Turkey Eyes Taxing Stock Gains as Part of Fiscal Tightening Push

Turkey is considering taxing investments in stocks and cryptoassets. Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek discussed this during a meeting over the weekend. He said that all financial income should be taxed properly.

In 2008, Turkey cut the tax rate on profits from stock-market trading to 0% from 10%. Ministry officials confirmed ongoing work on the issue but said that no final decisions have been made. The Treasury and Finance Ministry’s press office declined to comment.

The Borsa Istanbul 100 index has returned 28% in dollar terms this year, one of the best performers among stock markets globally. The MSCI emerging-market equity gauge has advanced 4.5% in the period.

The plans come as Turks have shown growing interest in the stock market, with the number of equity accounts soaring nearly seven-fold since early 2020 to 8.3 million. The Borsa Istanbul 100 Index rose more than 800% in lira terms and 70% in dollars.

Since Simsek’s appointment a year ago, Turkey’s central bank has raised interest rates to 50% from 8.5% to control inflation and stabilise the economy. Following the monetary policy shift, he promised to support the central bank’s disinflation efforts with fiscal measures. Turkey is trying to attract investors as people start to believe in its economic recovery.
The government has introduced spending cuts to reduce the budget deficit and plans to introduce a minimum tax rate for companies and tax on income from real estate. New tax regulations will be discussed after parliament discusses legislation on cryptoassets this week.