34. International Public Finance Conference
The Structure of Tax Culture and Taxpayers’ Perceptions in TurkeyEmine Yöney, Emine Figen Altuğ
This study investigates the tax culture in Turkey. The tax culture, which is an interdisciplinary and abstract concept, represents the transmission of the codes related to tax and way of thinking in a society through values, from generation to generation. This concept becomes tangible through tax behavior. In this respect, the aim of this study is to introduce the taxpayers’ perception by dwelling on tax culture in Turkey within the framework of social values and tax behavior. Within this context, qualitative research method is used in order to identify the direction (positive or negative) of tax culture in Turkey and to research the interactions between tax culture and tax behavior. Within this method, data collection technique is practiced with triangulation process. The qualitative data is visualized with content analysis; afterwards, the network analysis is conducted. The most substantial finding acquired from the result of these analyses is the problems created in the tax payment and taxing culture due to abrasion in the value of fairness. Taxpayers, who profess that the tax culture is based on unfairness, express their negative opinions by stating that “there is no tax culture”, “the level of tax culture is inadequate” and “tax culture is negative” in Turkey. From this point of view, it is found out that tax culture in Turkey is a negative tax culture. On the other hand, it is observed that the value of trust to the state, also in relation to fairness, is considerably influential on tax culture and tax behavior. Taxpayers, who think that taxing culture is based on the values of not questioning the state, patriotism, and submissiveness, do not build a relationship between these values and tax paying culture and tax behavior. The other significant finding of this study is that the value of religiousness has only a connection with the behavior of voluntary tax compliance. On the contrary, the essential factors effective in the transmission of the tax culture to the next generations are tax paying culture, troubles in transforming the values into behavior, hope and expectations for the future, the value of fairness, and the academicians who are one of the actors in the tax culture.