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Philosophia (Ramat Gan) ; : 1-13, 2021 Mar 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2290560


Like many governments in this COVID-19 pandemic, the Nigerian government imposed a lockdown on the country. As a consequence of the lockdown, many businesses shutdown and effectively had no source of revenue. Yet, without receiving any bailout or palliatives from the government, these businesses are required to meet their tax obligations to the government. Bearing in mind that this time (COVID-19 era) is different, one wonders what is required of businesses in view of the taxation problem and the social contract between the businesspersons and the government. In view of social contract obligations, in this COVID-19 pandemic should businesses pay tax to a government that seems to have delegitimised itself by its exploitative actions in terms of taxation and delinquent omission in terms of the provision of public goods and social services? The Nigerian government at all tiers (federal, state and local) seldom respect the essence of taxation. Therefore, businesses often pay tax for nothing. For many businesses, as far as taxation is concerned, to pay or not to pay? that is the question. This article is aimed at teasing out this taxation problem that may or may not be a moral dilemma. In view of certain ethical considerations, this article shows why in spite of social contract obligations, there is no consensus or canonical agreement on whether, as law-abiding citizens and juridical persons (legal entities), businesspersons and businesses ought to or ought not to pay tax to the Nigerian government in this COVID-19 pandemic.