International Journal of Entrepreneurship (Print ISSN: 1099-9264; Online ISSN: 1939-4675)


Itinerant entrepreneurs tax evasion and implication to the Nigerian economy: A case study of Edo state

Author(s): Angela Obose Oriazowanlan

The high rate of tax evasion among SMEs including itinerant entrepreneurs is alarming, yet they use public resources which government provides with continuous borrowing. The study therefore examined the negative impact of itinerant entrepreneurs’ tax evasion on the Nigerian economy. It determined possible intervention strategies for effective tax assessment and collection in order to block the existing loopholes and increase government revenue. The descriptive research design was adopted for the study and an infinite population of itinerant entrepreneurs and about 1,237 tax officers constituted the study population. 390 itinerant entrepreneurs and 83 tax officers were selected as samples using stratified and purposive sampling techniques respectively. A 20-item and 25-item structured questionnaires were used for data gathering. 0.87 and 0.89 respectively were obtained as coefficient values using Cronbach Apha. On-the-spot delivery and recovery method was adopted for data gathering which was analysed using the descriptive statistics of mean and standard deviation to address the research questions and determine the respondents’ homogeneity. The findings revealed that to a fairly moderate extent the respondents were aware of their tax obligations but with a low level of compliance due to multiple taxation, inadequate provision of public services, harassment by tax officers and poor tax education/orientations. Moreso, the findings equally revealed that tax officers face numerous challenges to effectively assess itinerant entrepreneurs’ taxable incomes using personal judgement because they do not have valid tax information since they are scattered in different locations and are not captured in the government tax net. While the oral interview revealed that unscrupulous elements engage in illegal tax collection from the traders. It was therefore recommended among others that government should adopt a swift mechanism to ensure that all itinerant entrepreneurs are captured in the tax net and duly registered in the online Tax Identification Number (TIN) policy to form data base. Also give them proper tax knowledge through tax education/orientations and checkmate the excesses of illegal revenue collectors especially in market places to block the existing loopholes and increase government revenue in Edo State and Nigeria in general.

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