Readability Assessment of Nigerian Company Income Tax Act

Musa Sulaiman Umar, Natrah Saad

Abstract


ABSTRACT

This study was undertaken to examine the readability of the Nigerian Company Income Tax Act 2007 (CITA 2007), which is the main reference for taxpayers who have intention to comply. For that purpose, the researchers employed readability formulae namely Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES), Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (F-KGL), Average Sentence Length (ASL) and Percentage of Passive Voice (PPV). FRES measures the readability of technical writing and rates texts on a 0-100-point scale, while F-KGL translates the 0-100 raw FRES into the number of years of education generally required to understand the materials. On the other hand, ASL and PPV deal with average length and percentage of passive voice, respectively. All these measures were calculated using Microsoft Word 2000. The study found that CITA 2007 has low level of readability which made the Act very difficult to understand. Further, the results indicate that CITA 2007 can only be understood by those with tertiary education. The study recommends that tax simplification policy in Nigeria should include language simplification to enable taxpayers to understand the Act correctly which subsequently motivate them to comply voluntarily; and consequently result in more tax revenue to boost the economy of the nation.

Keywords: Complexity of tax law; readability; self-assessment system

ABSTRAK

Kajian ini dijalankan untuk meneliti kebolehbacaan Akta Cukai Pendapatan Syarikat 2007 di Nigeria (CITA 2007) yang merupakan sumber rujukan utama bagi pembayar cukai yang mempunyai keinginan untuk patuh. Untuk tujuan kajian ini, penyelidik menggunakan formula kebolehbacaan iaitu Skor kebolehbacaan Flesch (FRES,) Tahap Gred Flesch-Kincaid (F-KGL)], purata panjang ayat (ASL) dan peratusan ayat pasif (PPV). FRES mengukur kebolehbacaan teknik penulisan dengan memberikan markah ke atas teks berdasarkan skala 0-100, manakala F-KGL menterjemahkan skor FRES 0-100 kepada bilangan tahun pendidikan diperlukan untuk memahami bahan bacaan tersebut. ASL dan PPV, masing-masing mengukur kepanjangan ayat dan peratusan ayat pasif. Semua formula kebolehbacaan ini dikira menggunakan Microsoft Word 2000. Kajian mendapati CITA 2007 mempunyai tahap kebolehbacaan yang rendah dan sukar difahami. Dapatan kajian juga menunjukkan bahawa CITA 2007 hanya boleh difahami oleh golongan yang memperolehi pendidikan di peringkat ijazah. Kajian ini mencadangkan bahawa dasar simplifikasi cukai di Nigeria harus merangkumi simplifikasi bahasa untuk membolehkan pembayar cukai memahami Akta dengan lebih tepat dan menggalakkan mereka untuk patuh secara sukarela; dan akhirnya meningkatkan hasil cukai untuk menjana ekonomi negara.

Kata kunci: Undang-undang cukai yang kompleks; kebolehbacaan; sistem taksiran sendiri


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