Editorial Board


Professor Rafiu Oyesola Salawu

Department of Management & Accounting, Faculty of Administration, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

Managing Editor

Professor Godwin Emmanuel Oyedokun

Department of Management & Accounting, Lead City University, Ibadan, Nigeria

Editorial Board Secretary

Mary-Fidelis Chidoziem Abiahu

Director, Research and Professional Standard, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria

Editorial Board Members

Professor Chinedum Nathaniel Nwezeaku

Federal University of Technology, Owerri

Professor John Adeoti

Nigeria Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Ibadan

Professor Uche Jack-Osimiri

Faculty of Law, River State University, Port Harcourt

Professor Aruwa Suleiman Akwu-Odo Salihu

Nasarawa State University, Keffi Nasarawa State Nigeria

Dr. Eiya Ofiafoh Ofiafoh (Associate Professor)

Department of Accounting, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

Dr. Stephen Chukwuemeka Mark Abani

MCSA Worldwide Projects Limited, Abuja, Nigeria

Dr. Kenny Adedapo Soyemi

Department of Accounting, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria

Professor Joseph Uchenna Uwaleke

Department of Banking & Finance, Nasarawa State University, Keffi Nasarawa State, Nigeria

Barrister Chukwuemeka Eze

Faculty of Law, Nasarawa State University, Keffi Nasarawa State, Nigeria

Mr. Simon Nwanmaghyi Kato

Federal Inland Revenue Service, Chairman’s Office, Abuja, Nigeria

Relevance of Adam Smith Canons of Taxation to The Modern Tax System


Relevance of Adam Smith Canons of Taxation to The Modern Tax System


Olalekan Soyode and Oyedokun, Godwin Emanuel


A system of taxation has three layers: tax policy, tax laws and tax administration. While taxation has been around for a good number of centuries, the canons of taxation were first presented by Adam Smith in his famous book “The Wealth of Nations” in 1776. These canons of taxation define certain rules and principles upon which a good taxation system should be built. In this paper, using an exploratory research methodology, it was discovered that although these canons of taxation were presented a good while back, they are still used as the foundation of discussion on the principles of taxation and the basis of tax policy, tax laws and tax administration. These canons also form the basis of reforms of any nation tax systems aimed at ensuring tax competitiveness among nations in order to attract human as well as investment capital in a world that have become a global village. When compared against international tax competitiveness index, Nigeria tax system needs a holistic reform in order to attract investments. In today’s globalized world, the need to keep tax rates competitive cannot be over emphasized because capital is highly mobile. Nigeria income tax rate is high and yet corporate taxes are most harmful to economic growth. In the reforms, company income tax should be reduced and taxes must be harmonized within the federal structure in order to reduce multiplicity of taxes payable by corporate entities.