General Communiqué On Electronic Books

December 2013 Ecem Süsoy Uygun
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Introduction

In order to keep up with the technological and economic developments, responsibility of the taxpayers for keeping commercial books has been changed significantly. Then the facility of keeping commercial books in the electronic environment has been provided. Therefore, the need to formulate regulations in this area have arisen.

The General Communiqué on Electronic Books (Serial No:1), which sets forth the principles and procedures for keeping electronic books was published in the Official Gazette dated 13.12.2011 and numbered 28141. The communiqué was amended by the General Communiqué on Electronic Books (Serial No: 2) on the Amendment to the General Communiqué on Electronic Books (Serial No:1) (“General Communiqué on Electronic Books (Serial No: 2)”) which was published in the Official Gazette dated 24.12.2013 and numbered 28861.

Under this newsletter article, the electronic books in practice and amendments related to the General Communiqué on Electronic Books (Serial No: 2) are examined.

Application for the Implementation of Electronic Books

As per the relevant articles of the Tax Procedure Code No. 213 and Turkish Commercial Code No. 6102, electronic books include electronic records carrying necessary information in the commercial books which must be kept obligatorily.

The real and legal person taxpayers who request to make use of electronic books should fulfill some conditions. These conditions were amended by the General Communiqué on Electronic Books (Serial No: 2).

Pursuant to such conditions, the real person taxpayers should obtain a qualified electronic certificate produced within the framework of the Electronic Signature Law or a financial seal within the framework of the General Communiqué on the Tax Procedural Code Serial No. 397. Legal person taxpayers should obtain the above mentioned financial seal.

Before the above stated amendment, only legal person taxpayers could obtain the financial seal, but after the amendment real person taxpayers can also obtain the financial seal and approve the electronic books with it.

Also, the software used in keeping, recording and submission of electronic books should obtain compliance approval.

When applying to implement the use of electronic books, the taxpayers who meet the above stated conditions should apply in accordance with the application guide published on the official website of the electronic books portal[1].

Making Electronic Books

In order to make electronic books, the forms and standards published on the official website of the electronic books portal[2] should be followed. Electronic books can be made and kept monthly in compliance with such forms and standards.

In line with the amendment brought with Article 3 of the General Communiqué on Electronic Books (Serial No: 2), electronic books should be signed with a secured electronic signature or approved with financial seal by the real persons and approved with financial seal by the legal persons up to the last day of the third month following the related month. Before the amendment, electronic books were signed with a secured electronic signature or approved with financial seal up to the last day of the month following the related month.

After the above mentioned steps followed by real and legal persons, electronic files certified by the Revenue Adminstration must be received for the electronic books and these electronic files must be preserved until they are submitted.

Preservation and Submission of Electronic Books

As per Article 4 of the General Communiqué on Electronic Books (Serial No: 1), electronic books must be preserved to be submitted with the electronic files when it is required.

In order to prevent the occurance of some hazards such as breakdown, damage and deletion in records, the taxpayers keeping electronic books are required to take certain precautions. In case of a hazardous or extraordinary situation, the Revenue Administration must be informed within fifteen days as per the General Communiqué on Electronic Books (Serial No: 1).

Conclusion

The rules and regulations for keeping electronic books have been made clearer and less burdensome through the General Communiqué on Electronic Books (Serial No: 2) for real and legal person taxpayers.

[1] Please see. www.edefter.gov.tr (Date of access: 30.12.2013)

[2] Please see. fn. 1

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