Tax Dispute Resolution in Nigeria: A Storm in a Tea Cup.



The article examined the fact that the Nigerian tax culture has been characterized by a very low level of compliance with tax laws. This has lead to excessive evasion which has prompted successive governments to continually try to improve on Nigerian tax systems with a view to having a tax system that will encourage voluntary compliance, reduce tax evasion to the barest minimum, instill public confidence on the integrity of the tax systems and bring about a fair, uniform and impartial administration of relevant tax laws[1]. Most private companies in Nigeria have continually cited the inefficiency and other problems associated with the tax system as their reasons for relocation to neighboring countries to do business, thereby leaving the shores of Nigeria and depriving the country of major source of revenue. These problems which stem from the Nigerian Tax operations necessitated the need for a new National Tax Policy. Other major challenges inhibiting the growth of internally generated revenue in the country include the high level of tax evasion obsolete tax laws, weak and incapacitated tax administrative machinery, manual tax system and unwieldy operational as well as enforcement procedures. Case laws, reported and unreported cases, opinions of learned jurists was resorted to in this lucid preparation. Another trailing factor listed as a key disincentive to effective tax system in the country is the perception by tax prayers that the government is not accountable to them. The Federal Government was not unmindful of these challenges when it carried out various tax reforms in the country[2]. Part of these reforms was the establishment of the Tax Appeal Tribunal in order to reduce the incidence of tax evasion and to ensure fairness and transparency of the tax system through a quick and efficient method of dispensation of justice.[3]

Keywords: Tax regime, Tax evasion, fairness, transparency, tax appeal Tribunal.

.[1] Abubakar Yusuf Mahmud, “Tax policy in Nigeria”

[2] Dotun Philips, Nigerian Tax Reforms in 2003 and Beyond: Main report of the study group on the Nigerian Tax System.

[3] Section 59 Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment)Act 2007

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