ANALYSIS OF THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK OF INCOME TAX ENFORCEMENT AND COMPLIANCE STRATEGY FOR REVENUE GENERATION IN NIGERIA

ANALYSIS OF THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK OF INCOME TAX ENFORCEMENT AND COMPLIANCE STRATEGY FOR REVENUE GENERATION IN NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

From the inception of modern taxation in Nigeria in the first decade of the 20th century the problem of poor tax administration has been the cankerworms that militate against an optimum revenue generation which affect negatively the government ability to render essential services to the citizenry. The problem of the attitude of most tax payers in Nigeria is negative. Most of the people, feel that tax imposed on them by the government is a means to exploit their limited resources for their personal use. With this impression, they see no reason why they should comply in paying such taxes. They would therefore prefer to devise any method to evade or avoid taxes. The government and the tax authorities on the other hand, have made very little effort in educating tax payers, especially those from the rural areas to understand that such taxes are used for their benefit in assisting the government in providing social amenities or public utilities such as education, defence, health, communication, infrastructures and many others that yield no revenue, which are supposed to be financed by the government with the citizen fulfilling their civic duties. With the above problems in mind, various reforms were initiated aimed at educating the taxpayers on their civic obligation to pay their taxes which will help government to raise revenue in order to provide the most needed infrastructures for the public good, to further examine the possible ways to educating tax payer on the importance of tax compliance and enforcement so as to encourage them on performing this civic responsibility place on them. This work is intended to cover the general background of income tax administration in Nigeria. The scope will be base on methods of assessment to personal income tax and collection by the avoidable administrative machineries. The work is limited by the non-doctrinal method of research that would have involved the conduct of interviews and the administration of questioners. Indeed, because of lack of time, the researcher was unable to do that. This study assesses the income tax enforcement and compliance efforts under the Nigerian Income tax laws. In assessing these penal provisions, the weaknesses of our taxing provisions shall be examined analysed and processed with a view to making laudable suggestions and recommendations that will improve revenue generation in Nigeria. The research project concludes that the tax authorities and the government should educate the taxpayers on their civic obligation to pay their taxes because, voluntary tax compliance by the tax payers is hardly possible under a condition in which the public have no confidence in the revenue officials. The importance of tax and the issue of tax as a source of government revenue must be pointed out to both the government and the governed should be talked about also. Hence, all hands must be on deck for the country to achieve great percentage of tax compliance from the taxpayers.

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CHAPTER ONE

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the study

Taxation may be defined as the demand by the government of a country on its citizens for

a compulsory payment of part of their wealth. The aim of taxation is to raise revenue to finance

government expenditure to achieve economic development and to distribute income on a socially

acceptable basis. Hence, the first need of a modern government is revenue which is indeed the

breath of its nostrils1. Expenditure has shown that connection is not a simple task, especially in

developing countries like Nigeria where its economics, social and political structure is so

complicated. Tax has to be collected with caution as voluntary compliance is lacking. Income tax

and every oth


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