July 22, 2024

Turkey Announces New Relatively Low 0.03% Crypto Transaction Tax

Turkey Announces New Relatively Low 0.03% Crypto Transaction Tax

Turkey Announces New Relatively Low 0.03% Crypto Transaction Tax

Cryptocurrency is quite popular in Turkey, driven by economic instability and high inflation rates. The country’s inflation rate recently surpassed 83%, leading many Turks to seek financial refuge in digital assets. Crypto from its side provides a hedge against the devaluation of the lira and offers perceived financial freedom from traditional economic constraints despite its volatility. Estimates suggest over 8 million people in Turkey are involved in cryptocurrency trading​.

Local exchanges like Paribu and BtcTurk have seen large trading volumes, reflecting the widespread adoption of crypto among Turkish investors. Despite government regulations prohibiting the use of crypto for payments, owning the digital assets is not a problem.

However, the government advising caution against speculative trading and now will introduce a crypto transaction tax.

The New Crypto Transaction Tax in Turkey

As part of a broader fiscal reform to address the budget deficit caused by the 2023 earthquakes, Turkey plans to introduce a 0.03% transaction tax on cryptocurrency trading. The Ministry of Treasury and Finance, led by Mehmet Simsek, expects this tax to generate approximately 3.7 billion liras annually​.

The broader tax reform package is projected to bring in 226 billion liras (around $7 billion), equating to roughly 0.7% of Turkey’s GDP. The legislation will be discussed in parliament by the end of June, and represents a policy shift, previously, the government had denied plans to tax crypto and stock gains but now seeks comprehensive financial regulation to ensure ‘fairness and efficiency’ in taxation. Despite potential political contention, Erdogan’s ruling party is likely to pass the proposed tax​.

How the Tax Will Work: A Real-World Example

Let’s consider an example of a Turkish crypto user, Ahmet, who frequently trades cryptocurrency.

Scenario:

  • User: Ahmet
  • Initial Investment: 100,000 liras in Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Current BTC Price: 500,000 liras per BTC
  • Trade: Ahmet decides to sell 0.2 BTC to lock in some profit.

Calculation:

  1. Sale Value :
    • 0.2 BTC × 500,000 liras/BTC = 100,000 liras
  2. Transaction Tax :
    • Transaction Amount: 100,000 liras
    • Tax Rate: 0.03%
    • Transaction Tax: 100,000 liras × 0.03% = 30 liras
  3. Net Amount Received :
    • Sale Value: 100,000 liras
    • Minus Transaction Tax: 30 liras
    • Net Amount: 99,970 liras

In this example, Ahmet would pay a tax of 30 liras on his transaction of 0.2 BTC. The low transaction tax rate of 0.03% means that even for significant trades, the tax remains relatively small, potentially encouraging continuous trading activities despite the imposition of the tax and that is actually a rather smart move, lots of small amounts create huge amounts and won’t stop traders from trading.

This minimal tax will be favorable for regular traders like Ahmet, as it does not substantially cut into their profits. Given the high inflation and economic instability in Turkey, the low transaction tax rate ensures that crypto remains an attractive investment option for those looking to hedge against the weakening lira.

Comparison with Crypto Taxes in Other Countries

Compared to Turkey’s modest 0.03% transaction tax, other countries impose higher taxes on cryptocurrency transactions:

  1. India: Cryptocurrency profits are taxed at a rate of 30%, with an additional 1% tax on transactions exceeding 50,000 INR annually. Losses cannot be deducted from gains, making the tax burden significant for investors​.
  2. Germany: Crypto gains are tax-free if held for more than one year. For short-term gains, profits are subject to income tax rates up to 45%. The first €600 of profit is exempt from tax. Mining and staking activities are taxed as income.
  3. United States: Cryptocurrency is treated as property, with capital gains taxes ranging from 0% to 37%, depending on the income bracket and the holding period. Short-term gains are taxed at the individual’s income tax rate, while long-term gains enjoy lower rates.
  4. Portugal: Long-term crypto investments (held for more than a year) are tax-free. Short-term gains are taxed at a flat rate of 28%. Earnings from mining, staking, and other activities are treated as ordinary income​.
  5. Brazil: Capital gains tax ranges from 15% to 22.5%, applied only if monthly sales volume exceeds R35,000. Income from mining, staking, and wages received in crypto are taxed at rates ranging from 7.5% to 27.5%​.

Overall, Turkey’s new transaction tax on cryptocurrency trading represents a careful approach to fiscal policy, aiming to harness the economic benefits of the burgeoning crypto market while addressing the country’s pressing financial needs.