Challenges of Value Added Tax (VAT) Refund Procedures: The Case of Large Tax Payers Office (LTO)

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Addis Ababa University


The purpose of this study was to investigate challenges of Value Added Tax (VAT) refund procedure: The case of Large Taxpayers Office (LTO). To this end descriptive survey, with both quantitative and qualitative research method was employed and used simple random and strata sampling techniques. In this study, 71 taxpayers and 53 tax office employees, total of 124 respondents, took part from the tax environment. Close and open-ended questions, document analysis, interviews guided questions and observation check-list were developed and fully utilized as the main data gathering instruments. Data were analysed using frequency counts, percentages, mean value, and aggregate mean. Findings showed that VAT refund procedures in the branch is affected by different tax office and taxpayers associated variables. Besides, direct and visible branch’s VAT refund system problems and other hidden procedures put fundamental challenges that the tax office and taxpayers faces, currently they confronted while doing their day today activities. VAT refund’s performance was affected from year to year as could be seen in the data analysis. Management of VAT refund is increasing in different branches, however, it is reported that the time taken to management of it is to be high compared to the maximum date of two months to refund any VAT claim, set by the proclamation. To alleviate the existing challenges and promote effective VAT refund procedures and system, it is recommended that the government should facilitate things (like modernizing refund system) and take the lion share to solve the existing and new VAT refund related challenges in the LTO. The branch’s management also need to take time and give due attention on those mentioned associated challenges and problems and produce some solutions which helps other parties as a spring board to bring serious and implementable solutions to this and other similar branch offices, which are located in different areas. The result witnessed that VAT refund is influenced by, mostly, directives and human elements. And finally forward further study on the issue was recommended


Thesis Submitted to the Department of Accounting and Finance of Addis Ababa University in Partial Fulfilments of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Accounting and Finance


VAT assessment, VAT collection, VAT exemption & withholding, VAT registration