TAX JUSTICE FOR EQUITY AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

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Tax is a crucial source of revenue government; it can deepen or reverse poverty and inequality in governance.  Contemporary taxation discourse recognizes the capacity of government to improve the quality of life of its citizens in terms of efficient functional social services.

 

 The foundation of Nigeria’s tax system dates back to the colonial principles of generating revenue to promote a citizen based government, effective service delivery and wealth redistribution.

The resistance to tax policies in Nigeria is becoming difficult with new transparency and accountability elements in non-filing, under-assessment, under-reporting and under-payment processes. Curtailing open stealing, outright tax evasion and avoidance, and bribery and corruption on the part of tax collectors is still a challenge.

Loose rules and regulations in globalised transfer pricing where 60% of global trade is conducted within multinational corporations facilitate substantial tax reduction, dogging by way of transfer mispricing in brand rights and management services and other manipulative transactions.  

 

Fair taxation underpins just society. It is an essential tool for challenging inequality, enabling development and promoting sustainable and yet equitable growth.

Government can mobilize revenue through various forms of taxes to provide basic development amenities to its citizenry.

Effective and efficient tax structures create incentives to improve governance, strengthen channels of political representation, redistribute wealth, provide essential services and infrastructure, and reduce corruption.  

Too often tax are heavily skewed against the interest of the poor and marginalized, therefore the redistribution of tax is seen as a huge exploitation of the citizenry by multinational corporations, companies and government institutions that grant tax holidays to the detriment of their vested interest.

For even development, every taxable adult should pay his/her tax to enable government meets its obligation of providing basic amenities. And government can be held liable for mismanagement of tax payers’ money.

 

Therefore, as government collects taxes it should justify its action by putting in place an equitable means of redistributing the generated revenue for national growth and development.

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