TAX EVASION AND AVOIDANCE IN NIGERIA AND CAMEROON: A COMPARATIVE STUDY

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TAX EVASION AND AVOIDANCE IN NIGERIA AND CAMEROON: A COMPARATIVE STUDY

Abstract:

Tax evasion and avoidance remains one of the greatest problems plaguing tax administration in Nigeria and Cameroon. These problems have tended to defeat some of the fiscal policies of both countries such as the ability to transfer part of the excess resources from private hands to government hands with a view to spending same for the welfare of the generality of the citizens. Outside the rank and file of the salaried employees, most citizens in Nigeria and Cameroon pay inadequate taxes or no taxes at all and behaviours like these have led to a substantial loss of government revenue. The reasons for such unwanton behaviours could be attributed to several factors, the insufficiencies and complexities of tax legislation coupled with expert advice to tax payers to take advantage of loopholes in the tax law, high rates of taxation and lack of civic responsibilities amongst the tax payers. Moreover tax administration in Nigeria and Cameroon are weak and plagued with unsurmountable problems. Although, there exists both prison terms and monetary penalties under the Cameroonian and Nigerian tax legislation, these penalties in our opinion seem grossly inadequate. The study recommended that monetary penalties and criminal sanctions should be drastically increased so as to make it unworthwhile for taxable persons to attempt evading taxes in Nigeria and Cameroon. For this purpose there should be public exposure in the case of detection of fraud.

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