The “What” and “Who” in Taxation

  • Saka Muhammed OlokoobaEmail author


The main objective of study in this chapter is an appraisal of some definitions given to tax by authors nationally and internationally. The chapter highlights the shortcomings in them and states the characteristics and features that must be present in a payment before such can be categorised as a tax. At the completion of the study in this chapter, readers are expected to:

  1. i.

    know about the limitations in various definitions given to tax by previous authors;

  2. ii.

    demonstrate the characteristics and features that qualify a payment to be tax as against other related payment such as charges, fees, tolls, etc;

  3. iii.

    be able to explain what taxes are used for and

  4. iv.

    know who levies, who pays and who collects tax as provided for under the Nigerian tax laws.


Relevant Authorities and References for Further Reading


  1. Orthodox Partiachate of Jerusalem v. Municipal Corporation of Jerusalem (1944) AC 1 That tax does not include a municipal rates Mathew Chicory Marketing Board (Vict.) 1938 60 CLR 263. On the fact that tax is compulsory extraction of money by a public authority for public purpose Michigan Employment Sec. Commission v. Patt 4 Mich App 244 14 NW 2nd 663. That tax is a non voluntary or donation, but an enforced/compulsory contribution exacted pursuant to legislative authorityGoogle Scholar
  2. R v. Barger (1908)6 CLR 41. That the essence of tax is for the support of the state Shell v. FBIR (2004) FWLR 895 at 46. That tax is a debt to government United State v. Butter 297 US 1 (1936) at 61. That tax is an exaction for the support of governmentGoogle Scholar


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  1. Olokooba, S.M., Suliat, A.R.: Managing conflicts and other challenges of nationhood in nigeria: experimenting with good taxing system as a paraphernalia. Al-Hikmah Univ. Law J. 1(1) (2015)Google Scholar


  1. Olokooba, S.M.: A Legal Analysis of the Taxation of Banking Business in Nigeria, (1990–2010). An unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin (2013)Google Scholar


  1. Nike, P.: To Avoid Multiple Taxation. The Punch 5th January 2011Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Business Law, Faculty of LawUniversity of IlorinIlorinNigeria

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