Multiplicity of taxes in Nigeria: issues, problems and solutions

Multiplicity of taxes in Nigeria: issues, problems and solutions

Following the emergence of multiplicity of taxes in the Nigerian fiscal landscape,1 the Joint Tax Board (JTB) had taken a number of steps to curb the phenomenon. However, such efforts have recorded partial success.2 Like a cat with nine lives, multiplicity of taxes has refused to die and continues to wreck havoc on stakeholders, average citizens, businesses and even households in Nigeria.

From the bias of a tax lawyer, this paper examines, among other things, the meaning of multiplicity of taxes, its causes, impact on tax compliance and revenue yield. It also discusses the growing debate on the need to streamline the number of taxes in Nigeria in view of the low yields of many of the taxes. In this regard, the recommendations of the 2003 Tax Study Group were briefly considered. The paper considers the extent to which multiplicity of taxes really exist in Nigeria, why the problems persist and concludes with what the writer considers as the appropriate solutions.