The Effects of Fiscal Amnesty Programs on the Tax System in TürkiyeFerdi Çelikay, Alpaslan Doğankollu
Obligations that are not fulfilled by economic actors can be removed through legal regulations. This is called fiscal amnesty in the literature and involves the removal or softening of the sanctions economic actors will face. This study aims to empirically investigate the impact of fiscal amnesty programs on collected and acquired public revenues. Data for the sample of Türkiye’s 81 provinces used in the study were drawn from the period of 2004-2020. The study uses the developed data set to evaluate the effects of six fiscal amnesties, each of which had a different scope, on the tax system. The results show the fiscal amnesty program to have had positive short-term effects on accrual and collection amounts. However, tax amnesties were especially seen to negatively affect the amounts collected over the long run. Additionally, amnesty programs have both short- and long-term effects on the accrual rate, one of the macroeconomic measures of tax compliance. The results also show the shortterm beneficial effects on the tax system to decline and the long-term adverse consequences to rise with repeated tax amnesties. One can describe the benefits and drawbacks of financial amnesties at both the micro and macro dimensions due to the study’s methodology and findings, and in this regard, the study offers an empirical basis for both short-term and long-term policy recommendations.
Türkiye’de Mali Af Programlarının Vergi Sistemi Üzerindeki EtkileriFerdi Çelikay, Alpaslan Doğankollu
Ekonomik aktörlerce yerine getirilmeyen yükümlülüklerin bir kısmı ya da tamamı hukuki düzenlemeler aracılığıyla kaldırılabilir. Literatürde mali af olarak anılan bu düzenlemeler, ekonomik aktörlerin karşılaşılacağı yaptırımların kaldırılmasını veya hafifletilmesini ifade etmektedir. Bu çalışmanın amacı, mali af programlarının belirli bir dönemde tahakkuk eden ve tahsil edilen kamu gelirleri üzerinde oluşturduğu etkileri ampirik olarak belirlemektir. Araştırma sürecinde Türkiye’deki 81 il örnekleminde 2004 ile 2020 yılları arasındaki dönem esas alınmıştır. Oluşturulan veri seti aracılığıyla farklı kapsamlarla uygulamaya konulan altı mali affın vergi sistemi üzerindeki etkileri sınanmıştır. Elde edilen bulgulara göre belirli bir dönemdeki mali af programı tahsil ve tahakkuk tutarlarını kısa dönemde pozitif etkilemektedir. Uzun dönemde ise vergi aflarının özellikle tahsil tutarları üzerinde negatif yönlü etkisi vardır. Bunun yanında af programları, vergi uyumunun makro ekonomik ölçekteki göstergelerinden biri olan tahsil-tahakkuk oranını da hem kısa hem de uzun dönemde etkilemektedir. Yine bulgulara göre, tekrar eden vergi afları ile vergi sistemi üzerindeki kısa dönemli genişletici etkiler azalmakta, buna karşılık uzun dönemli negatif etkiler ise artmaktadır. Çalışmada kullanılan yöntem ve elde edilen sonuçlar, mali afların mikro ve makro ölçekteki olumlu ve olumsuz etkilerinin betimlenebilmesine olanak vermektedir. Bu yönüyle çalışma, kısa ve uzun vadede izlenecek politikalar için görgül bir öneri zemini sunmaktadır.
Fiscal restructuring, or tax amnesties in a narrower framework, aim to completely or partially eliminate the actions or inactions of economic actors by overturning fiscal legislation through legal regulations. These regulations can contribute to the functioning of the economic system, as well as play important roles in increasing efficiency regarding taxation. The main reason for this is that economic actors or activities that have been unregistered for various reasons can be reintegrated into the financial system through amnesties. Ultimately, this situation is considered a last chance for taxpayers to remove the sanctions the administration has determined. Fiscal amnesties can also be used to make up for a loss of welfare in extreme situations like natural disasters, epidemics, or economic crises. This makes things easier for economic actors and even cuts down on the growing amount of work the government has to do. Fiscal amnesties also have serious negative effects, especially on the tax system. Preliminary studies in the literature have revealed repeated tax amnesties to reduce economic actors’ tax compliance (Stella, 1991; Luitel ve Sobel, 2007; Luitel, 2007; Le Borgne, 2006; Alm, MartinezVazquez ve Wallace, 2009; Luitel ve Tosun, 2014; Akbelen ve Aydın, 2019). The long-term reflections of practices such as amnesty or restructuring on the financial system include different alternative possibilities. Expectations are that the tax system will have a positive effect in the long run if unregistered resources become registered through restructuring (Parle ve Hirlinger, 1986; Leonard ve Zeckhauser, 1987; Alm ve Beck, 1990; Torgler ve Schaltegger, 2005). Otherwise, fiscal amnesties will turn into a practice that harms economic actors’ perceptions of justice and reduces tax compliance and will negatively impact the financial structure in the long run (Malik ve Schwab, 1991; Luitel ve Sobel, 2007; Luitel, 2007; Kaya, 2014; Akbelen ve Aydın, 2019). In addition, the short- and long-term effects of fiscal amnesties on the tax system in terms of frequency of issuance are another topic that has been emphasized in the literature. Six fiscal amnesties with different scopes have been implemented in Türkiye over the last decade. The agenda also involves applying for a similar application in 2023. The current research is shaped within the framework of the main problem of what kind of short- and long-term effects the recent financial restructurings in Türkiye have had on the tax system. The study’s goal in this context is to determine the short- and long-term effects of tax amnesties on the public revenues that have been accrued and collected over a specific time period. During the research, a panel data set was first created based on the period of 2004-2020 regarding the sample of Türkiye’s 81 provinces. Afterwards, the study tested the reflections of six financial amnesties that had been made within different scopes on the tax system. According to the findings, the fiscal amnesty programs affected collection and accrual amounts positively in the short term. However, they were especially seen to negatively affect collection amounts in the long run. In addition, another important finding of the analysis is that the short-term positive effects decreased and the longterm negative effects increased with the repetition of tax amnesties. Fiscal restructurings and tax amnesties also have both statistically significant short- and long-term effects on the accrual rate, which is an indicator of tax compliance on a macroeconomic scale.