Forensic Accounting, Tax Fraud and Tax Evasion in Nigeria – Review of Literatures and Matter for Policy Consideration
Keywords:Accountability, Forensic accounting, Tax fraud, Tax compliance, Tax evasion, Tax law, Transparency.
Tax Fraud (TF) and Tax Evasion (TE) has become an alarming situation in most developing countries. It has become a focus of attention in recent times by scholars and policy makers because of its impact on the economy. In Nigeria, the recent worldwide economy downturn through COVID-19 pandemic and decrease in price of crude oil and sales quantity in the global market has contributed to difficulties in the implementation of annual budget. This called for a shift to tax revenues (TR) but the major challenge is the high rate of TF and TE. One way of reducing this menace and to instil Tax Compliance (TC) is the application of Forensic Accounting (FA) techniques. Therefore, this call for better understanding of the concepts and ways of using FA to promote TC. It is against this background that the study examined FA, TF and TE in Nigeria. The study adopts exploratory research design with literatures from materials on taxation and accounting. The study concluded that since the traditional auditing techniques has failed to curb TF and TE because of its inefficiency and ineffectiveness of operation, therefore FA will expose, control and deter fraudulent practices on TR, and this will enhance good TR for the government. The study recommends that government should develop interest in FA, enforce tax laws and regulations on TF and TE with strict appropriate punishment on tax evaders, ensure transparency and accountability on TR, and further create forensic unit in tax offices with modern FA techniques equipment.