One of the main things you will need when applying for a residence permit (if you are a renter) is a notarized copy of your rental contract. If your contract is less than one year old, you will have no problems in getting a notarized copy. But if it is more than one year old, the noter (notary) may require that you first go to your local vergi dairesi, (tax office), and pay the damga vergisi, (stamp tax) on the deposit you gave to your landlord.
This tax has to be paid by the renter, and not the landlord.
This may seem rather ridiculous, since income tax has already been paid on the money, and the money has not been spent or earned. In fact, the people at the local tax office may not have heard of it. Still, your local notary may insist this tax be paid before he or she will give you a notarized copy of your rental contract.
- Go to another notary and hope he or she doesn't demand you first bring a receipt for this tax.
- Ask your landlord to draw up a new contract. Since this one will be new, and not one or more years old, the notary will notarize it without payment of the tax.
How to Pay the Tax if Nothing Else Works
Get the notary's business card with his or her telephone number. You may need it to call them from the tax office so they can explain what tax you are trying to pay. Then:
- Take a Turkish friend to translate for you, since people who work in government offices seldom speak enough English to understand anything this complex.
- Go to the tax office responsible for your mahalle (neighborhood).
- Point to the amount of the deposit on your contract, and say "depozito damga vergi."
- Make sure you tell them that you are the kiracı ([kee-rah-juh], or renter), because if they think you are the landlord, they may assume that you are there to pay tax on your rent income.
- You will probably be sent to someone else. And then to someone else. If it appears that nobody knows what's going on, get out your local notary's business card and call him or her, hand your mobile phone to the tax official, and let them sort it out. After that, the tax official should know what tax you're trying to pay and why.
You'll need to briefly fill out a form (or they will do it for you), then take that form to the vezne (cashier), and pay the tax. Then take the tax payment receipt back to your noter, and he or she will notarize your rental contract.
How Much is the Stamp Tax?
The tax is just .01% of the deposit amount per year, for each year after the first year of the rental contract. So for example, if the deposit is 650 TL, you have to pay 6.16 TL for the stamp tax.
Proving You Have a Residence: An article about what is required to show that you have a residential address in Turkey.
Residence Permits Forum: If you have any questions or comments about the residence permit process, please ask them there.
Turkey Residence Permit Law (PDF): The Law on Foreigners and International Protection, Dated April, 2014. In English, this is the Turkish law which governs residence permits.