The relationship between taxation systems and bribery is complex and nuanced, as there is often no consistently clear relationship. Sometimes, receiving tax exemptions can be a form of accepting bribes, and other times, increased taxes are used to discourage accepting bribes. In general, the tax system of America and other nations is simply another governmental system, just as prone to manipulation through bribes as any other, and has its own regulations in order to prohibit and reduce accepting bribes.
One of the correlations between taxation and bribery comes the way in which some countries held beliefs about bribes being perfectly normal and would not prosecute individuals for accepting bribes as a basic part of the nation's overall system. In order to combat such attitudes and practices, in 1996 the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development instituted a policy prohibiting bribes from being treated as tax-deductible payments.
Prior to this policy's enaction, it would have been possible for nations to have bribery laws designed to make the bribe money officials might be given both perfectly legal and tax deductible. By instituting this policy, the OECD was attempting to send the message that accepting bribes should not be tolerated in any element of government.
While criminalizing the practice of bribing foreign officials would also send this message, putting out the provision concerning bribes' potentially tax deductible status makes it clear that offering and accepting bribes is not considered a standard procedure of business and will not be tolerated any longer.
Simultaneously, however, tax exemptions are often used as a form of bribe in developing nations. Tax exemptions are not direct monetary gifts, and as a result, do not appear as immediately illegitimate. It is harder for the public to recognize a company receiving tax exemptions as the company accepting bribes than it would be if the bribes took the form of money or gifts changing hands.
Nonetheless, these tax exemptions are bribes, designed to engender better service and relationships with specific business companies, or even designed to somehow bring profit to a public official who may be linked to the company receiving the tax exemption.
This form of the bribe is most often implemented in developing nations, as earlier mentioned, because in developed nations such tax exemptions would be much more quickly and easily recognized for what they are, thanks to the presence of the investigative media in most developed nations, coupled with the generally harsher stance most developed nations take towards bribery.
The other major relationships between bribery and taxation is the result of an investigation of the effects of both upon business growth. According to the results of the investigation, bribery is actually significantly detrimental to the overall growth of business. Taxation is mildly reductive, but nowhere near the level of the bribe.
Accepting bribes then not only undermines the legal and governmental systems in question, but also decisively decreases economic growth. Clearly, any taxes that could be implemented in order to eliminate the bribe would be be worth the reduced growth cost of the tax.