Tax incentives as a tool for the growth of Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs)

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • Background of the study

Nigeria as one of the developing countries in the world, the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is very vital for the growth of the economy in general as SMEs account for over 70% of the total business activities in the country. SMEs in most developing countries are usually neglected by both the formal financial institutions and the government unlike the developed countries like China, USA etc. where SMEs are not taken with levity as they believe were to be the engine room for the development of any economy.

SMEs serve as a source of employment generation, innovation, competition, economic dynamism which ultimately lead to poverty alleviation and economic natural growth (Ariyo, 2005). Apart from SMEs potential for self-reliant industrialization using local raw materials, they are in a better position to boost employment, guarantee even distribution of industrial development and facilitate the growth of non-oil exports. The recent industrial development has focused on sustainable development through small business development. However, it has been observed that tax policy has a very crucial part in the determination of the growth or decline of SMEs. SMEs serve as a source of economic dynamism which ultimately leads to poverty alleviation and natural growth in which tax incentive has a very crucial part to play on the growth and achievement of SME’s long run advantage. Tax incentive is an essential constituent of the general or external business environment of SMEs as it is a tool for motivating prospective and small scale entrepreneurs.

Over the years, SMEs have served as avenue for job creation and the empowerment of Nigeria’s citizens providing about 50% of all jobs in Nigeria and also for local capital formation as cited by Ojochukwu and Stephen (2012). They also further implied in their journal that SMEs have undoubtedly improved the standard of living of so many people especially those in the rural areas. However, the morality rate of these small firms is very high. According to the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), 80% of SMEs die before their 5th anniversary (Kuewumi, 1996). Among the factors responsible for these untimely close-ups are tax related issues ranging from multiple tax burdens.

Taxation system in Nigeria has experienced series of significant dynamism in modern times. The Nigerian tax system experienced this dynamism because of the objective of repelling stale or obsolete provisions and simplifying the main ones. The government tax policy view that large corporations and SMEs are the same. Due to the size and nature of SMEs, they have a unique characteristics which needs to be considered by the government in making tax policies in form of incentives as it can influence the economic growth or decline of the of SMEs. In recent times, tax incentives are given to an extent to SMEs in order to ensure their existence and development. Unfortunately, these incentives also have an adverse effect on the budget of the government as it reduces the expected revenue by the government.

Many countries have introduced investment incentives for varying reasons in some cases, the incentives may be seen as a counter weight to the investment disincentives inherent in the general tax system.

Investors often emphasize the relative importance of the tax system in investment decisions if compared with other considerations such as political and economic stability, availability of social infrastructure, security of life and property and the general cost of doing business and so on (Sanni, 2002).

Over the years, both the Federal and State Governments have adopted the use of tax incentives to stimulate economic activity in economically distressed urban and rural locations. Since their inception, social scientists have questioned their effectiveness. The conventional wisdom is that tax incentives particularly for foreign investments are bad, both in theory and in practice because they are often ineffective, inefficient and prone to abuse and corruption. Yet almost all countries use tax incentives (Easson, 2001).

 

  • ¬† ¬†Statement of problem

Given the huge potential of SMEs in the economy, the need to examine tax incentives as a tool for economic growth of SMEs cannot be over-emphasized.

There are a lot of problems that bedevil SMEs and stunt their growth. Although there are some problems peculiar to a particular country, the challenges faced by SMEs in different countries and geopolitical divisions are basically the same.

A major difficulty faced by SMEs is that of lack of access to short and long term capital. A major publication recognizes that the fact that collateral based financing has become increasingly difficult for SMEs whether as existing businesses in their expansion states or as startups hence more SMEs are resorting to viability lending in which case they obtain loans based on the viability of the business and health of cash flow.

 

  • Purpose of the study

The purpose of the study was to establish the impact of tax incentives as a tool for the growth of Small and Medium scale Enterprise (SMEs).

 

1.4 Objectives of the study

The main objectives of the study was to check the tax incentives as a tool for economic growth of the Small and Medium scale Enterprises. However, for the successful completion of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objective:

(i) To examine the advantages and benefits of Small and Medium scale Enterprises derived from tax incentives.

(ii) To evaluate the effect of tax incentives on the Profit After Tax (PAT) of Small and Medium scale Enterprises.

(iii) To examine the effectiveness of tax incentive on the performance of Small and Medium scale Enterprises.

(iv) To suggest and make feasible recommendation on tax incentives as a tool for growth of Small and Medium scale Enterprises.

 

  • Research question

For the successful completion of the study, the following research question were formulated:

(i) What are the advantages and benefits of Small and Medium scale Enterprises derived from tax incentives?

(ii) What is the effect of tax incentives on the Profit After Tax (PAT) of Small and Medium scale Enterprises in Nigeria?

(iii) What is the relationship between tax incentives and the performance of Small and Medium scale Enterprises in Nigeria?

(iv) What are the ways of suggesting and making feasible  recommendation on tax incentives as a tool of Small and Medium scale Enterprises in Nigeria?

 

1.6  Justification of the study

Quite a number of researches have been carried out related to this study such as Eric and Johnathan (1996) who examined taxation and economic growth, Ojochogwu and Stephen  (2012) who investigated the relationship between tax policy, growth of Small and Medium scale Enterprises and the Nigerian economy with empirical evidences. This research study will distinct itself from other researches carried out by digging deeper into the economic growth of Small and Medium scale Enterprises rather than all other researches that mainly hovers around the impact tax incentive has on Small and Medium scale Enterprises in  general. This research also aims at looking around the effectiveness of tax policy and the dynamism of the Nigerian tax system on Small and Medium scale Enterprises; when tax incentives where offered and when they were not. It also briefly examines the effect that tax incentives have on the government budget in general.

 

 

1.7      Hypotheses of the study

Based on the research questions and objectives above, the following hypotheses were formulated, the hypotheses are stated in null forms:

(i) H0: There is no significant relationship between tax incentives offered and benefit derived by Small and Medium scale Enterprises.

(ii) H0: There is no significant relationship between tax incentives and profit after tax of Small and Medium scale Enterprises.

(iii) H0: There is no significant relationship between tax incentives and performance of Small and Medium scale Enterprises.

 

 

1.8 Scope and limitation of the study

The scope of the study is about tax incentives which acts as a tool for the growth of Small and Medium scale Enterprises in Nigeria. However, the study has some constrained and limitations which are:

(a)Availability of research material: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.

(b)Time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

 

 

(c)Finance: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.

 

1.9  Definition of terms

Tax incentives

A tax incentive¬†is an aspect of a country’s¬†tax code designed to incentivize or encourage a particular economic activity.

Tool

It is a device or implement, especially one held in the hand, used to carry out a particular function.

Growth

Growth refers to a positive change in size, and/or maturation, often over a period of time.

 

Small and Medium scale Enterprises

Small and medium scale enterprises are businesses whose personal numbers fall below certain limits

1.10  Organization of the study

The research report of this study is divided into 5 chapters. Chapter one consist of introduction to the study and it is sub-divided into 9 headings which are background of the study, statement of problem, research questions etc. Chapter two is the literature review which comprise of the conceptual, empirical and theoretical framework. Chapter three is the research methodology which mainly concerns itself about the design of the study, the method of data collection, sample size, sampling technique, method of data analysis and the decision rule. The second to the last chapter, chapter four comprise of the research data presentation and analysis and the last chapter, chapter five is the summary, conclusion and recommendation of the research.

 

 

 



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