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VAT scrapped on Turkish expat house buys

House purchases in Turkey have become VAT-free for Turkish expatriates

Citizens living outside of Turkey can now benefit from same tax exemptions provided to foreigners

Turkish citizens based permanently abroad will be able to buy property in Turkey without paying VAT under new measures that came into force earlier this month.

Citizens from other countries had long been able to buy homes and businesses without paying the tax rate, but the exemption has now been extended to Turkish citizens living outside the country from 5 May.

Turkey’s finance minister Naci Ağbal said businesses whose centre of operations is based outside of the country would also be able to benefit from the exemption.

The measure has become law after being published in the country’s Official Gazette.

Mr Ağbal said the VAT exemption was dependent on buyers moving funds equal to at least half of the property’s value into Turkey before the property is purchase.

The funds can be brought by bank transfer or declared to customs officials at a border crossing, he said, adding the remaining purchase funds must then be transferred to Turkey within one year of purchase.

If the VAT exemption is used during a purchase but the same property is sold within one year, the VAT on the original purchase becomes payable.

Construction firms will be required to seek documents that establish a buyer’s tax status.

Mr Ağbal said the new measure will help bring foreign currency into the country and have a positive effect on Turkey’s construction sector.