The spate of tax evasion by taxable individuals and corporate entities has continued to draw concern from stakeholders who call for a halt to support governments’ programmes in the economic sector. Making their stands known in the matter, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) regretted that only 20 million out of nearly 200 million people pay taxes throughout the federation.
This indicates that about 81percent of taxable adults and businesses in Nigeria evade taxation. According to them, this illegal act is traceable to low tax moral in the country. NESG Director of Research and Fiscal Policy Roundtable, Tayo Oyedele, disclosed this during a presentation at NGF Secretariat in Abuja, yesterday, after a courtesy call on Director-General of NGF, Asishana Okauru. According to Oyedele, lack of stiff penalties for non-payment of taxes in Nigeria was not only abetting tax evasion, but acts as disincentive to those who pay at all. “Many believe that it is unwise to pay taxes to entities that do not translate taxes to services or to officials who diverted same to personal use,” Oyedele stated. To track this trend, he disclosed that there were 354 taxes in Nigeria, but recommended their reduction to only 10 if duplicity of taxes and favouritism on where to audit and where not to audit will end. Oyedele did not also spare unprofessional conducts of some tax collectors, which he attributes to low tax returns.
Source: National light