PERSONNALITY ATTRIBUTES AND TAX MORALE AS PREDICTORS OF WILLINGNESS TO PAY TAX: A STUDY OF TAX PAYERS, OGUN STATE NIGERIA.

Benjamin Osayawe EHIGIE, Oluwaseun Adejoke OLAJUBE, Rosemary Omonivie OSUMA, Akinyinka OLAYINKA, Chinedu Kelechi OPARA, Beatrice Akpe NDOM

Abstract


 

From the history of revenue generation in Nigeria, various governments; local, state and federal have tried to increase the level of tax compliance. Most often adopted is an obdurate attitude towards all taxpayers by applying laws and regulations to sanction and fine evaders. These means of enforcement proved to be without a significant success. Towards the end of the 20th century, governments have realized that a change is needed in order to increase revenue generation through tax collection. Adopting psychological strategies, rather than economic laws and regulations, could impel voluntary decisions for tax payment. This paper therefore examined personality attributes (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism) and tax morale as predictors of Ogun State taxpayers’ willingness to pay.An ex-post facto research design was adopted, while participants comprised 154 taxpayers randomly selected at the tax paying station in Ogun State. Personality attributes and tax morale were hypothesized to jointly and independently predict tax payers’ willingness to comply with tax regulations. Gender difference in the willingness to pay also was also investigated. Standardized psychological instruments were used to measure the variables in the study.Results showed that each of extraversion (r = .34; p<0.05), agreeableness (r = .56; p<0.01), openness (r = .61; p<0.01), and tax morale (r = .66; p<.01) correlated positively, while conscientiousness (r = -.55; p<0.01) and neuroticism (r = .58; p<0.01) correlated negatively, with willingness to pay tax. All the variables jointly accounted for 83% variance in willingness to pay tax [R = 91; R2 = 0.83; F (6,147) = 121.92; p<0.01]. But the personality factors alone accounted for 81% variance in willingness to pay tax [R =.90; R2 = .81; F (6,148) = 123.41; p<0.01]. There was no gender difference in willingness to pay tax t (152) = 0.480; p>0.05.  The study concluded that higher personality attributes on openness to experience, conscientiousness, and agreeableness, and low neuroticism disposition, including high tax morale predisposes taxpayers’ willingness to pay in Ogun State whereas no gender difference in willingness to pay was established. It is recommended that tax implementers should understand the personality of tax payers and educate them on tax morale in other to increase their willingness to pay tax.


Keywords


Personality, Tax morale, Gender, Willingness to pay tax, Ogun State

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