At the time of this interview, Seth Terkper was the coordinator of the Value Added Tax project in Ghana. He later became the deputy commissioner when the project became the Value Added Tax Service. He worked with the National Revenue Secretariat as a qualified accountant. He published a series of articles on Ghanaian tax policy and administration in Tax Notes International. He also served as a consultant on tax issues for the African Development Bank, the Harvard Institute for International Development and the International Monetary Fund.
Value Added Tax Project, Ghana
Getting the News Out/Managing Expectations
Country of Reform:
Date of Interview:
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Seth Terkper explains the challenges he faced as the coordinator of the Value Added Tax project in Ghana. His role was to replace already existing service taxes with the VAT. He discusses how Ghana received help from the Crown Agents of the U.K. and the Harvard Institute for International Development. He describes the negotiations and compromises among Parliament, the business community and civil society. When the VAT was introduced in 1993-1994, he explains, the project failed due to an apparent lack of sensitivity toward public concerns. He emphasizes that a greater emphasis was placed on mass public education when the VAT was introduced a second time. In addition, he explains how business people were educated, with the aim of reducing resistance to the VAT project, and he discusses the establishment of a training department to ensure the efficient collection of the new tax.
Nationality of Interviewee: