AN APPRAISAL OF INCOME TAX ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES UNDER THE NIGERIAN TAX SYSTEM

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ABSTRACT

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The imposition, collection and administration of income tax in Nigeria are basically
statutory, which had undergone significant reforms with the object of providing solutions
to the lingering problems of enforcement procedures. The existing body of literature on
taxpayer compliance developed over the years in Nigeria. Nigeria made considerable
investment in tax legislative reforms, taxpayer education programs, tax enforcement
strategies, and sophisticated system of tax administration using new technologies.
However, what prompted this research work is that despite those reforms, reviews and
changes in the legislation compared to its counterparts, Nigeria faced quite different
challenges and constraints that require careful consideration in designing appropriate and
effective tax system. In particular, the tax system in Nigeria must foster sustainable
economic growth, ensuring that the necessary revenue collections are made to provide for
political stability, investment in infrastructure and improved standards of living. The
method of acquiring data and information used in this research work was doctrinal, where
two main sources of acquiring data, i.e. primary source, which consist of statutes and case
laws and secondary source which consists relevant information from leading authorities,
textbooks on tax laws and practices, writings and articles of scholars, magazines,
opinions of jurists, journals, periodicals, seminar papers, as well as internet/websites, etc.
were also used. the findings of the research work were that; (i) Nigeria has both limited
administrative resources and expertise, (ii) Tax administration is generally weak, with
widespread evasion, corruption and coercion, (iii) Furthermore, taxpayers tend to have
low levels of literacy, low tax morale and negative attitudes towards government, (iv)
The cash economy, and its inherent opportunities for engagement in fraud and tax
evasion, often plays a major role. (v) There is also conflict of tax jurisdiction between the
Federal Government and states, and lack of public enlightenment. The central aim of this
research appraised the income tax enforcement procedures, and the objectives identified
and highlighted their problems and prospects, with particular reference to the relevant
Nigerian Tax Laws. The research work finally provided workable suggestions and
recommendations to the identified problems to enhance an effective and efficient tax
administration in Nigeria. The findings of this research work explored recent issues,
challenges and recent ideas of judges/decisions of courts in respect of income Tax under
the Nigerian Tax System and Fiscal policies which, if appropriately utilized, will bring
enormous change and enhance the Nigerian tax system generally. It also improved the
existing enforcement procedures of the Nigerian tax system both at the Federal, states and
local levels.

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