Tax Evasion under Ethiopian Tax Laws - Conceptual Introduction


Taxation is as old as history of early state formation. As tax remains essential source of public finance, states used to collect taxes for public funding. Apart from its extant condemnation by modern governments, one can strongly argue that tax evasion remains persistent challenge from the very inception of state. Nowadays, following the advancement of public finance the concept of tax evasion get emphasis by tax scholars. It is now condemned and categorized as anti-social behaviors as well as criminal act.

What is tax evasion then?

 Even though it’s helpful to provide conventional definition of tax evasion, as the concept more of relies on the tax laws that regulate it, which is territorial and jurisdictional by nature, providing universal definition at the outset remains a challenge. However based on definitions given to the term in different legal systems if not universal, one can come up with comprehended definitions of the therm. To come up with few, the United States revenue service sector (IRC), defines tax evasion under section 7201,-“as willful attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax or the payment thereof”.

The definition given above by IRC clearly depict any intentional attempt to defeat assessment of true tax liabilities which in turn end in tax Deficiency(evasion of assessment) and non-payment of tax due and owing(evasion of payment)as tax evasion. Among others a comprehensive definition of tax evasion was given by Canadian department of national revenues-as-

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Why Churches are not taxed


I am inspired to share this idea and bring to discussion, after hearing Christian leaders took the rare step on Sunday (25/3/2018) of closing Jerusalem’s church of the holy sepulcher in protest at Israeli tax measures and a proposed property law. Accordingly, for further discussion and research insight I raise issues related with why churches are tax exempted? What are the rationales and what about in Ethiopia?  

Taxation is a governmental assessment upon property value transaction, estates of the deceased, licenses granting a right and/or income and duties on imports from foreign countries. It includes all contributions imported by the government upon individuals for the service of the state.

Generally taxes are divided into two broad categories as direct and indirect. Direct taxes are those assessed against income, land or real property, and personal property, which are paid directly to the government. Indirect taxes are assessed against articles of consumptions, such as products or services, but collected by an intermediary such as a retailer.

Tax and religious institutions

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የልዩ ምርመራ ኦዲት ግኝቶችና የወንጀል ውጤታቸው





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የታክስ ይግባኝ ኮሚሽን እና የአዲስ አበባና ድሬዳዋ ከተሞች ራስን በራስ የማስተዳደር መብት


የፌዴራል ታክስ አስተዳደር አዋጅ ቁጥር 983/2008 እራስን በራስ የማስተዳደር መብትን ከአዲስ አበባ እና ከድሬዳዋ ከተሞች ላይ የገፈፈ ስለመሆኑ እና የመፍትሔ አቅጣጫዎቹ፡፡  

እራስን በራስ የማስተዳደር መብት የፌዴራል ሥርዓትን በሚከተሉ አገሮች የተለመደ አሰራር ሲሆን በዋናነትም ክልሎች ወይም ራስ ገዝ አስተዳድሮች ከፌዴራል መንግስቱ ተፅእኖ ውጪ የራሳቸው ሕግ አውጪ፤ ሕግ ተርጓሚ (የዳኝነት አካል) እንዲሁም የህግ አስፈፃሚ አካላት ኖሯቸው በcheck and balance መርህ ክልላቸውን ወይም አካባቢያቸውን የሚያስተዳድሩበት ቁልፍ ቃል-ኪዳናቸው ነው፡፡

ይህ እራስን በራስ የማስተዳደር መብት በኢትዮጵያ ሕገ መንግስት አንቀፅ 39(3) ለኢትዮጵያ ብሄር፤ ብሄረተሰቦች፤ ሕዝቦች የሰጠ እንዲሁም በአንቀፅ 49(2) ላይ ደግሞ የአዲስ አበባ ከተማ አስተዳደር እራሱን በራሱ የማስተዳደር ሙሉ ስልጣን እንዳለው የሚደነግግ  ሲሆን በአንፃሩ የድሬዳዋ አስተዳደር ግን ይሄን መብት ሕገ-መንግስቱ እንደነፈገው የሚታወቅ ግልፅ ሐቅ ነው፡፡

በመሆኑም የዚህ ጽሑፍ ዋናው ትኩረት ከዳኝነት አካላት ውስጥ አንዱ ከሆነው የድሬዳዋ  እና የአዲስ አበባ ከተማ መስተዳድሮች የግብር ይግባኝ ሰሚ ጉባኤን የዳኝነት ስልጣን ከሕገ-መንግስቱ (እራስን በራስ ከማስተዳደር መብት ለአዲስ አበባ ከተማ ከተሰጠ መብት አንፃር)፤ ከፌዴራል ታክስ አስተዳደር አዋጁ እና ከተሞቹ ከሚመሩባቸው አዋጆች አንፃር ያሉ የሕግ ጉዳዮችን/ችግሮችን በንፅፅር በወፍ በረር በመዳሰስ የመፍትሔ አቅጣጫዎችን ማመላከት ነው፡፡   

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Bank deposit method of proving Tax Evasion: the current litigation heresies



Tax evasion is proscribed as crime under Art 125 of Federal Tax administration proclamation no-983/20081. Under this article, the law proscribes transgressions such as understatement of income (evasion of assessment), failure to file tax return with intent to evade tax and evasion of payment as offenses of tax evasion. To proof tax evasion, prosecutors must proof the existence of all ingredients of the offence, namely intent to defraud, affirmative act and evaded tax. Amongst ingredients of crime of tax evasion, the existence or otherwise of evaded tax is a typical one. To identify the nature and amount of evaded tax, one should make use of evidence. We can prove tax evasion both by direct and indirect evidences.

Proof is the establishment or refutation of an alleged fact by evidence. It’s the evidence or argument that compels the mind to accept an assertion as true. In its judicial sense; it encompasses everything that may be adduced at a trial, within the legal rules, for the purpose of producing a conviction in the mind of judge. Evidence is a thing (including testimony, documents and tangible objects) that tends to prove or disprove the existence of an alleged fact.

As indicated above, Tax evasion can be proved both by direct and indirect method of proof. This can be done by auditor which then appears in court of law as an expert witness.

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