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Positive Development in Aid to Earthquake - Affected Employees

Positive Development in Aid to Earthquake - Affected Employees

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The Law on the Restructuring of Certain Receivables and Amendments to Certain Laws has entered into force by being published in the Official Gazette dated March 12, 2023.

With some exceptions, cash aids made by the employer to the employee are taken into account in determining the earnings based on the premium and are subject to income tax, while in-kind aids are not taken into account in the earnings based on the premium. However, with the Law on the Restructuring of Certain Receivables and Amendments to Certain Laws, which entered into force by being published in the Official Gazette dated March 12, 2023, in-kind aids made by employers to employees affected by the earthquake, themselves, their spouses, children or parents, in addition to payments such as current wages, premiums, bonuses between 6/2/2023 and 31/7/2023 (including these dates), and cash aids whose total amount does not exceed 50,000 Turkish liras will not be included in the premium-based earnings and income tax and stamp tax will not be collected on these aids.

1- Cash benefits:

  • These are benefits in the form of cash paid as a certain amount of money to the employee.
  • As a rule, cash benefits are taken into account in determining the earnings based on the premium and are subject to income tax. Gold or other precious metals are considered as cash benefits since they can be easily converted into cash and should be payrolled as cash benefits.
  • With the amendment made to the Income Tax Law, payments up to TL 1,000 to be paid for natural gas and other heating expenses from 09.11.2022 until 30.06.2023 (including this date) will not be included in income tax and SSI premium based earnings.

Cash benefits to be paid to employees affected by the earthquake: Pursuant to the Law on Restructuring of Certain Receivables and Amendments to Certain Laws, which entered into force after being published in the Official Gazette dated March 12, 2023; cash aids not exceeding 50,000 Turkish Liras in total between 6/2/2023 and 31/7/2023 (including these dates) will not be included in the premium based earnings and income tax and stamp tax will not be collected on these aids.

With this regulation, not only the cash aids made after March 12, 2023, but also all aids made retrospectively from the date of the earthquake until 31.07.2023 are included within the scope of the exemption. However, it should be noted that this exemption will only apply to cash aid not exceeding 50.000TL. The part of the cash aid exceeding 50.000TL is outside the scope of the exemption.

2- In-kind aids:

  • These are aids provided in the form of providing a product or service, not in the form of direct payment of a sum of money. Aids such as food, clothing, school equipment are within this scope.
  • In-kind aids that can be measured in money are subject to income tax.
  • Benefits in kind provided by employers to employees are not included in the earnings based on premium. However, if in-kind aids are paid in cash to the employee under the names such as clothing aid, education aid, etc., they must be subject to premium.
  • In-kind aids to employees affected by the earthquake: Pursuant to the Law on Restructuring of Certain Receivables and Amendments to Certain Laws, which entered into force after being published in the Official Gazette dated March 12, 2023; the in-kind aids made by employers to the employees affected by the earthquake in addition to their existing payments such as wages, premiums, bonuses between 6/2/2023 and 31/7/2023 (including these dates) will not be included in the premium-based earnings and income tax and stamp tax will not be collected on these aids.

In addition, the aids provided between 6/2/2023 and 31/7/2023 (including these dates) by employers to the spouses, children, mothers and fathers of the employees who died in earthquakes or due to injuries in these earthquakes at later dates will not be subjected to inheritance and transfer tax.

By Çiğdem Soysal, Senior Associate, KP Law