Problem Of Tax Collection And Solution In Nigeria
Taxation inarguably remains a veritable and inexhaustible source of revenue to the government; but Nigeria‟s dependence on Oil as the major foreign exchange earner makes her economy vulnerable to external manipulations. It is in the light of the above therefore, that this work is tailored to bringing into public domain the critical challenges of tax administration in Nigeria with Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue as the study focus. The objectives of this study therefore, include: to establish whether poor funding is the cause of low rate of returns from taxation; to find out whether lack of staff training is the cause of the poor revenue collection in the State; to determine whether absence of infrastructures is responsible for the poor revenue from taxation; to identify if poor tax collection is because of pronounced poverty among the tax paying public of Lagos State; and to ascertain if tax administration will be more efficient when separated from the Civil Service. The research has therefore, observed that poor funding , lack of staff training and absence of infrastructures impact greatly on tax administration in the State. Also established is the fact that poor tax collection in the State is not as a result of pronounced poverty among the taxpayers but due to corrupt tendencies of Staffs of the State Internal Revenue Service and that tax administration will be more efficient and result oriented when separated from the Civil Service.
This chapter aims at discussing the brief history of taxation and various sources of tax law and types of tax Acts promulgated by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Taxation can be defined as a compulsory levy by the government imposed on the incomes of individuals firms and corporate bodies. Emphasis will also be regained towards examining the different versions of tax authorities responsible for the tax laws and other relevant problem that confront its smooth operation and growth. Moreover the various tax laws or involved in the collection of taxes and to know their impact in the implement of taxes how they have contributed either negatively or positively in the course of their operation. These Regulatory bodies include the Federal Board of Inland Revenue (F.B.I.R) and the state Board of Inland Revenue (S.B.I.R) Tax objective and it classification principles concepts incidence e.t.c.
1.1 Background of the Study
Taxation system had been in operation from time immemorial dated back to the time of our forefather during which communities taxed each other as a result of the failure of their member to carry out their communal assignment such assignment such as bush clearing pit digging well e.t.c. all for the benefit of the community concerned. Failure to render, such service usually resulted in Seizure of property which might be reclaimed on payment of money. This practice continues until 1904 when late Lord Lugard introduced the first income tax into the system. With the emergence of the Native Revenue ordinance of 1917 and subsequent amendment, the income tax became operative in the southern Nigeria in 1918 precisely Abeokuta in the Western Nigeria and Benin city in Mid-Western Nigeria and by 1928, it has extended to the Eastern Nigeria. With the passages of time the Native Revenue ordinance of 1917, 1918 and 1928 were transform into Direct Taxation Ordinance in 1940 and this automatically replaced the Nature Revenue Ordinance and the Native Direct Taxation (Colony) of 1937 which of course was regarded as been discriminatory in nature for the fact that it only applies to native in Nigeria other than Lagos Colony or township. In 1943, the Federal Board of Inland Revenue (F.B.I.R) was born as the sole tax authority to asses employees to tax on a current on Actual basis in respect of his emolument.
It must be emphasized here that the Government accounting gear then was between 1/4/19 – to 31/3/19 – e.g. An employees assessed to tax between 1/4/1943 and 31/3/1944 would be taxed based on 1993/44 year of assessment.
Colonial Era Tax Authorities
The following entities represent the various tax authorities during the colonial Era.
- The Resident appointed by the Government to administer a particular province.
- Any other officer authorized by the Resident to perform such duties.
- The chiefs, Elders and other persons of influence in each district.
- Any native authority appointed by the Governor to be a tax collection authority.
- Any village council, district headman or other suitable person on group of person appointed by the Governor.
Duties of Colonial Tax Authorities
The duties of the colonial Tax Authorities were to supply information, supervise tax collection render tax collection account e.t.c. penalty for non – accountability of tax collected attracted a five of four hundred naira (400.00) or imprisonment for two (2) years.
Products Assessable to Tax in the Colonial Era
- Income from land
- Rent derived from land
- Annual profit of the produce from land which were enjoyed by the community or individual.
- Profit from trade and manufacturing
- Dividend or Interest
- The value of all livestock owned by individual or the community.
Procedure for Claiming Remedy Wrong Tax Computation and Tax Exemption in the Colonial Era
Where any native was assessed to tax within the area of the authority of a District council and to the Resident if need be. In the light of seeking tax exemption, than Governor otherwise called the chief commissioner reserved the right to exempt individual from tax and as well make regulation far carrying out the provisions of ordinance i.e. he provides statements on the tax returns, claims for remedy, deduction of tax at source or monthly deduction known as pay As – You Earn System.
Source of Tax Laws/Acts
Tax laws or Acts in Nigeria came into being as a result of lack of uniformity in the tax collection system as observed between the Africans and non – Africans living in some part of the regions of Nigeria most especially Lagos Territory. Informed sources revealed that income of a larger population of Europeans were not taxed. This recommendation was embodies in the Nigeria order in council (Constitution), 1960 and formed the basis of the income Tax management Act (I.T.M.A) 1961 thereafter – referred to at the ACT. With the emergence of the Act, the unfair treatment of some African resident and the unjust exception given to the non-African (e.g. Europeans) were faced out.
Types of Tax Laws
The following are the various tax laws which have been promulgated by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
(i) Income Tax Management Act (I.T.M.A):
This gives rise to law relating to individual partnership, trustees and executors (in settlement and family). It was promulgated by the Federal Government in 1961 with further amendment and modifications full date.
(ii) Personal Income Tax Act (P.I.T.A):
This give rise to law relating to personal income. It was promulgated in 1961 by the Federal Government with further amendment.
(iii) Company Income Tax Act (C.I.T.A):
This is administered on companies by the Federal Board of Inland Revenue (F. B.I.R) it was promulgated by the Federal Government in 1968 and further amended in 1979.
(iv) Petroleum Profit Tax Act (P.P.T.A):
The Federal Board of Inland Revenue is the only tax authority that is responsible for assessing and collecting petroleum profit tax from all companies engaged in petroleum operation in Nigeria. The tax payable relates to profit made by companies dealing controlling and sales.
(v) Capital Gain Tax Act (C.G.T.A):
This Act was enacted in 1967 and deemed to introduce taxation of capital gains on assets into the Nigeria tax system. Initially, when this act was introduced, stocks and share were specifically exempted from the provision of the Act.
(vi) Capital Transfer Tax Act (C.T.T.A):
This tax the total value of a person property at graduated rates starting from a minimum of one hundred thousand naira (100,000.00) either at death or on gift made interview during his life time. This Act was enacted by the Federal Government in 1979 gazette No. 18 Vol. 66 of 12th April 1979.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The statements of the study are as follows:
- What are the constraints put against the smooth tax generation in Nigeria with particular reference to Lagos State.
- Has location in Nigeria effective in it various functions with particular reference to Lagos State.
- Another Statement is what are the problem confronting the collection of tax in Nigeria.
- Moreover, how does an external body influence the poor collection of tax in Nigeria with reference to Lagos State.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The mains and objectives of the study are as follows:-
- To look into the introduction of taxes in Nigeria its meaning and its operational process.
- To find out and evaluate the problem confronting the effective tax collection in Nigeria and its solutions.
- One other objective of the study is to know the function and activities of the various tax authorities in Nigeria and their operational process.
- Furthermore, the study will also try to find out the impact of taxation in Nigeria and the economy at large.
1.4 Scope and Limitation of the Study
In view of the constraints regarding time and money. The scope of this study has been restricted to selected offices of state of internal Revenue and the Federal Inland Revenue Department in Lagos metropolis. Another reason was the uniformity in tax law applicable throughout the country and the fact that the Lagos State is the centre spread of all commercial activities. In this regard therefore, the population on which the sample have been draw with from the basis of analysis. While limitation can be the scope of study constrained by time, money and reluctancy of the tax authority staff of divulge information to a third party for fear that such information may not be used for the purpose other than intended.
1.5 Significance of the Study
It is relevant to conduct this research in order to find out the problem confronting the generation of taxes in Nigeria with particular reference to Lagos State.
Furthermore, the study will also reveal the function of taxes and roles and active of various tax authority.
The research work will also be of immense help in under standing the fact that administrate and ensure the fair redistribution of wealth and income among the low medium and higher income earners.
1.6 Research Question
- What are the problem confronting the smooth and effective generation of taxes in Nigeria with particular reference to Lagos State .
- Has taxation in its responsibilities of regulating and administering fair redistribution of wealth and income among the low, medium and higher income earners contribute to the problem confronting its smooth and effective operation.
- What are the other regulatory bodies that constraints the smooth and effective generation of taxes in Nigeria, the regulatory bodies like the Joint Tax Board (J.T.B.) Federal Board of Inland Revenue (S.B.I.R) how have they imitate the smooth and effective tax general in Nigeria.
1.7 Plan of the Study
The study as a whole is divided into five chapters while the individual chapters deal with various districts but related topics.
Chapter one introduce the topic spells o8ut the background of the study, the statement of the study, the objective, scope, significance and research question of the study and references.
Chapter two comprises various related literature review and bring out the meaning of taxation its objective, classifications, principles, concepts and the incidence of taxation. It also stress the composition and duties of Nigeria Tax authorities, Taxation and its effect in Nigeria Economy, Budget and Taxation, Taxation as an agent of social change. Relief’s And Allowance and references.
Furthermore chapter three examine the research design and methodology – scope and method of the study, description of population sample sizes hypothesis of the study and the limitation of the study.
Chapter four focuses on data collection and analysis and the frequency table analysis.
Finally, chapter five is concerned with the summary of the findings, recommendation, conclusion, suggestion, bibliography and appendices of the project.
Summary, Recommendations and Conclusion
The research was embarked on to examine the problems of tax administration in Nigeria, with Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue as the study focus. This was done with a view to establishing the extent to which poor funding has impacted tax administration in Lagos State; to find out if lack of staff training has great effect on tax administration in Lagos State; to determine if absence of infrastructures has great effect on tax administration in the state; to find out if poor tax collection is as result of the poverty of Lagos State taxpayers and to ascertain whether tax administration will be better if separated from the state civil service.
The work started with the call for the restructuring of the nation‟s tax system. The call has become necessary because the nation‟s dependence on the oil sector has made the country vulnerable to extent manipulations, a situation which has adversely affected the planning horizons in the country. This ugly trend therefore, calls for the diversification of Nigeria‟s resource base and long term growth and development.
The work pointed out the enormous benefits which the developed countries have continued to reap from tax administration because taxation has remained the mainstay of most developed economies which are not endowed with mineral resources.
Also unveiled is the fact that over the years, Nigerian tax system has undergone several reforms tailored towards enhancing tax collection and administration with minimum cost. Some of these reforms include: Taxpayers Identification Number, Automated Tax System as well as E-Payment System.
The research has also shown that in the face of debt difficulties with domestic and external financial imbalances many developing countries the world over have been forced to adopt stabilization and adjustment policies which demand better and more efficient methods of mobilizing domestic financial resources with a view to achieving financial stability and promoting economic growth.
The work pointed out benefits to be derived from an efficient and effective tax administration to include:
- Helping to generate or mobilize more revenue, thereby enabling governments to achieve greater financial reliance and facilitating the pursuit of growth oriented structural adjustment programme.
- Forestalling the need for the introduction of higher taxes or new taxes and also makes it possible for the elimination or reduction of burdensome taxes without reducing yield.
- Facilitating the adoption of simple and easy-to-administer tax laws, thus rendering non compliance more difficult.
- Enhancing the ability of the governments to effectively enforce taxes with potentially high revenue yield.
The statement of the problem show-cased the challenges of Nigeria tax system, which include:
- The location of assessment and collection functions within the tax administration.
- Frequent changes in the tax laws.
- Linkage of tax administration with the civil service.
- Non-compliance strategy.
- Multiple taxes.
- Absence of equity in tax administration.
- Lack of motivation and remuneration.
- Tax avoidance and evasion.
The chapter two of the work reviewed some related literatures, postulated hypotheses which were tested using the chi-square method. The chapter ended with a theoretical framework.
Chapter three gave an insight into the background of Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue the study area. It looked at the origin, structure, functions, achievements and problems.
Chapter four was mainly concerned with data generation and analysis. It showed how data were generated and where. It also gave a detailed statistical analysis of the data using chi-square method.
Finally, the work ended with summary, recommendations and conclusion
Based on the observations, findings and analysis made by the study, the following recommendations have been made:
- The government of Lagos State should increase the budgetary allocations made to the Board of Internal Revenue of the state to enable it carry out the task of tax administration. Poor funding has been the greatest setback of the Revenue Board; as a result tax administration will be rejuvenated with adequate funding.
- The Board of Internal Revenue of Lagos State should put in place a scheme of training and retraining of staffs in order to achieve efficient and effective service delivery. No establishment or organization can attain the desired level with a crop of staffs deficient in the required skill to execute the functions of the organization.
- The government of Lagos State should provide the necessary infrastructures for the people to enable them adopt positive attitudinal change towards tax payment. Taxpayers regard infrastructures as signs of good governance and judicious utilization of resources.
- Effective checks should be adopted to obviate further leakage of revenues. It has been established that the dwindling state of revenue is due to the fraudulent and other sharp practices of the staffs of the State Internal Revenue Service, With Proper supervision and rendition of returns corruption among the staffs will be meaningfully reduced.
- The authorities of Lagos State Internal Revenue should mount an aggressive public enlightenment programme to educate the taxpayers accordingly. Use of Radio jungles, Bill Boards and sensitization at the rural areas should be adopted as means of reminding taxpayers that one of the obligations of a good citizen is timely payment of taxes.
- A package of incentives has to be lined up for staffs of the State Revenue Board as this would help to bring out the best in them by boosting their morale and enhancing their interest and productivity.
- Above all, the administration of tax in the state should be made autonomous. This is one of the ways efficiency and effectiveness would be enhanced. The bureaucratic bottleneck of the Civil Service is a cog in the wheel of development of tax administration in Lagos State. The Revenue Service should therefore, be given autonomy for better performance.
The work was embarked on to establish whether poor funding is the cause of low rate of returns from taxation; to find out whether lack of staff training is the cause of poor revenue collection; to determine whether absence of infrastructures is responsible for poor revenue from taxation; to find out if poor tax collection is because of pronounced poverty among the taxpaying public and to ascertain if tax administration will be more efficient when separated from the civil service.
The study however, discovered that poor funding is a great problem and the cause of low rate of returns from taxation.
The study uncovered that lack of the necessary training of staffs is the cause of poor revenue collection in the state.
The study also revealed that absence of infrastructures is responsible for poor revenue collection in the state.
The study has equally shown that the poverty of Lagos State Tax payers in not responsible for the poor tax collection, but the corrupt tendencies of the staffs of State Revenue Board.
The research discovered that tax administration will be more efficient if separated from the state civil service because of the latter‟s inherent bureaucratic bottlenecks.
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