1.1. Background of the study
Tax payment has been made easier with electronic platforms such as the Federal Inland Revenue Service website (FIRS). Taxpayers now consummate tax transactions any, anytime, with ease and at the comfort of their homes with any payment platforms.
The usability of FIRS website has been confirmed to be a reliable source of revenue generation to the Nigerian government Provision of Defense and National Security.
Website service quality, which is often times termed e-service quality, is defined as consumers’ overall evaluation of the high quality of e-service offerings inthe existing online marketplace.
The quality of e-service does not stand still. Because it is so easy to copy by competitors, individuals, etc in the on-line world, any feature introduced by a company can be quickly duplicated or matched by its competitors. The result is an increased form of change and development with new ideas emerging, changing surviving or dying at a rapid rate. Their quality is greased by competition (Ebele 2012). Regardless of evidence of continuing consumer dissatisfaction with service rendered through the Internet, studies of e-service quality remain limited and frequently get the services of instruments that were developed for use in a traditional environment.
Several investigations has been carried out on e-government over the past five years, they pointed that the computerization of taxation services is one area in which all countries especially the European countries score highly. The aspect of paying and collecting tax on-line is making the process easy and catchy to citizens. It has been verified that the computerization of taxation has been at the leading edge of e-government for many years. Governments and tax authorities can also make available various motives for citizens to file on-line, a major factor in the success of such systems is the design quality of the public interface. Service quality has become a very important determinant of website success in all areas of commercial life. It is even more important on a site that needs the citizens to declare their income and/or assets and possible pay over some of their hard earned cash to the state.
Problems associated with non-usability of the federal Inland Revenue service website are as follows;
Non remittance of Taxes: It has been observed that some of these collecting agents deliberately delayed the remittance of taxes paid and in most cases these payments are not remitted at all to the coffer of Federal Inland Revenue Services.
Delayed Posting: This is a situation whereby banks collect cash or cheques for FIRS and refuse to post as and when due, this can be deliberate or not. This can be noticed when posting is made as huge cash deposit, extended numbers of days, cheque value date, non-stamping of deposit slips, deposit slip date being different on date of posting on web portal especially on VAT and WHT collecting agents. On discovery of this type of practice, the Integrated Tax Office (ITO) usually charge appropriate penalties and interest as follows: Steps to deal with Delayed Postings
• Identify the period of delay
• Impose 1% penalty on the principal amount delayed
Non-remittance: This comes about when a bank collects FIRS cheques/cash and refuses to remit out rightly. Here the money is diverted for use by the bank forever. The situation is aggregated by the tax payer not demanding for his e-ticket or receipt. The detection of the above shoddy deals can be made by the adoption of the following methods:
• Know your customers (tax payers)
• Visit tax payers to enquire of their payments
• And obtain evidence
• Check payment made against web portal
• Reconcile with the receiving banks and request for posting immediately when payment is posted, calculate appropriate penalties and interests.
1.2. Statement of the general problem
The lack of adequate revenue generation due to the lack of usability of the federal Inland Revenue service website has been a problem for successive government as this has affected the revenue base of the nation thereby slowing down socio economic development. The lack of zeal by citizens in prompt payment of taxes has been a direct consequence of poor or inadequate usability of FIRS website. The FIRS website has overtime not been as popular as it should be among the masses; this has also played a role in their lack of adequate information on ways of using the website in calculating their taxes and other useful information as regards prompt payment of taxes in Nigeria.
1.3. Aims and objectives of the study
The major objective of this study is to assess the usability of FIRS website in Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study are;
1.4. Research Questions
1. What is the level of the usability of FIRS website in Nigeria?
2. What is the level of popularity of the FIRS website among Nigerians?
3. What are the major of the FIRS website in Nigeria?
4. What is the perception of Nigerians towards FIRS website?
5. Does the usability of the FIRS website influences revenue generation in Nigeria?
6. What is the relationship between tax fraud and FIRS website usability?
7. What are the ways of enhancing the usability of the FIRS website in Nigeria?
1.5. Research Hypotheses
H0: The usability of FIRS website among Nigerians is low
H1: The usability of FIRS website among Nigerians is high.
H0: The usability of FIRS website does not influence revenue generation in Nigeria.
H1: The usability of FIRS website influences revenue generation in Nigeria.
H0: The usability of FIRS website does not reduce tax fraud in Nigeria.
H1: The usability of FIRS website reduces tax fraud in Nigeria.
1.6. Significance of the study
The need for efficient and effective tax collection system makes it imperative that a research of this nature be carried out. By undertaking this research, one is privileged to assess the extent of usability of the FIRS website among Nigerians with a view to recommending ways of improving it. This study would be of immense importance to tax payers and the government on the need for assessing the FIRS website for easy payment of tax. The study would also recommend ways of improving the usability of the FIRS website for increase in revenue generation in Nigeria. The study would also be of importance to students, researchers and scholars who are interested in a further research on the subject matter.
1.7. Scope of the study
The study is on the assessment of the usability of the FIRS website among Nigerians.
1.8. Limitation of the study
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9. Definition of terms
F.I.R.S - Federal Inland Revenue Service
P.A.Y.E - Pay As You Earn
VAT - Value Added Tax
ES-QUAL: A multiple item used for assessing electronic service quality.
E-Recs-QUAL: Electronic recovery quality
SITE QUAL: service quality
eTailQ: electronic retailing quality
Web Qual: website quality
SERV QUAL: service quality
e-s-Qual: electronic service quality
ROS: return on sales
SERV PERF: service performance
PAYE: Pay as you earn
IT: information technology
USAID:united States agency for international development
Adeola, S.M. (1998) Income Tax and Administration in Nigeria, University Press Ltd., Ile-Ife.
Adesanya, M.O. and Oloyide E.O. (2002), Business Law in Nigeria: University of Lagos, Evans Brothers Ltd. Lagos.
Adesola, M.M. (2006), Income Tax and Administration in Nigeria: Ile-Ife, University of Ile-Ife, Press Ltd.
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