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LeahJadeFlowerdew

Freelance for foreign companies whilest in Turkey

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Hi There, Im trying to get some confirmed information as it appears to be a very grey area and no one have been able to advise as to whether it is legal or illegal...I work for a UK Garden company based in Cornwall my job is via the internet (freelance) doing the administration and accounts. All the customers, services and revenue is in the UK and I pay national insurance and tax in UKI am looking to settle in Turkey and because my job is internet based I can work from anywhere, the question I have is with all the above in mind would i need to get a work permit to continue this same job when i come to Turkey??? if so how would we be able to do that as it is a UK company??Many Thanks in advance....

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If the information you're getting from others is murky, it's probably because the law is murky! .)

Unless the laws have changed recently, they don't address this kind of work. There is an "independent" work permit, but that's for entrepreneurs who intend to set up a Turkish company at some point. So in the absence of a law prohibiting it, I would opine that it would be legal for you to work in that capacity.

In your case, since you don't have a company in Turkey supporting you, you have no reason to set up a Turkish company, and because you don't cut invoices or receive money from Turkey, I don't think you could even get a work permit.  I've asked three different lawyers to define "working in Turkey," and they all said it had to do with where you are paid. If you are cutting invoices and receiving money for products or services in Turkey, then you are working in Turkey. If you aren't, then you aren't working in Turkey.

Be careful of people (lawyers) who say they can apply for a work permit for you.  They may take your money and do the paperwork for you, knowing in advance that it probably won't be approved, even though they tell you that the chances of approval are good.

Work permit laws are typically enforced against real lawbreakers, that is, people working for property agents or other companies, where the enforcement officers walk in and find them sitting behind a desk and clearly working and being paid by the Turkish company. They aren't going to enter a private residence and investigate what you are doing in your own home.

That said, when you get a residence permit, the police will stop by to make sure you are living where you say you are, and they will ask questions. One of the questions will probably be about whether or not you are working.

It is up to you what you say in reply of course. The last time the police visited my residence, I told them that I run a website and receive money from advertising on the website. They were fine with that and didn't even bother to write it down. Of course that's no guarantee what the reaction will be if you explain your situation, but from the information I have received, your situation does not constitute "working in Turkey" as addressed by the law.

As a disclaimer, I am not a lawyer, I'm just a guy more or less in the same situation, so please consider what I've said with that in mind.

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shouldn't cause an issue. there are lots of freelancers in istanbul and around turkey, and the advantages seem to outweigh the disadvantages. pardon the shameless plug, Ken, but just the other day i created a facebook group specifically for freelancers (search fb for "United Freelancers in Istanbul" and i'll be happy to add you to the group), because other than this fantastic website (TurkeyCentral) there's not a lot of support for us out there. we've only got each other!

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that's exactly why i created it. searched around and couldn't find anything, so decided to do it myself. it's very small at the moment, less than 3 days old and 17 members as i write this, but i'm hoping word will spread rather quickly. i know there are a lot of us out there...

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We also created the "Freelancing and Working Online in Turkey" forum for that reason. If you didn't notice it, this topic was moved from another forum and you're actually in it now. So now there are two places people who want to freelance in Turkey can find info. Because the laws don't really address this situation, the only information we're going to have is from people's personal experiences.

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Hi. There is a thing I don't understand about freelance in Turkey, namely receiving money from customers.

 

I want to receive a wire transfer (SWIFT) from a company in the US to my personal account in a Turkish bank, but I know nothing about Turkish tax laws, and that bothers me. What is the best way to arrange it from tax/legal perspective? Starting from what amount should I start worrying about the taxes etc? Please share your experience

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Hi Ken,

thanks for the above information, I have been looking for something like this for weeks now!

I have a similar situation coming up in 2017. My partner is being sent to Turkey for work till November 2017 and I would like to join him from January 2017. The company I'm working is willing to let me work remotely. Either as an employee on home office or as a freelancer. I have a Czech permanent residence, work for Czech company and my business point of interest will be outside Turkey (I work as an Analyst and I often work remotely - even in the Czech republic).

So with that logic and knowing that this is a grey area also in Turkish legislation, I want to apply for a tourist short-term residency permit, work remotely from our Turkish home with regular travels to Prague and pay taxes in the Czech republic.

Have you heard any news on this topic lately? I noticed they passed a new law on international labor http://turkishlaborlaw.com/international-workforce-law but I didnt find anything about remote work, telecommuting etc...

Many Thanks!

Hana

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Hi everyone. Actually the law in Turkey is not really that murky. It all depends on a number of factors.

For example. If you are a part time resident in Turkey then you should continue to pay tax in your home country if you are only working remotely and not spending most of your time in Turkey. The situation only really changes when Turkey becomes your default country of residence and more importantly the country where you are domiciled.

I left the UK in March 2016. I have not been back. I was working for my old company in the UK on a part time basis and paying tax in the UK. After a year the UK Inland Revenue informed me that I should not be paying tax in the UK since Turkey was now my home and my main place of residence or domicile. They told me that the UK ( and many other countries too ) has a dual taxation agreement with Turkey and that I should apply for the necessary certificate which in Turkish is a Mukimlik Belgesi and in English a Certificate of Fiscal Residence. 

I applied. Within a couple of months I received my certificate in English and Turkish. I am a UK citizen, working legally and paying my world wide taxes in Turkey. I passed this information on to DOC MARTINS SURGERY FOR EXPATS IN TURKEY on facebook and with its own website. I enclosed copies of the actual certificates there and how you apply.

The important thing here is that your job is as a result of your skills and contacts overseas and that you are not taking a job from a Turkish person who might benefit from it if it were available in the local job market. 

Hope this helps someone somewhere.

 

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Hello everyone, I am new in this forum and it looks really good!

I also work remotely from home, more than a year already ,for a foreign company. However as as012a2565 says for more than a year I can not continue paying taxes in the country you came from, so I will have to pay taxes in Turkey from now and on. My employer does not want to apply for any work permit (since what I am doing is not related to any business here in Turkey), neither to arrange my taxation in Turkey. Its all up to me.

I then asked advise from some companies specialized in taxation for expats and besides that they are asking me some thousands to arrange my taxation in Turkey, they also told that it looks that I may be tax exempted too.  

So i d like to ask, for you guys that work remotely for a foreign company abroad, how do you deal with the taxation here in Turkey? Are you also tax exempted? How did you arrange your tax declaration? Did you also address it to a big tax consultancy company, specialized in such complicated matters or just to a local tax office?

Really looking forward to hearing from you guys. That would be really helpful for me!

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Hi Ken, reading your message above, just a question, if I may ask, why the police visited your residence? It sounds strange, even scary for me, that all of a sudden the police can be in front of my door. 

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That was several years ago, when I applied for a residence permit. I think that post was made back when residence permit applications were handled by the police--there was no Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM) like now. They did the visit to make sure I lived where I said I lived. They also asked me if anybody else was living with me, and if I was working. They never came inside even though I invited them to come in. Since I have been extending my residence permit with the now-existing DGMM, the police have not visited.

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