This paper explores the various schemes used by taxable persons and VAT officers to perpetrate frauds that lead to loss of tax revenue and makes recommendations for reducing the opportunities for VAT fraud.  Semi-structured interviews were conducted with VAT Administrators and taxable persons to ascertain their views on the common avenues that are used to perpetrate VAT fraud. The paper ascertained that the common means used by taxable persons and tax officers to perpetrate VAT fraud include falsification of records in order to file understated VAT returns, under-invoicing, misclassification of goods, fraudulent collaboration between VAT officers and taxable persons and smuggling. The paper also found out that Ghana Revenue Authority does not have efficient system to detect most of the VAT frauds and that the few defaulters who are caught offer bribes to the Tax inspectors to stop them from reporting them for appropriate penalties to be charged on them. The paper makes recommendations that could be implemented to reduce the incidence of VAT Fraud in Ghana.  These include the establishment of tax tribunal to facilitate enforcement of penalties against defaulters; establishment of an efficient verification and audit system, making policy changes to limit cash transactions and establishing efficient border controls to reduce the incidence of under-invoicing and smuggling



Adade, K. (2012). Performance of value added tax. Accra, GH: Adom Publishers. .

Allan, T & Ebel, R. (2010). Value-added taxes in developing and transitional countries.

Pretoria. SA: Santem Press.

Appiah-Kubi, K. (2011). VAT administration in Africa. Accra, GH: Adom Publishers.

Aruwa S A.S. (2008). The administration and problems of value added tax in Nigeria.

Retrieved from: _in_nigeria

Asabere, J. (2014). Revenue management challenges in Ghana. Accra, GH: Akosah Press.

Atuguba, R (2006). The tax culture of Ghana. Accra, GH: University of Ghana.


Bernard, H. R. (2010). Analyzing qualitative data: Systematic approaches. Thousand

Oaks, CA: Sage.

Bickley, J (2006). Value-added tax: A new revenue source? Retrieved from:

Bird, R.M. (2005). Value added taxes in developing and transitional countries: Lessons

and questions. Toronto, CA: University of Toronto. Retrieved from:

, accessed November 2007

Bird R. M. & Pierre-Pascal G. (2006). Is VAT the best way to impose a general consumption

tax in developing countries? Retrieved from:

Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology: Qualitative research

in psychology.

Creswell, J. W., Klassen, A. C., Clark, V. P., & Smith, K. C. (2011). Best practice in mixed

methods. Retrieved from:

Cruce, F. (2011). Evaluating value added tax in Morocco. Retrieved from:

Gill, J. B. S (2013). The nuts and bolts of revenue administration reform. Retrieved from:

Grandcolas, C. (2005). The occasional failure in VAT implementation lessons for the

pacific. Asia-PacificTax Bulletin, 1(1) 6-13.

Grinberg, I. (2009). Where credit is due: Advantages of the credit-invoice method for a

partial replacement VAT. Retrieved from:

Hasseldine, J. (2007). A study into the best practice in tax administration: Retrieved on from:

Heard, V. (2005). The philosophy of tax. Retrieved from:

Hidaya, M. K. (2006). Real property taxation in Tanzania: An investigation on

implementation and taxpayer perceptions. Stockholm, SW: Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, Sweden.

Kolanet, M. (2013). Tax fraud in transitional economies: The Case of

Albania. Finance auver, 53(2), 25–34.

Mikesell, L. J (2007). Developing options for the administration of local taxes:

An international review. Public Budgeting and Finance, 27(1), 41-68.

Naibe, I. K. & Siringi, E. M. (2011). Impact of electronic tax registers on VAT compliance:

A study of private business firms. African Journal Review, 2(1), 73-88.

Phillips, L. C. (2004). Fixing African economies: Policy research for development. New

York, NY: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (2010) Paying taxes 2010: The global picture.

Retrieved from:

Smith, J., Flowers, P., & Larkin, M. (2009). Interpretative phenomenological analysis:

Theory, method and research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Yesegat, W. A. (2008). Value added tax administration in Ethiopia: A reflection of its

Problems. Retrieved from:

پاراگلایدر Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

ISSN : 2251-1555