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The aim of this study is to assess and evaluate the problems and prospects of tax administration in Akwa Ibom State. The study employs a survey method where data were collected through the use of questionnaires and personal interview. Staffs of the board of internal revenue headquarters where very useful in giving useful information to arrive at the result of the study. One of the problems is to determine the relationship between the ignorance of tax benefits and the unwillingness so fulfill their civic obligation. Therefore, there is every prospect of better tax collection in Akwa Ibom State, since the new tax identification number (TIN) was introduced, will ensure effective and efficient tax administration in Akwa Ibom state in particular and Nigeria in general.
Tax is a compulsory monetary contribution to the states’ revenue, assessed and imposed by a government on the activities, income, expenditure, occupation, privilege, property of individuals and organizations. The first need of a modern government is revenue which is a pivot and potent tool in encouraging its expenditure. When you pay tax, your contributions are invested in the community and benefit everyone.
Akwa Ibom state government, the federal government has many ways of raising its revenue for the purpose of meeting its expenditure. Akwa Ibom state pay tax so that the government can provide important services to the community, including access to hospitals, welfare, allowances, schools, roads, national and parks.
Ola (1985:8) enumerates various forms of taxes. These include personal income tax, capital gain tax, company income tax and petroleum profit tax. But one of the determinants factors in achieving the optimum revenue realization is the taxable capacity of a country which is embedded in the administrative competence of the tax collecting organs of the government.
The prospect of tax administration ranges from increase in tax yield, new revenue opening, and buoyancy in government, which will enhance government ability to meet up with expenditure. However, this much needed prospects are not feasible because tax administration is plagued with many problems. As a result, tax administration in Akwa Ibom State in recent time has been criticized in many quarters.
Okoruen (1997:15) also sees tax administrative machinery is stated as inadequate tax payers do not keep proper books of account of their business transaction.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The statement of the problem is that, the Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service should identify the critical tax administration challenges in Akwa Ibom state and measures required to meet challenges will not only guarantee improved revenue base for the state but also position the state properly to take full advantages offered by the new millennium. They should examine the tax administration and compliance in Akwa Ibom State by analyzing the tax gap in the system over the years thereby revealing the critical challenges that needed to be tackled.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The study is conducted to achieve the following specific objectives:
1. To determine the difference criteria for assessment used by tax administration in Akwa Ibom state.
2. To identify the challenges that is facing the tax administration in Akwa Ibom State
3. To examine the tax gap in Nigeria tax system
4. To identify factors that influence tax administration in Akwa Ibom state
5. To recommend ways through which these problems can be solve or minimized.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1. It would be serve as a reference material for future research.
2. It would identify the critical challenges such as corruption and fraud that are confronting the tax system so that appropriate measure could be taken to tackle the menace.
3. It would serve as a powerful fiscal weapon to plan and direct the economy by shaping the economy growth and development of a state.
4. It would serve as national debt and to provide retirement benefits.
1.5 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The study is limited to Akwa Ibom state Internal Revenue Service, Idongesit Nkanga secretarial Abak Road Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, focuses on evaluating Tax Administration, problems and prospects. The ranging from increase in tax yield new revenue openings, buoyancy in government while will enhance government ability to meet up with its expenditure.
The inability of the manager of Akwa Ibom state Internal Revenue Service to diverge certain information which they consider sensitive. The publication of which might be detriment to their operation proves to be a limitation on the study. Distance and its attendants cost of travel in order to obtain information with which to write this study has also a major limitation.
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTION/HYPOTHESES
The study intends to seek answers to the following research questions:
1. Does tax administration have any significance impact on the economy
2. Is there any tax gap in Akwa Ibom state, tax system
Ho: Tax administration in Akwa Ibom State has not impacted on the economy
Hi: Tax administration in Akwa Ibom state has impacted on the economy
Ho: There is no tax gap in Akwa Ibom State, tax system
Hi: There is tax gap in Akwa Ibom State tax system
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
TAX: is a percentage of persons’ income or of the price of goods takes by the government to help pay the benefit received. (R.A.I Anyanwuocha.1959).
DIRECT TAX: Tax levied directly on the income of individual and business entities. They can be proportion regressive or progressive. (Okoruen U. U.1993 process of tax administration in Nigeria).
INDIRECT TAX: these are taxes charge with price of goods bought at a particular time. These are tax that are levied in goods and services (Okoruen U.U.1992)
TAX POLICY: Is a particular course adopted in this caseline of action adopted by the government in respect of taxation. (James S and Nobles.C.1978)
ASSESSMENT YEAR: Means the year in which the profit of a business are assessed to tax (Okoruen U.U.1992).
TOTAL INCOME TAX: The aggregate assessable income for the relevant year after additional and allowance deduction have been made (Ola C.S.1995) Nigeria income tax law and practice Macmilliam publishers ltd London.
PROPORTIONAL TAX: all tax payers pay the same percentage of their income and relative difference between the difference income remain approximately the same (Umoh G.A. 2005).
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
The study is organized into five chapters, chapter one is the introduction while chapter two deals with the review of Related Literature. Chapter three discusses the Research Methodology. In chapter four the data collected in presented, analyzed as interpreted while chapter five is the summary, conclusion and recommendation.
1.9 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
In the Stone Age, tax was collected in Nigeria long before the coming of Europeans. It was collected by the local chiefs for the purpose of administration and defends. Every person was expected to give part of his/her process from cultivation of land to the state. Those who were cultivation were required to their sources for public work such as clearing of bush, digging the pit latrines, wells, for the benefit of the community as a whole. Failure to render such services usually resulted in loss of properties, which might be reclaimed after payment of line.1904 Sir Lord Lugard introduced direct income tax in Nigeria. In 1946 a Legislature council with a large measure of financial responsibilities.
After independence, state government was to fine out other sources of generating revenue. This recommendation gave birth to the income tax management acts of 1961 with the enactment of the act, all tax laws applied in difference regions were amended to conform to the provisions of the act. The act ensures that uniform principles are adopted by various tax authorities in the state.1959, the petroleum profit tax act imposed tax on companies enaged in petroleum operation in the country. In 1967, the capital gain tax acts was enacted to tax gains accruing to person or companies on disposal of assets such as shares and landed property. 1979 was promulgated to impose tax on capital assets transferred from one person another. During the colonial era, resident were used as the main tax authorities, they were appointed by the governor to play similar role as the present day local government chairman in the country. The residents in turn used officers, chiefs and elders in their respective province as agents for tax collection. The colonial administration did not educate Nigeria well on the importance of payment.
This was the major reason the government met a stiff resistance from the people, an example of such resistance was the popular “Aba woman riot of 1929” the early nationalist used tax payment as one of the reasons for protesting against the government. But every paradoxically, the nationalist continue to use taxation as a means of raising revenue after the Nigeria independence.
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