Tax Administration and Revenue in Lagos State

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Research Journal of Finance and Accounting ISSN 2222-1697 (Paper) ISSN 2222-2847 (Online) Vol 3, No 5, 2012

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Tax Administration and Revenue Generation of Lagos State Government, Nigeria John A. Enahoro1* OLABISI Jayeola1.2 1. Department of Accounting, Babcock University, Ogun State, Nigeria. 2. Department of Financial Studies, Redeemer’s University, Ogun State, Nigeria. * E-mail of the corresponding author: jayeolaolabisi@yahoo.com Abstract The study examines the overall effectiveness of tax administration in relation to assessment, collection and remittance of tax in Lagos State, Nigeria. A survey questionnaire of the machinery of tax administration was carried out where 130 questionnaires were administered to analyse the opinion of civil servants directly connected with tax administration in the five Local government areas of Lagos State (Somulu, Mushin, Ikeja, Kosofe and Surulere). Hypothesis tested for the relationship which exists between tax administration, tax regulation and revenue generation. The Kendall measure was adopted and finding is that the tax administration in Lagos state is not totally efficient. Hence, tax administration affects the revenue generated by the government; also, there is a significant relationship between tax administration, tax policies and tax laws. The study therefore recommends that Lagos State Government could put in place a tax system that can enhance better administration of tax systems and tax collections should be left in the hands of private organisations. Keywords: Taxation, Administration, Revenue and Tax laws 1. Introduction Ariwodola (2001) described tax as a compulsory levy imposed by the government authority through its agents on its subjects or his property to achieve some goals. Arnold and Mclntyre, (2002) define tax as a compulsory levy on income, consumption and production of goods and services as provided by the relevant legislation. Tax is a charge imposed by government authority upon property, individuals, or transactions to raise money for public purposes. This definition is however imperfect. The study of the teachings of Christianity, Islamic and other prominent religions in the world shows that tax is a religious duty based on social and civil responsibilities (Agbetunde 2004). They all support and encourage tax imposition either to redistribute wealth or to finance government project. The Nigerian tax administration is in line with the British model of tax administration since 1960 and has been operating this up to 1990 when the self-assessment scheme came into play which seems similar to the American model of tax administration system (Adesola 2004). The British model of tax administration assumes tax payers are incompetent as to tax process and tax authorities do not rely on information supplied by tax payers. Returns of the tax payer are carefully verified through the application of the American model in reference to the rigid British model. The American model despite the advantages that can be derived from its application has not found a good place in Nigeria because all the phenomenon that made it a success in America such as voluntary compliance system, competence of tax payer, efficient data processing system which aids detection of fraud are still not present the Nigeria context. Consequently disadvantage has adversely impacted on local government tax system since they are part of the ruling process in the state. Such impact has generally been based on problems associated with collection, assessment and returns procedures in the local government area. There is doubt on how efficient the tax authority and other bodies participating in the collection of tax and make returns to the local and state government. In an economy like Nigeria where great reliance is placed on one source of revenue by the state government, the understanding and appreciation of the significance of tax as a source of revenue is of paramount importance. This is not...
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