TAXATION AS A MAJOR SOURCE OF FUNDING TO THE GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Taxation is a major instrument for the conduct of public policy. This is true for both developed and developing countries. Taxation is known to accomplish a number of objectives revenue generation for government, economic stabilization and income re-distribution. Taxation as an instrument of public policy is essentially concerned with the manipulation of financial operations of both the government anti private sectors with a view of furthering certain economic objectives. In Nigeria these economic objectives includes the attainment of appreciable level of full employment, avoidance of excessive inflation, achievement of satisfactory balance of payment position. Appreciable increase in the national income and a reduction of extreme inequality among the citizens, provision of other essential necessities of life like water, school building of bridges roads and others.
The question now arises, How does the finding of these activities come about? The government can only discharge these duties by generating enough revenue to provide enough finance for the accomplishment of these tasks ahead and the Board of Internal Revenue is by law charged with the responsibility for assessing, collection and accounting of all taxes in Nigeria. The government to the individual and payable to the economic and social responsibilities define taxation as a compulsory levy. In Simon’s income tax (1852) Lord Maccnaghten quoted “ Income tax is a on income. Its not meant to be tax on anything else”. Dalton (1954:23) defined tax as a compulsory contribution imposed by a public authority irrespective of service rendered in return.
Income tax law and practice by Njokamma. CA. Defined income tax as a creative of statute. In interpreting its provisions. “ No equity, no intendment” or anything else should be implied. The clean terms of the law should be applied but no necessarily restricted against the revenue. Nevertheless tax is not the only sources of government revenue other sources include.
¨ Fines and fees
¨ Motor licensing fees
¨ Rent on government quotas
¨ Interest and repayments
¨ Dividends and Royalties on government
¨ Share holdings
¨ Miscellaneous State share of federal government disbursement.
¨ Loans and grants
¨ School fees
¨ Hospital fees Revenue from government parastatals likes the water co- operation department.
The private sector is not left out in the fund generation do their own fund comes inform of borrowing private savings etc The absence of well-organized and locally controlled money markets for borrowing has faced private sectors in most developing countries especially Nigeria to rely primarily on fiscal measures to mobilize domestic monetary resources for fund generation. For instance if profits of taxation, the marginal efficiency of investment will decline and consequently a fall in investment is observed. On the other hand if profit of investment are increased through low tax rate the marginal efficiency of investment will in investment is observed.
However Duke Man (1962 P .462) said that for an effective tax system that encourages investment, has to some extent be based on high rates, a fact peculiar with the paradox of investment stimulating taxation, and as well discrimination, so long as it is significantly qualitative and psychologically substantial. This suggestion may not augur well for investment activity where retained profits and savings form the buck of capital formation. Realizing the importance to finance as the train wires of economic growth the government initiates financial policies through annual budgets and tax laws to fund and provide necessary extension services for these business enterprises and also through several government financial policy, ensures adequate financing of small scale enterprise. We are now convinced that of all these source of revenue by government that tax contributes the largest proportion. With charges in these considerations above attention have been focused on the fiscal policy best suited to the economic development of the country. As part of the search for desirable fiscal policies high consideration is placed on the value of goods and services payable by the final consumers. The collections of this tax are accountable to the federal government by the federal wand Revenue, while a reasonable percentage is given to the state where VAT is collected from. Nevertheless the implementation of various government measures the their effects are most times, at variance with the objectives of government. Some of the revenue collection agencies are either ill equipped to carry out their functions effectively or equipped with personal of dubious character who trust laudable objectives of the government.
Most tax papers don’t pay willingly, some take laws into their hands to either evade or avoid tax while others collide with some tax official as well as employ the services of tax experts to explore the tax loophole. As a result of such ill activities towards taxation there is always a short fall in the government-projected revenue. In view of the importance to taxation as a principle source to government funding as well as a powerful instrument in the conduct of public policies. This study is aimed at exploring all avenues of tax collection in Nigeria and the performance of the Nigeria Board of Internal Revenue to keep the flag flying in support of the topic to the study that taxation is a major source of government funding.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Tax constitutes the greater percentage of internally generated revenue in Nigeria and as well the major source of fund for the government financing its activities,. Tax however has its fundamental problems in the area of Administration and management. There is deficit in planning, control and Adequate information flow of Tax collection generally. Since the government financial policy and objectives is to ensure adequate fund and conducive environment for the people’s satisfaction through progressive taxation and other fiscal measures designed to end the rapid growth and development of the society for the benefit of the citizenry.
It is therefore necessary that these avenues of fund are solidified. But on the other way round the implementation of the government taxation policy and the realization of the taxation goal most a times run at variance with the policy outlined in the annual budget as well as the tax laws provisions. Many individuals as well as organization see taxation policy as being harsh and unfavourable. They argue that while few enterprises especially large company continues to benefit from the government support through grants, Subsidies and other tax incentives. Others find the policies unbearable as a result any little opportunity by such people to evade or avoid tax is highly utilized. The results of all these tax evasion and avoidance are that less revenue that envisage is collected through tax by the government and thereby less social amentias than proposed are carried out. These problem will be solved as soon as an efficient machinery is set in motion for effective administration and review of state tax laws if made or amended.
1.3 PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the study is finding way of making the tax system effective and putting up measure that will help the government realize adequate fund for its developmental activities. Other objectives are
1. To discuss and analyze the taxes being administered and Eungu state.
2. To ascertain the total value of taxes collected during the period year by year.
3. To determine other sources from which the Nigeria Government can generate more tax revenue.
4. To ascertain other sources of the government revenue improve on them.
5. To make suggestions on ways of increasing the total revenue of the state government both tax and other sources of revenue to the Government.
To really achieve these objectives efforts will be made to:
1. Identify all the problems militating against effective tax assessment activities.
2. Analyze the problems and execute the suggested solutions
3. Suggest implementation strategies with a view to assisting the management in carrying out government policies and programmes.
4. Bring the problem to the focal eyes of the department and government.
5. Sensitizes the government and create the awareness on the people with abysmal attitude towards tax payment and its consequence on the economic and social development of the state.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: Tax is not the major source of Government funding
H1: Tax is the major source of government funding
H0: There is no significant relationship between tax revenue generated by the state.
H1: There is significant relationship between tax revenue and total revenue generated by the state.
H0: Tax Administration system in Nigeria is not efficient and there is mismanagement.
H1: Tax Administration system in Nigeria is efficient and there is proper management.
H0: Nigeria government does not adequately accomplish her taxation problems.
H1: Nigerian government adequately accomplishes her taxation problems.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will help to evaluate the tax revenue generated and assess the tax collection machinery set in motion in Nigeria. It will also help to evaluate the tax and the government is exploiting other revenue source available to the state and how these source. This study if properly utilized will enable the Board of Internal Revenue and the State Government to know the problems effecting tax assessment and collection in the state.
The study will also reveal how far the tax policies in Nigeria are being implemented furthermore strategies on improving on the revenues generation has mapped out for the provision of infrastructure. As a result of this, there will be high standard of living for the tax papers of the state. Finally it is meant to enlighten the citizen of the state to know the objectives of tax and thereby reducing tax evasion and avoidance.
1.6 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Some circumstance beyond human control has brought some distraction research work, some of these inevitable circumstance are:
a. Education System: Abnormalities surrounding the educational system in Nigeria in which Nigeria is not an exception.
b. Limitation of Time: The limited number of months given for this research to done is less than 3 three months and normally this is to be done more than this time. The research work is combined with other academic activities in school. All these limiting factors had not allowed a thorough research work to be carried on effectively.
c. Financial Problem: Another problem the researcher faced was financial constraints and this limited the work. The high expenses incurred in gathering these materials, photocopying of essential material, typing of document etc. visitation where applicable.
d. Lack of Cooperation: Finally, is lack of cooperation with the researcher encountered by the Board not being very active in he release of adequate information. while some staffs were not willing to give out necessary data (Figures) either by ignorance or fear of exposure of such vital information.
1.7 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is supposed to have covered the tax administration and its revenue generation system and the comparison with other sources of government revenue in Nigeria. Some tax administrated by the Federal Government like Company income tax, petroleum profit tax, capital gain tax, capital transfer tax could have been involved in this research. Due to the limit time constraint, shortage of information supply and financial constraints, the study cannot be extended to these major parts and has therefore been limited to the administration of tax as applicable in Nigeria Government.
1.8 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF BOARD OF INTERNAL REVENUE NIGERIA
The present day Nigeria Board of Internal Revenue would like most government agencies trace its origin to when the colonialist established their government in Nigeria. The needs for government to generate revenue to enable her execute her programmes brought about the Division of the Ministry and the Independence in 1960 and because of the expending responsibility, the Board of Internal Revenue was established as an autonomous government agency, charged with the sole responsibility of the tax assessment and collection within various jurisdiction in Nigeria.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Some of the terms used during this research, which have special application to study, are defined:
Revenue: This is the gross receipt or receivable of a governmental unit derived from taxes, custom and other main sources of government revenue but excluding appropriation and allotment from the consolidated Revenue fund (CRF).
Tax: The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary of current English DEFINES tax as “(sum of money purchase etc) to the government for public purpose”. Tax can also be defined as a compulsory levy by natural or cooperate, payable to the government for the benefit of the citizenry.
Tax Assessment: The calculation the tax due to the paid by an individual.
Tax Collection: Staff of the Board charged with collection of taxes from the public.
Zonal Tax Authorities: These are senior tax officer charged with assessing and collecting of tax within their zone.
Tax Law: These are laws made by the government prone to review as well giving the guidelines and draft on how and paid.
These laws are standard guiding all the tax offices in the federation. Examples are ITMA 1961 Income Tax management Act 1991 etc. Income management Act (ITMA): These are laws committee guiding the collection and payment of tax in Nigeria. This was promulgated in 1961 but since been amended.
Odoh N. (1998): Introduction to Public Finance: J TC Publishers.
Njokamma , C. (1995): Income Tax Law and Practice in Eastern Nigeria Aba: Cynaka Press.
Waker, D. (2000): Taxation and Capacity in Under Developed Countries