OIZ*

-

-

3 years

5 years

6 years

7 years

Within OIZ*

-

3 years

5 years

6 years

7 years

9 years

Upper Limit for Support (%)

Out of OIZ*

3

5

8

10

11

No limit

Within OIZ*

5

8

10

11

No limit

No limit

Land Allocation

YES

Social Security

Premium Support (Employee’s Share)

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

10 years

Income Tax Withholding Allowance

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

10 years

 

 *OIZ: Organized Industrial Zones

 

Contribution Rate to Investment Applicable During Investment / Operating Periods

Under Large-Scale Investment Incentives Scheme

Regions

Investment Period

Operating Period

I

50 %

50 %

II

55 %

45 %

III

60 %

40 %

IV

65 %

35 %

V

70 %

30 %

VI

80 %

20 %

 

The following categories of investment within the Regional and Large-Scale Investment Incentives Schemes can benefit from support granted to a one-grade lower region in terms of tax reduction and social security premium support (employer’s share).

 

  • Investments in Organized Industrial Zones (OIZ)
  • Joint investments to be made by at least five companies operating in the same sector with the purpose of greater integration

 

E.g.: A Region 3-level investment in an OIZ can take advantage of the tax reduction level in Region 4. Similarly, a Region 6-level investment may benefit from an additional 5% contribution to the investment.

 

4- Strategic Investment Incentives Scheme 

 

Investments meeting the criteria below are supported within the framework of the Strategic Investment Incentives Scheme:

 

  • The domestic production capacity for the product to be manufactured with the investment shall be less than the import of the product.
  • The investment shall have a minimum investment amount of TRY 50 million.
  • The investment shall create a minimum added-value of 40% (this condition is not applicable to refinery and petrochemicals investments).
  • The total import value of the product to be manufactured with the investment shall be minimum of USD 50 million as of the past one year (excluding products that are not locally produced).

 

The terms and rates of support provided within the Strategic Investment Incentives Scheme are shown in the following table. 

 

Strategic Investment Incentives Scheme Instruments

Incentive Instruments

Region

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

VAT Exemption

YES

Customs Duty Exemption

YES

Tax Reduction

Tax Reduction Rate (%)

90

Reduced Tax Rate (%)

2

Rate of Contribution to Investment (%)

50

Social Security

Premium Support (Employer’s Share)

Support Period

7 years

(10 years for Region 6)

Upper Limit for Support (%)

15 (No limit for Region 6)

Land Allocation

YES

Interest Rate Support

TRY Denominated Loans (points)

5

5

FX Loans (points)

2

2

Maximum Support Amount (*)

TRY 50 million

TRY 50 million

Social Security

Premium Support (Employee’s Share)

10 years (for investments in Region 6)

Income Tax Withholding Allowance

10 years (for investments in Region 6)

VAT Refund

YES (for construction expenditures of the strategic investments over TRY 500 million)

 

*Provided that it will not exceed 5 percent of the investment amount

 

Contribution Rate to Investment Applicable During Investment / Operating Periods

Under Strategic Investment Incentives Scheme

Regions

Investment Period

Operating Period

I, II, III, IV, V

70 %

30 %

VI

80 %

20 %

 

Support Instruments

 

VAT Exemption:

VAT is exempt for imported and/or domestically delivered machinery and equipment within the scope of the investment incentive certificate.

 

Customs Duty Exemption:

Customs duty is exempt for imported machinery and equipment within the scope of the investment incentive certificate.

 

Tax Reduction:

The income or corporate tax is calculated on basis of reduced rates until the total amount of reduced tax reaches the amount of contribution to the investment. The rate of contribution to investment refers to the rate of the total fixed investment amount that is subject to tax reduction.

 

Social Security Premium Support (Employee’s Share):

For additional employment created by the investment, the employee’s share of the social security premium calculated on basis of the legal minimum wage will be covered by the government. The instrument is applicable only to investments made in Region 6 within the scope of the investment incentive certificate. There is no upper limit for Social Security Premium Support and it is applicable for 10 years.

 

Social Security Premium Support (Employer’s Share):

For additional employment created by the investment, the employer’s share of the social security premium calculated on basis of the legal minimum wage will be covered by the government.

 

Income Tax Withholding Allowance:

The income tax with regard to additional employment created by the investment, within the scope of the investment incentive certificate, will not be liable to withholding taxes. The instrument is applicable only to investments made in Region 6 within the scope of the investment incentive certificate. There is no upper limit for income tax withholding allowance and it is applicable for 10 years.

 

Interest Rate Support:

Interest rate support is a financial support instrument provided for investment loans with a term of at least one year obtained within the scope of an investment incentive certificate. A portion of the interest/profit share regarding the loan equivalent, at most 70 percent of the fixed investment amount registered in the investment incentive certificate, will be covered by the government.

 

Land Allocation:

Land may be allocated for investments, with an investment incentive certificate, in accordance with the rules and principles set by the Ministry of Finance, depending on the availability of such land.

 

VAT Refund:

VAT collected on construction expenses, made within the scope of strategic investments with a minimum fixed investment amount of TRY 500 million, will be rebated.

 

R&D support

 

1) R&D Law

 

The R&D Law provides special incentives for R&D investment projects in Turkey provided that a minimum of 30 personnel are employed in an R&D center. The incentives within the new law will remain in effect until 2024 and include:

 

  • 100 percent deduction of R&D expenditure from the tax base if the number of researchers exceeds 500, then in addition to the 100 percent deduction, half of the R&D expenditure increase incurred in the operational year compared to the previous year will also be deducted.
  • Income withholding tax exemption for employees (this item will be effective until December 31, 2023.)
  • 50 percent social security premium exemption for employers
  • Stamp duty exemption for applicable documents
  • Techno-initiative capital for new scientists up to TRY 100,000
  • Deduction from the tax base of certain funds granted by public bodies and international organizations

 

2) Support for Technology Development Zones

 

The advantages in Technology Development Zones are:

 

  • Profits derived from software development and R&D activities are exempt from income and corporate taxes until 31.12.2023.
  • Sales of application software produced exclusively in TDZs are exempt from VAT until 31.12.2023. Examples include software for systems management, data management, business applications, different business sectors, the Internet, mobile phones and military command control.
  • Wages of R&D and support personnel employed in the zone are exempt from all taxes until 31.12.2023. The number of the support personnel covered by the exemption shall not exceed 10 percent of the number of the R&D personnel.
  • Investments for the production of the technological product obtained as a result of the R&D projects conducted in the zone may be made in the TDZ, if deemed suitable by the operator company and allowed by the Ministry.
  • 50 percent of the employer’s share of the social security premium will be paid by the government for 5 years until 31.12.2024.

 

3) TUBITAK (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) and TTGV (Turkish Technology Development Foundation) both compensate or grant R&D related expenses and capital loans for R&D projects.

 

Projects eligible for TUBITAK incentives:

 

  • Concept development
  • Technological research & technical feasibility research
  • Laboratory studies in the translation of a concept into a design
  • Design and sketching studies
  • Prototype production
  • Construction of pilot facilities
  • Test production
  • Patent and license studies
  • Activities concerning the removal of post-sale problems arising from product design

 

Support for SMEs

 

SMEs are defined as companies employing less than 250 employees and earning less than TRY 40 million in revenue or turnover per year.

 

Incentives granted to SMEs include:

 

1. Exemption from customs duties

2. VAT exemption for imported and domestically purchased machinery and equipment

3. Credit allocation from the budget

4. Credit guarantee support

 

In order to meet financial needs of SMEs, a TRY 1 billion fund was transferred to the Credit Guarantee Fund (KGF) by the Treasury to create credit capacity worth TRY 10 billion. The guarantee limit is TRY 1,500,000 per SME and TRY 2,000,000 for the risk group that the SME related to. KGF covers up to 80 percent of the loan.

 

5. KOSGEB support to SMEs (www.kosgeb.gov.tr)

 

The Small and Medium Sized Industry Development Organization (KOSGEB) makes significant contributions to strengthening SMEs by various support instruments in financing, loan interest, R&D, common facilities, market research, investment site, marketing, export, consultancy, promotion, designing, industrial property, licensing and training. 

 

Industrial Thesis (SANTEZ) program

 

Direct financial support for new technology adaptation, process development, quality improvement and environmental modification projects to be achieved via university partnerships:

 

  • Up to 85 percent of the project budget could be supported by direct grants
  • Project term is 2 years, with a possible extension of 6 months
  • Expenditure on staff, travel, consumable materials, machinery equipment, consultancy and relevant service procurements, transportation, insurance and customs are supported
  • The application file could be approved within 4 months, and the project supervision committee is independent

 

Loans for technology development projects

 

The Technology Development Foundation of Turkey (TTGV) offers long term interest-free loans for technology development, renewable energy production, energy efficiency improvement and environmental impact-reduction projects.

 

Exemplary support for environmental projects:

 

  • The maximum contribution rate is 50 percent per project
  • Maximum budget of USD 1 million per project
  • The pay-back term is 4 years in total after project execution, including a one-year grace period

 

Training support

 

ISKUR, the National Recruitment Agency, may support vocational training projects for a maximum period of 6 months.

 

  • Direct salary support for interns, and unemployed candidates that are registered at ISKUR, (partial wage=TRY 25/day) during the pre-employment training session
  • Social security premium expenses (Occupational accidents and occupational diseases) are covered by ISKUR.
  • Program expenses such as the trainer's fee, energy and water bills are partially paid to the employer by ISKUR. The total amount is calculated by the cost per trainee and the employer must bill ISKUR for the services given.
  • ISKUR considers the employer (company) the legal party in this training program.
  • A certain number (percentage) of trainees must be employed after the program.

 

The Ministry of National Education cooperates for:

 

  • Vocational schools with the desired programs could be opened according to the decision of the Ministry.
  • The general cost of a trainee team for the adaptation of every requested program on a present vocational high school could be supported by the Ministry.

 

State aid for exports

 

The main aims of this scheme are to encourage exports and to increase the competitiveness of companies in international markets. This specific package mainly covers R&D activities, market research, participation in exhibitions and international fairs, and expenditure for patents, trademarks and industrial design.