This research work is centered on the impact of taxation on small and medium scale enterprises in Cross River State. The study adopted the Chi-square estimation technique to gather and analyze people’s responses on the issue of taxation. The results obtained showed that high tax rate affects the expansion of small scale enterprises in Cross River State. Further investigation of the study revealed that high tax rate significantly affects the profits and sales turnover of small scale enterprises in Cross River State. The study therefore recommended that there is need for government to prone its insatiable demand for revenue by granting upcoming enterprises tax holidays or concessions in order to help them save and plough back profits for more expansion.
1.1 Background of the Study
The development of small scale business enterprises is greatly affected by the level of taxation, its administration and compliance; The higher the task risk of the greater the efforts to fulfill taxation requirement as well as to check how those requirements are met, the lower the initiatives for small scale businesses to work hard. Thus, maintaining the tricky balance between tax rate, compliance cost, tax administration and economic growth should be a major goal of every tax policy.
The relationship between taxation and the level of growth of small scale enterprises has been a debatable issue over the years. The perceived relationship can be either positive or negative depending on the type of tax policy adopted by the government. However, it is generally agreed that high task rate can lead to decrease in business activities since it dampens the incentives to invest while low tax rate, on the other hand, tends to increase growth of business activities as profits are increased which lead to further investment as well a expansion of business. A high marginal tax rate lowers an investor’s willingness to invest by lowering the returns on his investment (palacio and Harischandra, 2008). In the same vein, a reduced amount of business activities has a number of negative consequences including decreased productivity of workers and reduced output, employment and ultimately, living standard of the people.
The flow of investment expenditure at any time depends on the comparisons operators do between the potential benefit and the cost of making that investment (Ndebbio, 2007). Tax on the other hand is more of less and appropriation of the realized benefits of investors or business operators. The consequence of this appropriation is a reduction in business profit (Bassey, 2005). Business operators operating at any point in the time are usually guided by their propensity to maximize the contribution to valve creation (Ndebbio, 2007). To this effect, business are not always made where they obtain the highest pre-tax return, rather, they are interested in operating where they obtain the highest post-tax return which is the income they take home or retain (Cappelea, 2001).
Small scale business or enterprise is of crucial importance in a developing economy as it helps to bridge and reduce unemployment gap in such economy. Small scale enterprise is vital to the economic growth of Cross River State as it constitutes nearly 90% of the state’s economy.
The government of Cross River State in an attempt to widen the tax base and collect more revenues has had to levy several taxes especially on business enterprises in the state and this has resulted to a slow pace of the growth of small scale enterprises as high tax rate has a major adverse effect on business decision making through covering the profit of a firm thereby reducing the amount of after tax profit meant for re-investment and expansion. Thus, it is a greater worthiness that the researcher is studying the impact of taxation on small scale enterprises in Cross River State.
1.2 Statement of Problem
There is a sweeping and effective revenue mobilization drive in Cross River State, most of which are carried out by contracted agencies that sometimes come up with various taxes and levies and impose them on business operators in the state. This numerous taxes and levies have been dwindling business fortunes of most operators with lots of consequences which include cost of unemployment, slowing down of economic activities in the state and even loss of revenue by the state due to the fact that the taxes are not optimal and hence when business shot down, they will no longer be there to pay any tax at all.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this research is to ascertain the impact of taxation on small scale enterprises in Cross River State. The specific objectives include:
(1) To ascertain the extent high tax rate has affected the growth of small scale business enterprises in Cross River State.
(2) To determine how tax rate has affected the profits and sales turnover of small scale enterprises in the state.
1.4 Significance of the Study
This study will benefit investors, policy makers and academicians.
For investors, the study will create awareness on the procedure of starting business in Cross River State and various charges and taxes levied by the state government.
For policy makers, the study will reveal the effect of their fiscal policy specifically taxation on macro-economic variables in the state.
For academicians, the study will add to the existing stock on study of small scale enterprise and taxation.
1.5 Scope of the Study
This research work is on the impact of taxation on small scale business enterprises in Cross River State. The research look at how the enormous taxes levied on small scale business operators in the state affect the growth of the small scale industry.
1.6 Definition of Terms
Tax:This is a compulsory financial charge or other levy upon and individual or legal entity by a state or the functional equivalent of the state such that failure to pay is punishable by law. It is not a voluntary contribution, payment or donation but rather, it is imposed by government under t6hthe name of import duty, exercise, etc.
Tax rate: Taxes are most often levied as a percentage. Thus, tax rate is the percentage of income or profit of individual paid as tax.
Tax burden or tax base: otherwise called tax incidence is on whom a tax is collected. Depending on the elasticity of product, a tax imposed on a seller can be ultimately paid by the buyer simply by shifting the burden in form of a higher price.
Small scale enterprise: This is sometime called small scale business. It is a business that employs small number of workers and does not have a very high volume of sales.
Cross River State: This is a state located in the southern part of Nigeria, one of Nigeria’s 36 states. The state is bounded by Akwa Ibom, Cameroun, Benue State and Ebonyi state with an estimated population of about2.5 million people and over 25 ethnically diversed people.
Excess burden of a tax: In economics, the excess burden of taxation, also known as the deadweight cost or deadweight loss of tax is one of the economic losses that society suffer as the result of taxes or subsidies.
1.7 Organization of Study
The study is organized into fiver (5) chapters. Chapter one is the introduction, chapter two is literature review, theoretical framework and some conceptual issues. Chapter three looks at the research methodology while chapter four captures data presentation and analysis and chapter five is summary and findings; conclusion and policy recommendation.