The first fiscal organization in Ottoman Empire was established in the time of Murat the first.(1359-1389) In times of Mehmet II (Conqueror) and Süleyman I (Magnificent) as a result of the rise in revenues and expenditures of the empire this organization had been developed. However, first tax practice in Ottoman lands had been started by Osman Gazi; the founder of the Ottoman Empire; with the decree “ Whoever makes profit trading in bazaar gives two silver coins (Money) , whoever has no sale does not give anything and whoever violates this rule , the God will violate his religion and his world. ”
Until 1838 there was no ministry of finance precisely in Ottoman Empire. Till to that time, the head of the organization dealing with the financial matters was barely a civil servant named as “district treasurer”(defterdar).
With a decree published in 1838, the Ministry of Finance was officially established in the state organization. This ministry’s structure was formed of “Departments”(Daire) under the leaderships of “Chiefs”(Reis). In one sense today’s Revenue Administration’s duties were carried out by this department. In 1881 The Ministry of Finance was divided into two administrations as “Committee of Center” and “Committee of Province”.
In constitutional monarchy era, in 1908, some changes were made in the mission and organization of the Ministry of Finance. That era’s Finance Consultant Monsieur Loran has embedded the ministry on eight directorates including general directorate of revenue administration. In the First Turkish National Grand Assembly the first law accepted was a tax law. In 1923 the Ministry of Finance was established, although “The Code on the Ministry of Finance and Its Duties” was accepted in 1936.
The General Directorate of Revenues was established with the Law in 1946. From 1946 to 1994 many changes were made in the duties of the General Directorate of Revenues.
According to the Decree published in 1994 the duties of the General Directorate of Revenues are as follows:
1. Prepare and implement the state revenue policy,
2. prepare the laws and by-laws related to the state revenues and prepare the amendments to these regulations,
3. prepare the state revenue budget and its justification,
4. ensure that the tax system of the local administrations are in compliance with the tax system of the state and take necessary measures to correct inconsistencies,
5. review all proposals of laws and drafts of laws effecting revenue, notify its decisions on these regulations, ensure that they are in compliance with the state revenues policy and taxation techniques,
6. carry out international tax relations and make bilateral and multilateral tax agreements,
7. ensure the implementation of laws regarding state revenues,
8. take necessary measures in order to collect governmental claims in time and in accordance with the law,
9. make tax audits,
10. improve the services for the implementation of taxation techniques and carry out other tasks related with taxes,
11. respond to questions in order to clarify implementation of tax laws and resolve disputes,
12. in accordance with the laws, carry out the processes, for the deletion of tax dues and other governmental claims, of which due time is over,
13. collect, evaluate and issue accounts and statistics concerning tax assessments and collections,
14. cooperate with the international organizations on tax issues and participate in meetings and report its views,
15. carry out tax secret ( third party) information services,
16. design and implement data processing services which are necessary to carry out its duties and provide necessary organization for this purpose,
17. investigate and audit the processes related to its duties and organization, through its controllers.”
Nevertheless, with the Law no 5345, adopted in 2005 the General Directorate of Revenue has been abolished and the Presidency of Revenue Administration has been established as dependent on the Ministry of Finance.
The objective of this law is explained as “ It has been prepared the principles related to foundation of the Revenue Administration, the organization, duties, authority and responsibility in order to carry out revenue policy with justice and impartiality and to collect other revenues with the least cost; to ensure willingly adaptation of taxpayers to the tax; by protecting taxpayers’ rights and providing high quality services, to take necessary measures in order to ensure that taxpayers implement their obligations easily, to work with the respect to main principles of transparency, accountability, participation, productivity, effectiveness, and customer focused organization.”
The duties of the Revenue Administration are as follows:
a) to implement the state revenue policy, determined by the Ministry,
b) to facilitate the adaptation of taxpayers to tax and to carry out services,
c) to take necessary measures in order to protect taxpayer’s rights and relations based on mutual confidence between Ministry and taxpayers,
d) to inform taxpayers about their rights and obligations arising from the tax laws,
e) to participate in the law and by-law workings related to the state revenues policy,
f) to ensure the collecting of the governmental claims and to take necessary measures on this matter,
g) to take necessary measures in order to reduce disputes to the minimum level and to provide application accord,
h) to collect information about taxation and to implement the data processing activities,
i) to measure the costs of all exceptions, exemption and discounts in the tax laws or other fiscal laws, and to analyze their economic and social effects,
j) to carry out tax inspection and audit at the direction of main policies and strategies determined by the Ministry and to take necessary measures in order to prevent tax lost and invasion,
k) to take measures in order to ensure that the implementation of the local administration revenues policy is in compliance with the state revenues policy,
l) to review all proposals of laws and drafts of laws effecting revenues and to notify its decisions on these regulations,
m) to cooperate with other institutions and organizations on implementation of the revenue laws and to carry out data trade with this purpose,
n) to observe international events in the field of its function and to cooperate with the EU, international organizations and other states,
o) in accordance with the laws, to carry out operations for the deletion of tax dues and other governmental claims , of which due time is over,
p) to ensure to gain the qualified human resource, to improve perfection, to make career plans and to measure their performance,
q) to prepare organizational ethic rules in the frame of rules determined by the Civil Servants Ethic Committee and to announce to the employees and taxpayers,
r) to announce activity results to the public in regular times and to explain the annual activity report to the public,
s) to carry out other duties assigned by laws.