Effect of Tax Morale on Tax Compliance in Nigeria

 Effect of Tax Morale on Tax Compliance in Nigeria


Effect of Tax Morale on Tax Compliance in Nigeria


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Chapter one on Effect of Tax Morale on Tax Compliance in Nigeria



The concept of Quid Pro Quo applies to every facet of life-taxation inclusive. An average tax payer expects something of value in return from the government for taxes paid (Adebisi and Gbegi, 2013). When this value is not returned to the taxpayers, tax morale may drop gradually, leading to tax evasion. In Nigeria today, tax is regarded as one of the major sources of government funds. Taxation is one of the most discuss issue in government in both developed and developing countries. James and Noble 1992 in their research defined tax as a compulsory levy by a public authority for which nothing is received directly in return. Nightingale in the year 2001 defined tax as compulsory contribution, imposed by government, and while taxpayers may receive nothing identifiable in return for their contribution, they nevertheless have the benefit of living in a relatively educated, healthy and safe society. She went on to on to explain more about taxation as part of the price to be paid for an organized society and identified six reasons for taxation; below are some of the six reasons for taxation:

1. provision of public goods

2. redistribution of income and wealth

3. promotion of social and economic welfare

4. economic stability and harmonization and

5. Regulation.

In other words tax can also be defined as a particular amount levied on the citizens by the government against the income, profits, property, wealth and consumption of individuals and corporate organizations to enable government obtain the required revenue to provide basic amenities, security and well-being of the citizens. The term taxation has long being known since the time of the Egyptians under the rulership of Pharaoh according to (Webber and Wildavsky, 1986). Pharaoh did great by placing his tax collectors on high salaries so as to remove their eyes from fraud. In Nigeria today the issue of corruption is a major clog of the efficiency of tax collection in most part of the country especially in the Ikorodu part of Lagos State in Nigeria.  The issue of tax according to Allingham and Sandmo (1972), in his research stated that corruption of the tax agency is still an issue, especially in developing countries according to the traditional model of tax compliance. The level of corruption in the administration of tax tends to be on the increase; imagine a situation where a taxpayer will manipulate his or her own figure with claim on a poor income on their tax return by solving an expected utility-maximization problem that trade off the tax savings from a poor reporting of true income against the risk of audit and penalties for detected noncompliance.


The standard of living in Nigeria is on the decline and the unwillingness of taxpayers to comply with the payment of tax today tends to become an issue. The average human being abhors the payment of tax. He sees taxation as a discredited imposition and evidently obnoxious. This stems mainly from the absence of a “quid pro quo” i.e. something of value given in return (by the government) for taxes paid. Taxes, it is commonly argued, should not be paid as the authority does not provide amenities which are in any way commensurate with the taxes paid. There is no guaranteed compensation benefit (Adebisi and Gbegi, 2013). The federal government of Nigeria has put in so much effort to administer tax in the development of the Nigeria economy but most of the effort seems abortive as the level of corruption is on the increase. Take Ikorodu local government area of Lagos for instance; most of the inhabitants of this area are petty trader and peasant farmers; compliance to payment of tax tend to become a problem; their reason being that they operate on a small scale and yet the level of tax levied on them is much. There moral for compliance to the payment of tax tends to be on the decrease.


The major aim of this study is to examine the effect of tax morale on tax compliance in Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study includes;

1. To examine the causes of tax evasion in Nigeria.

2. To examine the level of tax compliance in Ikorodu local government area.

3. To determine the relationship between tax morale and tax compliance in Ikorodu local government area, Lagos state.

4. To recommend ways improving tax morale in Ikorodu l0ocal government area, Lagos state.


1. What are the effects of tax morale on tax compliance in Nigeria?

2. What are the causes of tax evasion in Nigeria?

3. What is the level of tax compliance in Nigeria?

4. What is the relationship between tax morale and tax compliance in Nigeria?

5. What are the ways of improving tax compliance in Nigeria?


H0: Tax morale does not affect tax compliance in Nigeria.

H1: Tax morale affects tax compliance in Nigeria.

H0: There is no significant relationship between tax morale and tax compliance in Nigeria.


This study would be of immense important to government at all level especially the government of Lagos state in formulating efficient tax policies that would improve tax compliance. This study would also benefit students, researchers and scholars who are interested in tax morale and compliance.


This study is restricted to the effect of tax morale on tax compliance in Nigeria with a case study of Ikorodu local government area of Lagos state.

Limitation of the study

Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


TAX MORALE: Tax in accordance to the study is simply the willingness to pay tax

EVASION: Tax evasion in accordance to the study may be define as the deliberate negative attitude of tax payer towards payment of tax.

CORRUPTION: this is simply the fraudulent attitudes of taxpayer in the payment of tax.

COMPLIANCE: compliance according to the study is simply the willingness of a taxpayer to pay tax with ease without complain.


Abdulrazaq, M.T. (1993). Principles and practice of Nigerian tax planning and management. Ilorin: Batay Publications Limited.
Adebisi, J.F. & Gbegi, D.O. (2013). Effect of Tax Avoidance and Tax evasion on Personal Income Tax Administration in Nigeria. American Journal of Humanity and Social Sciences. Vol 1. No.3
Aitken, S. & Bonneville, L. (1980). A general taxpayer opinion survey. Washington D.C: Internal Revenue Service.
Asika, N. (2000). Research methodology in the behavioral sciences. Lagos: Longman Nigeria Plc.
Attwell, R.L. & Sawyer, A. J. (2001). The ethical attitudes of New Zealand tax practitioners-still „barely passing‟? New Zealand Journal of Taxation Law and Policy, 7(2).
Australian Taxation Office (1997). Australian Taxation Office annual report 1996-1997,Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.
Ayres. F. L. & Braithwaite, J. (1992). Responsive regulation: transcend the deregulation debate, New York, Oxford University Press.
Beck, P., Davis, J. & Jung, W. (1994). Tax advice and reporting under uncertainty: theory and an experimental evidence. Illinois: University of Illinois.
Braithwaite, V. & Braithwaite, J. (2000). An evolving compliance model for tax enforcement. In N. Shover and J.P. Wright (Eds.) Crimes of privilege. New York: Oxford University Press. 




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