Turkey gives services, tradesmen tax relief over virus

Turkey late Thursday announced steep value-added tax (VAT) cuts for services and a withholding tax reduction for tradesmen to help the economy weather the coronavirus pandemic.

"We cut the VAT in accommodation and catering services and cultural activities such as cinema, theater, and museum entrance fees from 8% to 1%," Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak wrote on Twitter.

The VAT in passenger transportation, wedding organizations, residential maintenance and repair, dry cleaning, and tradesmen services such as tailoring was slashed from 18% to 8%, he noted.

The withholding tax on office rents for tradesmen was halved from 20% to 10%, Albayrak added.

The incentives will take the form of tax relief and refunds in both corporate and value-added taxes, customs exemptions, free land for investors, grants to start new businesses, support for social security contributions, discounted energy prices for producers, assistance for employing qualified workers, and capital contributions.

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