‘Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. – Ronald Reagan
Taxes are how we pool our money for public health and safety, infrastructure, research and services—from the development of vaccines and the internet to public schools and universities,transportation, courts, police, parks, and safe drinking water – Holly Sklar,Common Dreams, April 17, 2006
Development of any nation or people is key to growth and this cannot be over emphasized when we put into context how growth is achieved. In any developing nation,Infrastructural development and growth doesn’t occur without key factors, as the saying goes ‘Rome was not built in a day’ and this also applies to Nigeria as a nation.
This is sort through the collective responsibility of the people and the government. Taxation is a viable tool that has helped developed so many places, has it had the same effect here in Nigeria Is a question that beckons?
The importance of tax payment in any given country can’t be over emphasized considering that, the benefit that comes with it place a great value to the existence of a government.
That the government doesn’t depend solely on national yearly budgets to finance and bankroll so many developmental key projects in the state is a pointer to why it has become a need for its people to regularly and promptly pay its taxes.
Tax payment is considered a civic duty, although doing so is also a requirement of the law. If you do not pay your taxes, the government agency that oversees taxes — the Federal Internal Revenue service or the state Revenue service —will require you to pay your taxes or else face penalties, such as fines or jail time
To this end, tax payment is that vehicle that drives the socio-economy progress of a country.
Former Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, once said that the regular payment of taxes by Nigerians is fundamental to the growth and development of the economy.
Adeosun said, “Payment of taxes is a fundamental requirement for our growth story’Nigeria has a very poor scorecard in tax payment. When oil came, we abandoned the old systems of tax collection that provided most of our infrastructure since the colonial days.
“Currently, we have just 14 million taxpayers out of 70 million who are economically active. So, many people who should be paying are not paying anything.It is the development of taxes that will help the states and the Federal Government to achieve their true potential.”
The levying of taxes aim to raise revenue to fund governing and/or to alter prices in order to affect demand. States and their functional equivalents throughout history have used money provided by taxation to carry out many functions.
Some of these include expenditures on economic infrastructure (roads, public transportation,sanitation, legal systems, public safety, education and health-care systems),military, scientific research, culture and the arts, public works,distribution, data collection and dissemination, public insurance, and the operation of government itself. A government’s ability to raise taxes is called its fiscal capacity.
When expenditures exceed tax revenue, a government accumulates debt. A portion of taxes may be used to service past debts. Governments also use taxes to fund welfare and public services. These services can include education systems,pensions for the elderly, unemployment benefits, and public transportation.Energy, water and waste management systems are also common public utilities.
Taxes help raise the standard of living in a country. The higher the standard of living, the stronger and higher the level of consumption most likely is.Businesses flourish when there is a market for their product and services. With a higher standard of living, businesses would be assured of a higher domestic consumption as well. Taxes are essential and every citizen is meant to reap benefits of these taxes.
This is why it is important that citizens endeavor to pay taxes and understand that it is meant to be more than just a “money grab” from the government.