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.