PERCEPTION OF E-TAX FILING IN NIGERIA

(Accounting)
PERCEPTION OF E-TAX FILING IN NIGERIA
ABSTRACT

This study examined perception of e-tax filing in Nigeria. In order to actualize the objectives of the study, various literature and theoretical issues were discussed. The instrument used for the purpose of this research was gathered through primary and secondary sources. The primary source is through questionnaires while the secondary source extracts from textbooks by different authors, journals and other publications. The mass of information generated from the questionnaires was summarized in form of table and analyzed using simple percentage. The researcher administered one hundred (100) questionnaires to respondents, out of which eighty-four (84) were retrieved for the purpose of presenting and analyzing responses to issues raise in the questionnaires. The data collected was analyzed using Z-test statistical tool. The findings from analysis revealed among other things that the perceived usefulness of e-tax filing will have a positive effect on the adoption of e-tax filing in Nigeria. Recommendations were however made by the researcher.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Background to the Study                     
Statement of the Research Problem                 
Objective of the Study                         
Research Hypothesis                         
Scope of the Study                        
Significance of the Study                    
Limitation of the Study                        
References                             
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
Background to E-Filing System and Implementation        
Worldwide Experience of E-Filing Issues in Brief        
Theoretical Views on Users’ Perception, Technology
Acceptance, and Usage of E-Filing Issues            
The Determinants of Tax E-Filing among Tax Preparers        
The Determinants of On-Line Tax Filing Intention and Behavior
Previous Studies on E-Tax Filing                 
References                                
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Introduction                             
Research Design                             
Population of the Study                            
The Sample Size                                 
Data Collection Method                         
Source of Data                             
The Research Instrument                 
Data Analysis Method                         
References                                 
CHAPTER FOUR: PRESENTATION OF DATA AND ANALYSIS
4.1    Introduction        
4.2    Descriptive Statistics                     
4.3    Test of Hypothesis                         
CHAPTER FIVE:    SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Introduction                              
Summary of Findings                     
5.2    Recommendations                        
5.3    Conclusion                                
Bibliography                            
Appendix                        
CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Governments around the world are increasing the use of information and communication technologies to improve the delivery of public services and the dissemination of public administration information to the public. Thus, the success of e-government depends on the importance that citizen’s place on factors such as convenience and usefulness of such services. One prominent type of e-government is the introduction of the e-filing system for income tax. Through this system, taxpayers are able to submit their tax returns electronically to the tax authorities. However, this system is slow in gaining acceptance by taxpayers. For example, in the US, which introduced e-filing in 1986, it is reported that only 52% of its taxpayers used e-filing in 2007 (The Internal Revenue Service, 2007).
Recently, developing countries are also introduced e-tax filing. In 2009, the fourth year after e-filing was implemented, only 1.25 million taxpayers were reported to have filed their tax return through e-filing (Bernama, 2009).
E-filing is one of the most important and advanced e-government services in developed and developing countries, providing convenience to taxpayers for tax assessments and payment. The tax authority in developed and developing countries, the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) has invested a substantial amount of money and resources to develop an e-filing system. If a country wants to reap the rewards from its investment in e-filing, studies have to be conducted on e-filing to improve its adoption by taxpayers.
Researches such as Hoffman et al. (1995), Alba et al (1997) and Peterson et al. (1997) have discussed several benefits of online activities to the consumers. Among them are that the Internet allows consumers to conduct transactions within a few mouse clicks. This convenience can serve as a key driver of e-filing adoption. E-filing provides many aspects of ‘convenience’ to taxpayers (that is time to file, place to conduct the filing, ease-of use, information searching and online transactions) at a degree that is not available through traditional channels. E-filing also offers flexibility of time and reduces calculation error on the tax return form to the taxpayers.
Furthermore, e-filing offers many benefits to service providers, which are the tax authorities. To the service provider, e-filing minimizes their workload and operational cost due to the submission of tax returns in a paperless environment. It also reduces the cost of processing, storing and handling of tax returns.
Despite these benefits associated with e-filing, tax authorities face some major challenges towards the implementation of the e-filing system. One such challenge is the public perception of the e-filing system.
After using an e-service over the Internet, the public may find the e-service system easy and useful or otherwise. Since the public cannot directly communicate with tax personnel, see or touch the tax forms as the service is provided online, the e-filing service system delivered to them may not perform as expected. In addition, the public may be burdened by the time and effort spent learning the new system and accommodating any services failure.
Although time is a non-monetary effort and varies among individuals, researchers have recognized that time is a cost that consumers/users must pay for any use of products/services (Sweeney et al., 1999).
Another major challenge is to ensure that the system runs smoothly and efficiently during the tax filing period each year. This refers to the technical aspects of e-filing, i.e. computer and information systems utilized for the e-filing system need to be stable and reliable enough to handle a large amount of information processing, especially during the peak period of e-filing and particularly as the deadline approaches. The service provider has to ensure that the e-filing system can handle the heavy processing of data during the month of tax submission without any glitches. Another critical issue on e-filing is that the tax authorities have to ensure that the confidentiality and privacy of the information submitted through the Internet is preserved.
If tax authorities are not able to provide an e-filing system that could overcome these challenges, taxpayers might be reluctant to adopt the e-filing system. The issues, such as loss of valuable time, information privacy, glitches on the system’s performance, if not strategically overcome, could be translated into risks to current and potential adopters of the e-filing system. Thus, perceived risk of e-filing is defined as the overall amount of uncertainty or anxiety perceived by an individual in using e-filing. It is very important for the tax authorities to understand the risks perceived by the taxpayers and to ensure that these risks are minimized for the successful implementation of the e-filing system.
STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
Despite the swift consumer acceptance on e-filing practices, Inland Revenue board (IRB) faces some major challenges towards the implementation of the e-filing system. Amongst the challenges is to ensure that the system runs smoothly and efficiently during the tax filing period each year. This is referring to the technical aspect of e-filing, i.e. computer and information systems utilized for the e-filing system need to be stable and reliable enough to handle large amount of information processing especially during the peak period of e-filing, especially when it is close to the deadline. The service provider, the IRB, has to ensure that the e-filing system could handle large processing of data during the month of tax submission without any glitches.
Another critical issue on e-filing is that the IRB has to ensure the confidentiality and privacy of the information submitted through the Internet is preserved. If the IRB are not able to provide an e-filing system that could overcome these challenges, taxpayers might be reluctant to adopt the e-filing system. The issue of information privacy, if it is not overcome and well strategized, could be translated into risk to current and potential adopters of the e-filing system. Thus, it is very important for the IRB to understand the risk perceived by the taxpayers and to ensure that the risk is minimized. To maximize the advantage of the electronic phenomenon, IRB needs to identify and understand how far perceived system risk may impact users’ decisions to engage in tax e-filing facility.
In the light of the above, the following questions are raised:
Does the perceived usefulness of e-tax filing have a positive effect on the adoption of e-filing?
Does the perceived ease of use of e-tax filing have a positive effect on the adoption of e-filing?
Does the perceived risk of e-tax filing adoption will be affected by performance risk, financial risk, time risk, psychological risk, social risk, privacy risk and overall risk?
Is the technical aspect of e-tax filing, i.e. computer and information systems utilized for the e-tax filing system stable and reliable enough to handle large amount of information processing?
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The objective of the study is to examine the perception of e-tax filing in Nigeria.
The specific objectives are:
To ascertain if the perceived usefulness of e-tax filing have a positive effect on the adoption of e-tax filing in Nigeria?
To determine if the perceived ease of use of e-tax filing have a positive effect on the adoption of e-tax filing?
Does the perceived risk of e-tax filing adoption will be affected by performance risk, financial risk, time risk, psychological risk, social risk, privacy risk and overall risk?
Is the technical aspect of e-tax filing, i.e. computer and information systems utilized for the e-tax filing system stable and reliable enough to handle large amount of information processing?
RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The following hypotheses have been formulated to serve as a base for this research;
Hypothesis I
Ho:    The perceived usefulness of e-tax filing will not have a positive effect on the adoption of e-tax filing in Nigeria.
H1:    The perceived usefulness of e-tax filing will have a positive effect on the adoption of e-tax filing in Nigeria.
Hypothesis II
Ho:    The perceived ease of use of e-tax filing will not have a positive effect on the adoption of e-tax filing.
H1:    The perceived ease of use of e-tax filing will have a positive effect on the adoption of e-tax filing.
Hypothesis III
Ho:    The perceived risk of e-tax filing adoption will not be affected by performance risk, financial risk, time risk, psychological risk, social risk, privacy risk and overall risk.
H1:    The perceived risk of e-tax filing adoption will be affected by performance risk, financial risk, time risk, psychological risk, social risk, privacy risk and overall risk.
Hypothesis IV
Ho:    The technical aspect of e-tax filing, i.e. computer and information systems utilized for the e-tax filing system is not stable and reliable enough to handle large amount of information processing.
H1:    The technical aspect of e-tax filing, i.e. computer and information systems utilized for the e-tax filing system is stable and reliable enough to handle large amount of information processing.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research work is to examine the perception of e-tax filing in Nigeria.
The population of the entire tax payers in Nigeria, while the sample size is restricted to some selected staff of Federal Inland Revenue Board, and tax payers in Benin City, Edo State.
The study will cover a period of five (5) years i.e. 2006 – 2010.
Geographically, the study will be conducted in Benin City, Edo State.  
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research work on its conclusion, together with whatever solution or findings that may arise, will prove useful to some particular group of persons or otherwise for various reasons in accordance with their varying needs.
Beneficiaries
Tax payers: This study will be important and beneficial to tax payers to know the impact of e-tax filing.
The Government: It will acquaint the government of the importance of e-tax filing and how it should be properly managed.
The public: This study will help to restore the lost confidence of the public as regard tax revenue.
Academic/future researcher: Both academic and other future researchers in this similar subject matter will find it a useful source of learning and research.   
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The problems encountered in the course of this research includes;
Inadequate Study Materials: Research materials were of limited supply due to the practicality of the study. Where they were available; the cost involved in sourcing for them was very expensive.    
Lack of Access to Current Data: Most managements and staff of the establishment would not want to disclose important or relevant information about their organizations on this subject matter, except were such is permitted by law to be disclosed.  
Finance Cost: The cost involved in sourcing for the available materials and other necessary information was very high within the reach of the student researcher.
REFERENCES
Alba J, Lynch J, Weitz B, Janiszewski C, Lutz R, Sawyer A, Wood S (1997). Interactive Home Shopping: Consumer, Retailer, and Manufacturer Incentives to Participate in Electronic Marketplaces. J. Mark. 61(3): 38-53.
Bernama (2009). IRB Notes 30 Per Cent Increase In E-Filing. Retrieved Mei 1, 2009 from://www.bernama.com/bernama//v3/news_lite .php?id=408209
Hoffman DL, Novak TP, Chatterjee P (1995). Commercial Scenarios for the Web: Opportunities and Challenges. J. Comput.-Mediated Commun. 1(3): 58-62.
Peterson RA, Balasubramanian S, Bronnenberg BJ (1997). Exploring the Implication of the Internet for Consumer Marketing. J. Acad. Mark. Sci. 25 (4): 329-346.

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