Thursday 6 March 2014

Survey blames shoddy tax regime for taxpayers’ apathy in Africa

By Funmi Falobi Senior Reporter, Lagos

Corruption and vague tax systems have been identified as factors preventing Nigerians and other Africans from paying taxes.

Integrity of tax authorities and officials also thwart citizens in Africa from paying their taxes which are germane for the development of the continent.

A survey conducted by Afrobarometer, an international network in collaboration with CLEEN foundation Nigeria, revealed that from the 29 countries in sub-Saharan Africa comprising Southern, East and West Africa, there was widespread citizen commitment to the principle of taxation.

Speaking at the presentation of the survey data in Lagos, Rose Aiko, Director of Research on Governance and Delivery at Policy Research for Development, Tanzania, said seven in 10 people found it difficult to know how the government spends the taxes and that distrust in tax officials increases tolerance for tax avoidance in principle.

“A majority of 52 per cent across Africa supports taxation provided it will guarantee more services for the citizens except from Malawi and Lesotho which have minority.

“Africa region is facing taxation challenge. From the survey, majority of Africans are willing to pay taxes but are frustrated that the way governments spend its money is not accessible.

“Integrity of tax authorities and officials is very important. To enhance tax payment, integrity is vital. Tax payment will help Africa to have more revenue to develop the continent.

“Mobilisation of resources through taxation is a top priority on Africa’s development agenda. Many countries have had to rely on foreign donors to fill the gap.

“As governments face demand for better services and improved living conditions from growing populations, reform of tax and public finance systems to improve domestic revenue collection are likely to remain top development priorities,” she said.

Nengak Daniel Gondyi, Programme Officer of CLEEN, said the survey data revealed a worrying report that 18 per cent of citizens made payment to non-state agents, saying, “This should be stopped because it will be damaging the image of tax officials. The essence of the presentation is that policy makers can work with and respond to some of these findings.”



Unknown said...

Cash and the official race has always been relevant, you do not see and they do not tighten, but do not always get the results, which was originally expected - I hope everybody got what they deserved.

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