1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Tax is a financial issue and its payment is a civil duty. It is the imposition of a financial burden for the government on individual firm and companies. In general based, the word tax means any contribution imposed by the government upon individual and companies for the use of government to provide facilities or services as rendered by the state. It is not a voluntary payment or donation but an enforced contribution made on the pronouncement or directive of legislative authorities.
Osita (2004:1) stated that taxation may be defined as the compulsory levy by the government through her various agencies on the income of an employee, capital or on other subjects such as salaries, business profits, interest, dividends, commission regularities, rent etc.
However, It could be said that there are three main methods of financial economic expedition opened to meet developing countries. These are:-
(c) TAX AND OTHER CURRENT RECEIPT
Out Of these sources, tax is perhaps the most important since the level of government expenditure is to a great extent dependent on the ability of the tax system to generate the required revenue at the disposal of the government.
In spite of this benefit from tax most people still indulge in tax evasion and avoidance. Attempt to avoid some portion of liability or not to pay tax will affect the revenue of the government that is the reason why the government frowns at the issue of tax evasion and avoidance by using her authorities to enforce compliance.
ARONOMOLE and OLUWALAYODE (2006:39). Define tax avoidance as legal ways by which a tax payer reduces in tax liabilities. Tax evasion is a deliberate on the part of the tax payers to reduce their tax liabilities through illegal means or an attempt not to pay tax due.
The distinction between this tax avoidance and tax evasion is that tax avoidance is not considered a criminal offence where as tax evasion is a criminal offence.
According to ANYAELE (1990:225) a tax may be defined as a compulsory contribution imposed by a government authority on goods, individual and co-operate bodies irrespective of the exact amount of services rendered to the tax payer in return and not imposed as a penalty for our legal offence. Both direct and indirect taxes are collected for the government inform of income tax, excise duty, import and export duties. Purchase and sales taxes and so on help the government to generate a lot of revenue for the smooth running of government’s administration.
Moreover, there are two elements in every form of taxation and these are the BASE AND RATE. The tax base is the object which is taxed or a measure of the private sector income or wealth that can be taxed, while the tax rate is the percentage of the measured amount taken off from the tax base. In this case the money realized from it is used to provide social services, so that everybody both the rich and poor will have equal chances of making use of them. These services include provision of good pipe borne water, electricity, good roads, hospital, schools etc.
Most people in Nigeria nurse the habit of evading or avoiding tax payment i.e. they always avoid paying their taxes. With this state of affairs, the various tiers of government in the country don’t usually generate enough revenue that could enable them to effectively execute all the developmental projects highlighted in their budgets.
Alas, it has to be pointed out that the successive Nigeria governments have not made adequate and sincere efforts toward informing the tax dodger or evader on the need for them to pay the taxes. All attentions have been directed on the revenue from oil sector while taxes on agricultural produce, which supposed to be generating a lot of revenue to the country, are deliberately over looked.
Due to the immensely felt impact of taxes on development of our immediate community, the researcher wishes to look into the problems of paying tax by the public citizens, such problems are Tax evasion and tax avoidance by the public, Poor system of tax collection and lastly the Inability of the government to prosecute tax avoidance.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It has been noted that taxation practice in Nigeria has come to play a significant role as a major source of revenue to the federal government by way of imposing tax on her citizens directly or indirectly. The act of evading and avoiding tax by most registered companies and some individuals has however affected the revenue base of the government especially in providing essential services to the populace. People naturally prefer to reduce their tax liabilities by deliberately overstating their expenses and make false entries and fictions in their books of account.
Thus, their act however, causes tremendous reduction in the revenue accruable to the government which eventually shrinks revenue to the treasure of government. The inability of the revenue board to collect substantial amount of money from tax is as a result of evasion and avoidance of tax. This research work examines the problems facing the revenue department in collecting taxes and levies under their jurisdiction with a view to indentifying possibilities at minimizing or even eradicating tax evasion and avoidance.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The objectives of this study are as follow
1. To analyze the various causes of tax evasion and avoidance
2. To identify the factors or problems militating against the tax assessment and collection in Nigeria.
3. To identify possible effects of the tax evasion and avoidance on the economic development of the country and Ogbomosho south local government in particular.
4. To analyze the effectiveness and flaws of various tax in the country
5. To examine ways in which tax evasion and avoidance can be reduce with the new reforms.
6. To examine tax reforms in Nigeria
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
For this research work to be effective, the researcher has being able to draft out the following questions:
1. What are the causes of tax evasion and avoidance?
2. What are the factors or problems militating against the tax assessment and collection in Nigeria?
3. What are the possible effects of tax evasion and avoidance on the economy development of the country and Ogbomosho local government in particular?
4. Are tax laws in the country effective?
5. Has new tax reform reduce tax evasion and tax avoidance in Nigeria ?
6. Do the loopholes in the tax laws encourage tax evasion and tax avoidance in Nigeria?
1.5 STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESES
To aid the research work the following hypotheses have been postulated. The null hypothesis is denoted by “Ho” while the alternative hypotheses is denoted by “H1”
1. H0: There is no significant difference between the expected tax revenue and the amount actually paid by those who evade and avoid tax
H1: There is a significant difference between expected tax revenue and the amount actually paid by those who evade and avoid tax
2. H0: There is no significant difference between the number of people who are due to pay personal income tax and those that actually pay tax
H1: There is a significant difference between number of people who are due to pay personal income tax and those that actually pay tax.
3. H0: There is no significant difference between numbers of registered enterprises that pay tax in the country
H1: There is a significance difference between numbers of registered enterprises that pay tax in the country or state
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY