Tax effort differentials between Kenya and Nigeria 2002 – 2012
Muthui, J. N.
Mdoe, J. I.
Thuku, G. K.
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Most developing countries are confronted with the need to provide/improve public infrastructure, education, health services and so on toward enhancing economic development. To meet these budgetary demands, these countries are increasingly focusing on domestic resource mobilization toward economic development. In this context,it has become especially crucial for developing countries in sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) to have a modest and efficient taxation system which can essentially supply sufficient internal resources thus, strengthening their domestic revenue bases. This has resulted in many developing countries undertaking various reform programs to improve tax policy and strengthen the taxing capacity of revenue administration. However, apart from the primary objective to meet public spending needs, other reasons for taxation may include; smoothening the cyclical volatility of economic growth; and (re) distributional aspects / improvement of equality. This paper used Tax effort to highlight the differentials in tax system between Kenya and Nigeria for the period 2002 – 2012. Tax effort is tax revenue, as a percentage of gross domestic products (GDP). That is, the tax to GDP ratio. Generally, this ratio is used to identify a country’s overall tax efforts. The tax effort gives a general indication of how a country is raising tax revenue relative to its given economic, structural potential and comparator countries. The discussion in this paper shows that tax structure, quality of revenue authority institutions and size of tax base directly influence tax effort whereas size of informal sector and trade openness are inversely related to tax effort. The discussion further shows that the share of mining has offsetting effects on tax effort. However for developing countries the urge to substitute taxes with resource revenue outweighs the dependence on taxation due political reasons and bargaining power of firms involved.