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