An Expository Analysis of Surveillance and Investigation In Tax Law In Nigeria
Enforcement is a fundamental imperative of a good tax system as it constitutes a benchmark for measuring the standard for effective tax administration. It encapsulates surveillance, tax investigation and other enforcement measures. The tax investigation is a pre-requisite component to enforcement but it is preceded by discreet surveillance. This paper analyzes tax enforcement and its legal framework within the purview of various Nigerian tax statutes. The paper discusses Surveillance as valuable in the detection of tax crimes in such instances as the use of bugging devices like concealed microphone used for recording conversations and telephone tapping among others. The paper examines the scope of its operation with existing fundamental human rights of tax payer recognized by the Nigerian Constitution. This paper further examines the nature of surveillance under tax enforcement system and the available safeguards to it. The paper adopted a doctrinal approach and finds that the absolute nature of section 37 of 1999 Constitution creates a general right of immunity for surveillance against the collective rights of the public. Therefore, it recommends an amendment to this section to accommodate lawful justification for surveillance and suggests the need for effective safeguards to be imposed by law as against mere administrative policy on surveillance in order to adequately secure tax payers human rights.