Academic journal article International Review of Management and Business Research

Tax Planning and Financial Performance of Small Scale Enterprises in Kenya

Academic journal article International Review of Management and Business Research

Tax Planning and Financial Performance of Small Scale Enterprises in Kenya

Article excerpt

Introduction

The concept of taxation has been a concern of global significance as it affects every economy irrespective of national differences (Oboh et al., 2012). Within the context of Africa, tax, a concept as old as mankind can be described as an amount, effort, contribution or service rendered either in kind (goat, cow, farm produce, clearing of grass etc.) or monetary value contributed into a common purse for the running of the society. According to Omotoso (2001), in his definition of the modern taxes, defined tax as a compulsory charge imposed by a public authority on the income of individuals and companies as stipulated by the government decrees, acts or case laws irrespective of the exact amount of services rendered to the payer in return. Thus, taxes constitute the principal source of government revenue and the beauty of any government is for its citizen to voluntarily execute their tax obligations without much coercion and harassment (Adedeji and Oboh, 2012).

Tax evasion and fiscal corruption have been a general and persistent problem throughout history with serious economic consequences, not only in transition economies, but also in countries with developed tax systems (Raza, 2011). In general, tax evasion and corruption can have ambiguous effects on Economic growth: tax evasion increases the amount of resources accumulated by entrepreneurs, but it also reduces the amount of public services supplied by the government, thus leading to negative Consequences for economic growth (Roy and Raffaella, 2011). Previous studies highlight reports of declining effective tax rates and a rising proportion of firms that report little or no tax liability. To date, the maintained assumption in much of the literature is that aggressive tax behavior, rather than economic trends, is the driving factor behind this decline (Desai and Dharmapala 2009).

The Kenya Revenue Authority (K.R.A) is the tax collection agency of Kenya. It was formed July 1, 1995 to enhance tax collection on behalf of the Government of Kenya. It collects a number of taxes and duties, including: value added tax, income tax and customs. Since KRA's inception, revenue collection has increased dramatically, enabling the government to provide much needed services to its citizenry like free primary education and Health Services to all. Over 90% of annual national budget funding comes from local taxes collected by the KRA (GOK, 2010).

It is however important to establish whether the observed increased revenue collection effectiveness has resulted from aggressive tax management by Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) or whether it is, in part, due to increased use of the new economy business model. This is important because the sources of tax avoidance have distinct policy implications. The policy response to tax avoidance arising from aggressive tax schemes and investments in tax planning is likely to be very different from the response to tax avoidance stemming from a shift in many firms' organizational, operating, and financing attributes, which enable them to exploit their operating flexibility to naturally align with tax incentives that generate tax savings (Drucker 2006).

The decreasing trend in effective tax rates may not be solely due to aggressive tax management but Rather, firms' modifications to their business models resulting from changing economic trends potentially enabling them to reduce tax burdens without additional investments in tax planning (Blouin, and Larcker 2011).

Performance of Small Enterprises

Different approaches are used for performance evaluation in which goal approach, time frame approach, balanced scorecard , system approach, and ineffectiveness approach are included (Jean-Francois, 2004). In stakeholder approach, centre of attention is the ability of a business to meet the needs and expectations of its stakeholders (Daft, 1995).Competing values approach expands the range of other approaches.

By using competing values approach, four other models are developed in which rational goal; internal process, open system and human relations are included (Quinn and Rohrbaugh, 1983). …

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