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CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION AND DEFINITION OF PROBLEM

1.1 Background to the Problem History has shown that there has always been a reluctance to pay tax not only in Africa where the need for increase of internal revenue to finance expenditure is highly needed to reduce external assistance but also in developed countries. A major reason for this attitude is that the taxpayer does not always perceive that he receives equal benefits from parting with his hard earned cash. Tax compliance issues are as old as taxes themselves and will remain an area of discovery as long as taxes exist. There is almost no civilization that did not tax (Adams, 1993).

Most citizens, however, realize that state expenditure for the purpose of creating or maintaining national infrastructures, such as services and roads, is a necessity. But, citizens object to having to finance unnecessary state expenditure. In this regard, it is difficult to define necessity of expenditure as everyone has his own understanding of what is unnecessary. Taxpayers feel that whatever is contributed by them in a way of tax is mostly squandered away and the social responsibility the government is expected to discharge is not exercised and gets neglected. The government's bad image because of its failure to· discharge functions is a great disincentive for paying taxes.

Most people feel that tax is a burden and should be avoided. Taxpayers feel that they are being treated harshly and the punitive provisions in the tax laws are applied ruthlessly against them.

Hence, it is better to be away from the tax department and the number of non-filers of tax returns is increasing."(Coetzee, 1996) Tax revenue, from direct and indirect taxes, has been the Tanzanian government’s main income. In 2008, tax revenue contributed 75.81% of the total national income (MoFE, 2006); while non-tax revenue contributed 24.19% of the total income. Of the total tax revenue, direct tax has been the biggest contributor at 50.37% while the balance was made up of indirect taxes at 25.44%. Tax knowledge among taxpayers is a very important aspect of tax collection. To achieve higher levels of tax compliance, taxpayers must understand all the laws and regulations that govern taxation. This is necessary because knowledgeable taxpayer knows what, when and where to pay taxes and he is more likely to voluntary complies than those with little or no knowledge on tax matters (Mustafa, 1996). As the country’s tax administration authority, Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) is responsible for educating tax papers on tax matters. This responsibility falls under the Taxpayers Education Department which is responsible for bringing tax knowledge to the public. This research will explore the efficiency of tax education in enhancing voluntary tax compliance by comparing the periods before departmental establishment, and after in relation to the level of compliance.

1.2 Statement of the Problem Paying taxes is a legal responsibility of citizens, with penalties attendant on non-compliance. But even in the face of penalties, tax evasion exists. According to Maliyamkono (2009), only 10% of eligible tax payers in Tanzania pay taxes. Among the major causes of low level of tax compliance in Tanzania is lack of tax knowledge among tax payers.

Malyamkono (2009) further argues that only 10% of eligible tax payers in Tanzania pay their taxes on a regular basis. The rate of tax evasion is especially higher among tax payers operating in the SMEs sector. Over half of the tax evasion incidence is attributable to underreporting of business income. Particularly, high tax evasion rates are associated with self-employed income. 1.3 Objective of the Study The main objective of the study is to look at tax payer education as a factor contributing to individual voluntary compliance. The main focus will be on the following specific objectives of the study 1.3 Specific objectives 1. To identify the extent of taxpayers knowledge on taxation matters 2. To asses the influence of tax knowledge on voluntary tax compliance 3. To identify better ways of dissemination of tax knowledge to the taxpayers.

1.4 Research Questions The study will be guided by the following specific research questions; 1. What is the level of tax knowledge of the taxpayer? 2. What is the influence of tax knowledge on voluntary tax compliance?

3. How does the department responsible for education disseminate tax knowledge? And what are the best ways of transferring knowledge to the public? 1.5 Significance of the Study Tax collections play a very important role in facilitating economic development of the country. By paying taxes, tax payers contribute to economic development. Thus, low level of tax compliance among tax payers contributes to stagnation of economic development. Since there is an existing knowledge gap on the impact of tax knowledge on tax compliance, findings of this study will contribute towards filling that knowledge gap among members of the general public.

Findings of the study will enable members of Education department of TRA to understand the extent of influence of knowledge on taxpayer’s behaviour to pay tax and best ways to disseminate the message. Findings of this stud will also act as a stepping stone for future researchers on the same or similar topics. Completion of the study will also enable the researcher to fulfil partial requirements for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Taxation of Institute of Finance Management. 1.6 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY In doing this study, the researcher encountered the following limitations: Time Constraint This study will be carried out for a short period of time because of the time frame scheduled for the project execution and reporting so that it can fit in Institute’s academic calendar.

Financial limitation Financing is another limitation, money always not enough. It is expected that finance will be one of limitation that will negatively affect the process. However the research have thought of ways to reduce the limitations to be faced by reviewing previous researchers techniques in overcoming the barriers.

CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW 2.0 Introduction This chapter presents the theoretical literature review, empirical literature review, and research gap and conceptual framework of the study. 2.1 Theoretical Literature Review Theory of Taxation The best-known theory of taxation was developed by Allingham (1972) who applied the economic theory of revenue collection. According to the model, the main challenge in tax collection is information asymmetry between the tax collector and the tax payer where by the taxpayer may decide to evade taxes by reporting less income, hence resulting in less than expected tax collections. The Theory of Taxation also assumes that that the tendency to avoid paying tax can only be detected by a audit. When audited, the taxpayer is forced to pay the evaded tax plus a penalty, with the size of the penalty depending on the amount of understated tax rather than understated income. True income is assumed fixed, so the only choice variable for the taxpayer is how much to report (Allingham, 1972). According to the Theory of Taxation, tax avoidance also occurs when taxpayers and tax collectors collude to evade taxes and report less amount of taxable income. Also, since tax is only levied on detectable income, the failure of tax collectors to detect taxable income may tempt the tax payer to report and pay taxes only to the detectable income (Allingham, 1972).

Also, it is not realistic that taxpayers have perfect information over the enforcement of tax laws and over what can be detected by tax inspectors, lack of awareness on tax issues can also contribute to tax avoidance. The Theory of Taxation stipulates that the higher the level of awareness on tax issues, the higher the level of tax compliance among tax payers. Tax audits affect behavior by changing perceptions regarding consequences of an audit. This may lead taxpayers to make honest mistakes and sometimes to overstate taxable income. Because it is very hard to draw the line between an honest mistake and deliberate fraud in taxation, using the use of penalties as a deterrence to tax avoidance is constrained (Allingham, 1972). Another theory of taxation is the Modern Theory of Tax Evasion put forward by Kaplow (1972). A critical assumption of the theory is that the cost borne by tax evaders in the process of reducing tax liability is equivalent to the tax burden. The higher the tax burden, the higher the possibility of tax payers trying to avoid paying tax as long as the cost of tax avoidance is less than the cost of tax compliance. 2.1.2 Tax Administration A country’s tax administration is one of the few public sector organizations which touches the lives of a country’s citizens and businesses on a daily basis and, arguably has the greatest impact on their livelihood. Tax administrators are amongst the most frequently contacted government officials and often represent to the public what is right or wrong about their government (Alt, 2003).

Revenue collected from taxes along with customs collections represents the major funding source for governmental expenditures. An effective and efficient tax administration system is integral to any country’s well being. The proper amount of tax must be collected in a timely manner and the enforcement powers of the tax administration must be applied judiciously (Alt, 2003). Tax administration must provide an even playing field for taxpayers by ensuring that all taxpayers meet their tax filing and paying requirements. This requires efforts to increase the tax base. Failure to bring business activity from the shadow economy into the tax system puts compliant taxpayers at a disadvantage, and ultimately leads to an erosion of the tax base (Fisher and Michael, 2005). But now day’s tax administration is under semi-autonomous bodies known as revenue authorities, especially in Africa and Latin American countries. Under these revenue authorities, tax administration function has been taken out of the Ministry of Finance and granted to a semiautonomous entity labelled in public finance literature on revenue authorities. 2.1.3 Characteristics of Tax Administration According to Fisher and Michael (2005), all registered taxpayers and all tax liabilities are “controlled” on a regular basis. The reliance is on the known universe of taxpayers who are subjected to frequent and intrusive tax inspections regardless of their past compliance history or loss of revenue risk they may pose. Little attention is paid to identifying non-filers and bringing them onto the tax rolls.

Most tax inspections do not represent thorough or professional financial audits practiced by modern tax administrations and do not meet international standards. There is no limit on the total

amounts of penalties that can be assessed in addition to tax. The actual amount of tax due may be less than penalties assessed. The emphasis of tax administration is to meet a pre-determined revenue target (Sandford, 2005) In Tax administration, internal communications are less and there is a top-down management approach which discourages employee suggestions or feedback. An overall management practice is poor and is considered an overhead activity which does not justify much attention or resources. There are few or no professionals’ staffs. The emphasis is on teaching contents of tax laws (Sandford, 2005). 2.1.4 Tax Administrator/Taxpayer Interface There are a number of points of contact between taxpayers and tax administrators. The initial contact between the taxpayer and tax administration usually occurs when registering to secure a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). However, the taxpayer may first contact the tax administration to secure information about tax requirements (Crocker and Joel, 2005). Follow-up contacts may be made to request additional information or tax forms, publications, or assistance. Assistance may be requested to check on the status of the taxpayer’s account and other inquiries. If the taxpayer has not provided all the information requested on the tax return, or if there is a mathematical or other error on the return, there will be a follow-up contact by the tax administration (Ibid.).

If the information provided on the tax return does not match other information in the tax administration’s files that it is cross-checked against, the taxpayer will be contacted. If the taxpayer

is selected for an audit or control, the taxpayer will be contacted. If the taxpayer disputes the results of a tax audit, there will be an attempt to resolve the dispute (Crocker and Joel, 2005). 2.1.5 Tax Administration Processes Tax administrators perform various activities which directly relate to the mission of the tax administration while other activities provide the support framework to properly carry out this mission. Core business processes are interrelated communications and coordination between these processes is essential (Slemrod and Yitzhaki, 2006). Activities performed by tax administrators include; collecting information about tax payers, tax assessments, tax collections, tax filing, setting tax avoidance penalties, information gathering activities to determine size of the tax base, dealing with criminal tax law violations, conducting tax audit, investigation of tax fraud and related crimes (Yitzhaki, 2004). 2.1.6 Duty/Obligation to Pay Taxes According to Yitzhaki (2004) the duty and obligation to pay tax is the responsibility of every citizen who has reached the age of legal consent. Duty and obligation are central to understanding taxpaying behavior. The argument is based on the observation that, given the probability of penalties, tax evasion seems to be a winning proposition for many more people than actually do evade.

Feld and Frey (2000) assert that it is "impossible to account for tax compliance in terms of expected punishment." From this perspective, the puzzle is not to explain why people evade, but

rather why people pay taxes. Tax evasion may be suppressed, as has been found to be true in other settings. There is evidence that dissatisfaction with the tax system is related to noncompliance. In review of tax compliance, the authors identify three classes of explanation for why tax evasion is lower than what economic models of tax evasion predict: moral rules or sentiments that determine the psychic costs of evasion, evaluations of the fairness of the tax code and its enforcement, and evaluation of government expenditures and corruption (ibid).

Feld and Frey (2000) differentiate between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to pay taxes. With intrinsic motivation, taxpayers pay because of civic virtue. With extrinsic motivation, they do so because of threat of punishment. Frey argues that increasing extrinsic motivation “crowds out” intrinsic motivation by making people feel that they pay taxes because they have to, rather than because they want to.

Moreover, as Andreoni et al (2000) point out, perceived unfairness can be used to rationalize tax evasion in one’s self-interest and argue that where the relationship between the individual and the tax authority is seen as involving an implicit contract sustained by trust, individuals comply due to high “tax morale.” To sustain citizens’ morale, the tax authority must act respectfully toward citizens.

From this perspective, maintaining high “tax morale” might be a reason for spending more on enforcement. by giving taxpayers the benefit of the doubt when it finds a mistake, by sanctioning small violations more mildly, and by sanctioning large and basic violations more heavily. There is

a positive relationship between attitudes toward tax evasion on the one hand and professed trust in government. 2.1.7 Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance Tax evasion means trying to reduce tax liability illegal for example failing to declare a source of revenue in your annual return of income (Stain, 1989). According to Mpongoliana (2000), tax evasion involves tax payer deliberately contravention of tax law in order to minimize or eliminate tax liability altogether by pay no or low tax respectively breaking the law. According to Sally (2007), tax evasion is illegal legitimate means of reducing taxes. tax evasion is a willful and deliberate attempt to defraud the government by understanding a tax liability through illegal means. On the other hand, tax avoidance is the legal utilization of tax regime to one’s an advantage, to reduce the amount of tax that is payable by means that are within the law. Today countries all over the world face the growing problem is collection taxes to fund public goods and services such as health, education, infrastructure and vital for developing countries to fund the reduction of poverty. Tax evasion and tax avoidance both contribute in large extent to the problem of low tax collection in developing countries (Mpongoliana, 2000). One of the causes of tax evasion is high tax rates charged by tax authorities. A number of initiatives can be taken by government in the tax field to foster the growth of businesses and/or reduce the paperwork burden that businesses face. Measures which have the greatest impact are those which are established by tax legislation in an effort to collect taxes (Yitzhaki, 2004). Tax evasion is illegal legitimate means of reducing taxes. It has been argued that tax evasion is a willful and deliberate attempt to defraud the government by understanding a tax liability through

illegal means (Sally, 2007). Tax avoidance is the legal utilization of tax regime to one’s an advantage, to reduce the amount of tax that is payable by means that are within the law. 2.1.8 Taxpayer Behaviour Tax payer behavior is almost the same in several aspects and industrialized countries may choose not to pay tax or under casting amount which is supposed to pay (Mzee, 2008). The problem of tax evasion and tax avoidance is inherent in all tax system. In fact tax evasion and tax avoidance is old as taxes themselves, Example of tax evasion are making false returns and making false statement affects the tax liability. All over the world, there is a wide spread of unwillingness among members of the general public to pay tax. Different arguments are used to explain the intensive non-compliance (Bukuru, 2001) argues that the evasion of tax is primarily due to tax payer’s inability to pay to lack of clarity with respect to obligation and reasons for paying. Other studies show that unwilling to pay tax is the result of a combination of various political and social factors that make tax payers to refuse to pay taxes. Among the reasons for such tax payer behavious is poor public services delivery by the government, mis-use of public funds and perception of unfairness of the taxes charged by the government (Tripp, 2009:287). The relationship between tax payer and government include three elements; first is the element of coercion, this is the tax evasion model which assume that the tax payer behavior is influenced by factors such as the tax rate, determining the benefit of evasion and the probability of detection and penalty for fraud or non compliance (Alligham and Sandmo, 1972).

Second element of tax payer behaviour is provision of public goods and services are interpreted as a contractual relationship between taxpayer and government. Individual may pay taxes because value the goods provided by the government, without material benefit, compliance becomes less assured (Alligham and Sandmo, 1972). Although tax payers can not assess the exact value of what they receive from the government in return of tax pay, they have general impression and altitude concerning their own and other terms of trade with the government. It is reasonable to assume that human behavior is interaction in the same way as other form of behavior (Snavely, 2000). 2.1.9 Tax Knowledge The influence of tax knowledge on tax compliance behaviours has been proven in various researches. Groenland and Veldhoven (1983) categorized knowledge in this context into two aspects, namely knowledge through common or formal education usually received by people and knowledge towards the opportunity to evade tax (Eriksen and Fallan, 2006). As one of the factors in tax compliance, tax knowledge has a very close relationship with taxpayers’ ability to understand the laws and regulations of taxation, and their ability to comply (Singh, 2003). Knowledge as one of the factors in compliance is related to the taxpayers’ ability to understand taxation laws, and their willingness to comply (Viswanathan, 2002). The aspect of knowledge that relates to compliance is the general understanding about taxation regulations and information pertaining to the opportunity to evade tax (Tan and Chin-Fatt, 2000). A question that has been raised by previous researchers (Singh, 2003; Tan and Chin-Fatt, 2000) is whether enhancement in the tax knowledge will propel high levels of tax compliance.

Attitude towards tax compliance can be improved through the enhancement of taxation knowledge. When a taxpayer has a positive attitude towards tax, this will reduce his or her inclination to evade tax payment. Tax knowledge has been conceded as a crucial factor to enhance taxpayers’ understanding of the new system, which in turn will help implement it smoothly (Eriksen and Fallan, 2006). Taxation knowledge is necessary to increase public awareness especially in areas concerning taxation laws, the role of tax in national development, and especially to explain how and where the money collected is spent by the government (Mohani, 2003). More importantly, it is necessary that current and future taxpayers are exposed to the roles that they could play in developing the country. In a nutshell, there was a significant difference in tax compliance behaviours between respondents with knowledge about income tax and respondents without tax knowledge. Previous studies have also shown the same situation, which is knowledge influences income tax compliance behaviours Intensification in tax knowledge has a significant relationship with tax compliance (Tan and ChinFatt, 2000). Also, tax knowledge has significant influence on tax compliance behaviours (Mustafa, 2006). There is a need for further studies to be conducted in order to analyse knowledge factor on tax compliance behaviours, especially among taxpayers who do not receive formal knowledge at education institutions. There would be low tax compliance among taxpayers if their knowledge and experience about tax is low.

2.2.4 Tax Administration Challenges One of the challenges facing most developing countries including Tanzania is the financing of an ever growing government budget, which lead to budget deficits. As countries strive to be financially independent from donor Government Budget Support (GBS), tax revenue collection becomes an important task alternative for raising funds to finance government expenditures. The government of Tanzania faces the daunting task of financing its expenditures as donors also reduce their GBS. The ability of the tax administrator, TRA in the case of Tanzania, to adequately finance government budgets has been the subject of considerable debate and it sounds imperative for TRA enhance its tax revenue collection capacity. Different authors have written on the serious challenges facing tax administrators in tax revenue collection (Brunori, 1998; Murray and Fox, 1997; Sjoquist, 2003; Snell, 2004). They question the viability and in some case the survivability of a particular tax (Fox 1998; Mikesell 1998; Pomp 1998), and suggest strategies for improving tax collection initiatives (Hellerstein, 1998). Having effective tax administration institutions is central to achieving tax revenue collection targets to support government budget financing because it enhances the ability to collect taxes by the government. Tax administration reforms in both developing and developed countries have recommended autonomous and semi-autonomous institutional framework for tax administration bodies. Several factors explain the degree of autonomy of powers delegated to revenue bodies. These factors include: institutional arrangements of revenue bodies: whether or not they have an executive or advisory board; the system of political governance existing in the country of operation; and the nature and capacity of public sector management (OECD, 2009).

Also, the degree of autonomy as prescribed in the law may, in some countries, differ from the actual use/practice of such powers. Available literature indicates that intrusive political influence (formal or informal) can over-ride prescribed legal and administrative arrangements. Delegated powers can also be used excessively and too coercively to meet set revenue collection targets (Moore, 2007). Coercive taxation applies to assessments and collection conducted in ways that are likely to be perceived by taxpayers as arbitrary, extractive, unfair or brutal. Where such abuses are prevalent, they contribute in significant ways to the weakening of the public governance system (Moore, 2007). For effective tax revenue collection, the tax administrators must have powers to make tax law rulings. Extensive utilization of these available powers, including the issuance of timely tax rulings and implementation of key institutional reforms, will greatly enhance the effectiveness and transparency of the tax system and contributes to high tax revenue collection. Furthermore, this improves taxpayers’ perception of the tax system and promotes voluntary compliance (Moore, 2007). One of the responsibilities of the government is to monitor revenue performance, usually at the expense of other key performance indicators. Tax revenue collections as a percentage of GDP and the contribution of major tax heads should be measured regularly to determine the extent to which TRA has performed in terms revenue collection.

2.2.5 Strategies for Increasing Tax Revenue Collection Tax systems exist primarily to raise revenue to fund government operations. Lack of sufficient revenue often results in large budget deficits. Except when short-term fiscal stimulus may be considered appropriate for macroeconomic reasons, deficits generally have undesirable macroeconomic consequences such as crowding out private investment and increasing inflation. Preventing deficits requires good control over both the expenditure and revenue sides of government. The legislated budget must be structured each year to operate strictly within

estimates of likely revenue receipts. While this may seem obvious, even these initial conditions for good tax and budgetary policy are not satisfied in a number of countries. 2.4 Conceptual Framework

According to the conceptual framework above, for a tax administration to be effective and realize revenue collection revenues, two strategies can be used. The first strategy is to increase the level of tax knowledge in order to increase tax compliance. The second strategy is to enforce tax laws for those who avoid taxes. This serves as deterrence for those who want to avoid tax.

CHAPTER THREE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 3.0 Introduction Research methodology stipulates on how the research will be carried out. This includes type of the study, study population, sample size and sampling techniques, types and sources of data, data collection methods, variables, validity and analytical methods. 3.1 Area of the Study The study was conducted in Dar es Salaam at the Offices of TRA tax education department. The researcher decided to conduct the study at the offices because she believes that it will be easier for her to meet with respondents and obtain the required information on time. 3.2 Research Design A research design is the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure (Kothari, 2004). This study will use a descriptive research design which is suitable for studies whose main emphasis is to formulate a problem for more precise investigation or developing a working hypothesis from an operational point of view. Also, descriptive research design is suitable for this study because it puts more emphasis on determining the frequency with which something occurs or the extent to which two variables covary. It is typically guided by an initial hypothesis. Descriptive studies are also concerned with specific predictions, narrations of facts and characteristics concerning individuals, groups or situation (Kothari, 2004).

As Kothari (2006) puts it “in descriptive studies, the researcher must be able to define clearly as to what he want to measure and must find adequate methods for measuring it. The research strategy was a cross sectional that is a snapshot, taken at a particular point in time. The study involved both qualitative and quantitative approach. The strategy was applied because of time constraints. 3.3 Population of the Study and Sampling Procedures Kothari (2006) defines sample as a collection of some parts of the population on the basis of which judgment is made small enough to convenient data collection and large enough to be a true representative of the population from which it had been selected. Sample size refers to a number of items to be selected from the universe to constitute a sample. The sample must be optimum.

According to Kothari (2006), sampling refers to the process of picking up few or small units out of whole population for study. Such unit is expected to be a representative of the whole population. The researcher uses the sample size from the mentioned population and further uses different sampling techniques of which the following are the techniques applied.

Purposive sampling will be used to select respondents among members of staff of TRA and taxpayers. The researcher used purposive sampling technique in this study because it will enable her to categorize according to their level of responsibilities and capabilities. The study will involve 110 respondents, 100 taxpayers and 10 members of taxpayers education department staff of TRA.

3.4 Data Collection Methods The study will use both primary and secondary data. Documentary sources such as relevant books, journals, articles, official publications and reports was utilized to present the facts and to substantiate the arguments in order to secure secondary data. In respect to primary data, interviews, questionnaires, and observation will be used. Interview method According to (Kothari, 2006), an interview is a set of question administered through oral or verbal communication or is a face to face discussion between the researcher and the interviewee respondent. There are two types of interviews, namely structured and unstructured interviews. Both types of interviews were used to collect data from respondents. Observation According to Kothari (2006), observation is a data collection method that involves seeking information by the way of environment scanning. The researcher was used observation method to explore the challenges facing tax administrators in tax collection. The researcher will spend time with members of staff of TRA and owners of SMEs and observe how they perform their day-today duties. Documentary review analysis Documentary review analysis is a data collection method that involves perusal of various documents such as reports, books, financial statements or websites. Documentary review analysis was used to collect data and historical information on revenue collection targets and achievements by TRA in educating the general public since it’s establishment to the present time.

Questionnaires According to Kothari (2006), a questionnaire is a set of questions which are usually sent to the selected respondents to answer at their own convenient time and return back the filled questionnaire to the researcher. The researcher will use questionnaires to collect data because they cover a large sample of respondents in the shortest possible time and using low costs.

3.5 Data Processing and Analysis Data and information to be collected during the study will be summarised and processed by normal office applications such as Microsoft Excel spreadsheet software. The findings of the research study will be organized and the data will be presented in the form of words, numbers and percentages by using tables, pie charts, histograms and graphs.

Quantitative data collected from questionnaires will be carefully checked for correctness, and then presented in tables and figures by using words, numbers and percentages. The data will be analysed by using Excel and presented in the form of charts and histograms. Qualitative data collected from interviews with respondents will be recorded by using tape recorders and then transcribed.