A Precis of the Abuse of Power by Revenue Authorities in Nigeria and Proposals for Reform
Keywords:Taxpayers’ rights; abuse of power; discretionary powers; taxing powers
The article discusses how the broad powers that are granted to the revenue authorities under the Nigerian tax laws have unfairly and negatively affected all taxpayers in Nigeria. It investigates the taxing powers of the states, the abuse of such powers and the discretional limits of the Nigerian state tax officials. The article calls for the revamping of the current tax laws, with a view of enhancing the legal rights of taxpayers in Nigeria. It discusses the rights of taxpayers under the Nigerian Constitution, 1999, and other relevant tax laws. It is submitted that the Nigerian states sometimes abuse their taxing and discretionary powers, which in turn negatively affects taxpayers’ rights. The problems encountered by taxpayers in obtaining justice given the wide powers granted to the Nigerian tax authorities are identified and discussed. Accordingly, it is recommended that certain provisions of the existing tax laws should be amended and/or expunged.
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