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TAXATION SYSTEM, ITS IMPACT ON PUBLIC SERVANTS (A STUDY OF EBONYI STATE)
The work is titled “Taxation System: Its impact on public servant”(A study of EbonyiState). The work is a critical and objective analysis of Nigeriatax system. Accordingly, the objective of this research is to examine whether the tax law in which public servants pay tax before earning income is fair to all cadres, To ascertain how taxes paid on gross income encourages savings and investment among all working ages. and to review and analyze tax as they affect public servants. The objectives of this study were accomplished through the use of descriptive survey research design. The researcher made use of primary and secondary source of data with dichotomous structured responses (Yes or No) to solicit responses from public servants. Thereafter, the responses were presented on tables with percentages scores leading to answers of research questions 1 and the hypotheses were tested using chi-square (x2) non-parametric test. The findings showed that public servants pay tax from net income in contradistinction to an investor or businessman that pays tax from gross income whereby encourages savings and investment because of excess cash. Public servants cannot control the tax system to their advantage. Unlike an investor that pays tax from gross income; the tax system is a convenience of tax collector than payer; aggregate of a tax paid by public servant is higher than an average individual investor; Allowances to public servants do not reflect family size and responsibility hence high level of poverty among public servants. The researcher therefore recommends: Government should review tax laws to enable public servants earn their income, invest before tax. Pay tax on preceding year basis. There should be tax reduction on public servants and finally Relief to public servants should be in accord with family size and responsibilities: when the above is done, it will greatly reduce poverty among public servants inEbonyiState.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In the olden days, the government imposed taxes to raise enough money to cover the cost of administration and defense. It was not unusual for some powerful kings and emperors to raise money for their own personal uses. Subsequently, it was realized that some services could be adequately provided for by the state rather than by individual, kings and Emperors.
Due to ever increasing functions of state, there is every need for the state to generate revenue by the means of taxation. Taxation is one of the major sources of public finance and has been a weapon of fiscal and economic control by the government over the ages. It has been a crucial element in the life of the individuals, corporate bodies, firms and government agencies to the extent that a drastic change in the policy in any fiscal year set in motion a chair of repercussion in homes, offices and factories. These are compelled by the new monetary and fiscal measures to adjust their accounting and operating strategies in keeping with the new policies.
Taxation refers to the compulsory payment by individuals and organizations to the relevant or internal revenue authorities at the federal, state or local government levels.
A tax therefore, is the compulsory payment in which the government levies on the individuals and on the income of corporate bodies to spend the cost of public expenditure.
According to Chukwu (2002) “Taxation is levying of compulsory charges on certain items and individuals by government as a way of raising revenue for public service”.
Anyanwucha (2006) defines taxation as a compulsory payment made by the eligible citizen toward the expenditure of a state. A tax is levied by the government without regard to the specific benefit that those individual tax payers may receive.
A tax has two elements: The Base and Tax Rate. The base refers to the item of the object which is taxed and these include personal income, imports and export company profit property goods for sale. The tax rate refers to the percentage or proportion of tax base or tax rate object which is to be paid as tax.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Taxation is used by the government to alleviate the social burden on the citizens by the provision of social services or amenities. It may also be used to encourage or discourage the production of certain goods by allocating or denying fund to such industries.
Taxation is a measure through which the government uses to fund large project (capital and recurrent expenditure). Without taxes the operational function of the government would be paralyzed.
Despite policies, principles and institutions put on ground to ensure that cannon of taxation is maintained, there still exist injustice, lack of fairness and total in balance in the imposition, method and time of tax collection in Nigeria.
These have resulted in various problems that need to be addressed. Problem of the evasion and the avoidance which is increasingly denying the government huge amount of money.
Secondly, a greater percentage of the population depends on subsistence agriculture, a situation that makes it extremely difficult to assess accurately the income of rural farmers and artisans.
Thirdly, the public servants who pay tax honestly are complain of excess taxation.
Fourthly, tax assessment is based on western socio-economic background rather than African social environment.
Again certain groups of citizen manipulate the tax laws and policies to their advantage finally; there is high level of poverty in the country. These are serious problems that will be addressed by the course of caring out this research work.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of the study into review and analyze tax as they affect public servants. Other specific objectives include:
- To examine whether the tax law in which public servants pay tax before earning income is fair to all cadres of staff.
- To ascertain how taxes paid on gross income encourage saving investment among all working ages.
- To assess the level of dependence of allowances grated to public servants on the family size and responsibilities.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In the course of research, certain questions will arise, but pertinent question will be answered. They are:
- To what extent is the Nigerian tax where public servants pay tax before earning their income fair?
- What are the effects of tax collected on gross income or net income on the tax payer?
- To what extent are allowances (Relief) granted to public servants realistic in view of present economic circumstances?
H1: The tax law in which public servants pay tax before earning income is not fair to all cadres.
H0: The tax laws in which public servants pay tax before earning income is fair to all cadres.
H1: Taxes paid on gross income does not encourage savings and investment among all working ages.
H0: Taxes paid on gross income encourages saving and investment among all working ages.
H1: Allowances (Relief) granted to public servants in tax is independent of family sizes and responsibilities.
H0: Allowances (Relief) granted to public servants in tax is dependent on family sizes and responsibilities.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is significant to government chief executives of various ministries and parastatals and also it is relevant to public servants, private sectors participate and investors that are subject to paying taxes as well as government officials concerned with tax administration and collectors. This research work also tends to:
A. Provide public servants and individuals with awareness of various tax laws as it affects employees and investors.
B. It will provide ideas and solution that will attract attention of government on the options that would help in the generation of revenue as well as reduce the burden of tax on public servants.
C. The research will assist scholars and researcher in their quest for further research in the area of taxation for the benefit of the public.
D. To add to the knowledge of the employers of labour, chief executives as well as the general public in the area of taxation and revenue generation as part of government fiscal policies.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study will be limited to: Taxation systems, its impact on public servants (A study ofEbonyiState). This is because of the low standard of living among public servants whose income does not catch up with the rich businessmen in the society.
Also principles and concepts as well as the type of taxation and its incidence will be the examined. The economic effects and tax system will be enumerated. Also the formula for, some computation limitation were faced during the course of carrying out this research work. Some of limitation includes:
Limited access to related literature and limited responses from relevant authorities.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
- Tax: Tax is a levy imposed by the government against income, profit or wealth of the individual partnership and corporate organization.
- Public servants: Public servants are persons employed in the public sector of the economy. He may be a civil servants or a worker in any government firms or parastatal.
- PAYE (PAY AS YOU EARN): It is a system whereby the employers deduct tax every month from their employees’ salaries and wages at the time of payment on behalf of the Revenue Authorities.
- Tax Evasion: It refers to an illegal attempt to reduce the tax liabilities of an individual or an organization.
- Statutory Income: This is a person’s total income from any or many sources.
- Assessable Income: Is the total statutory income of the tax payer less allowances made in respect of certain annual charges.
- Taxable Income: Is assessable income less the dependent relations, wife and children.
- Earned Income: This includes remuneration from office or employment.
- Unearned Income: Includes income obtained without personal service or effort. E.g. Dividend from investment.
- Chargeable Income: Is the total income from all sources before deducting all non-taxable income.