consultancy services to undertake a desk review on best practices on progressive tax systems and practices on widening the tax net for the PPTID Project
- On September 24, 2018
Terms of Reference (TOR)
A consultant to undertake a desk review on best practices on progressive tax systems and practices on widening the tax net for the PPTID Project
Post title: Consultant
Project Title: Promoting Progressive Tax for Inclusive Development of All (PPTID)
Organization: SEND – GHANA
Organization: SEND – GHANA
Duration: 20 days from signing of contract
A. About SEND Ghana
SEND Ghana is a subsidiary of SEND Foundation of West Africa established in August 1998 with a mission to promote good governance and equality of men and women. Since 2002, SEND has pioneered the use of social accountability tools which have contributed immensely to its mission. SEND Ghana’s project delivery framework utilizes the established best practices of the Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PM&E) methodology to promote good governance in Africa. As a small organization with a stirring vision, SEND Ghana aims to work efficiently, within well-established processes and procedures while making the best use of resources. For more information about SEND Ghana please visit www.sendwestafrica.org
An intriguing angle to the economic growth debate in recent times is the issue of pro-poor growth. Inclusive growth that ropes in low and moderate income earners, growth in which incomes of the poor grow at a higher rate than the non-poor, growth where the poor seem to benefit more in the event of a rise in economic growth, and a situation that bridges income distribution differences and inequality.
The Ghanaian economy presents an interesting setting to this inclusive growth debate. For instance, Ghana has experienced steadily increasing economic growth of over 7 percent per year on average within the last decade, attained a lower-middle income country status in 2010, experienced reduction in monetary poverty from 51.7 percent in 1992 to 24.2 percent of the population by 2013, but has been categorized as having one of the fastest increasing inequality levels in Africa by the IMF. By implication, the notable economic gains the country has achieved over the years have not been fairly distributed across the regions. This corroborates the growing consensus that assessments of economic performance should not focus solely on overall income growth, but also take into account income distribution. The Gini index in Ghana was reported at 42.3 in 2012 by the World Bank a deterioration from the 1998/1999 score of 39.0, an indication that income distribution has widened in Ghana. Over this same period, income inequality has also widened between the poorest and richest. This growing income inequality has actually reduced the impact of economic growth on poverty reduction in the country over the past years. Widening inequality has implications for sustainable and inclusive growth. It can entail large social costs through ethnic and religious contentions, erode social cohesion and confidence in the future, and undermine individuals’ educational and occupational choices. Inclusive growth is therefore considered critical in narrowing the inequality gap in income levels and wealth of citizens. It has therefore become imperative to consider the various means by which the inequality gap could be narrowed.
It is widely acknowledged that the tax policy of a country can play a major role in making the post-tax income distribution less unequal thereby promoting inclusive development. As argued by the proponents of the optimal tax theory, the overall goal of the tax system of every economy should be geared towards maximizing the social welfare function of government which is characterized by the equal distribution of resources. This is achievable only when the tax system acts as a tool for redistributing income from the upper class to the lower and middle class (progressive in nature). Thus, the tax system applicable in a country could have important implications on inequality and poverty.
While the existing tax regime in Ghana is largely described as progressive in nature most especially with the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) form of tax, its impact on income redistribution could best be described as very minimal given that majority of the populace are in the informal sector. Given that Ghana’s revenue envelope is heavily driven by indirect taxes (often noted to be regressive), the current tax regime is certainly a cause for concern including the extent of citizen participation in tax formulation and administration.
It is against this background and as part of SEND Ghana’s course to promote equality that a STAR-Ghana Gender & Social Inclusion (GESI) project in Ghana titled ‘Promoting Progressive Tax for Inclusive Development of All (PPTID)’ is being implemented. The objectives of the project are to;
a. facilitate the involvement of socially excluded groups in tax advocacy
b. increase civil society’s responsiveness on regressive tax regime through media engagement, and
c. influence the replacement of regressive tax system with a progressive tax regime
Based on these objectives, the project seeks to (i) increase implementation of progressive tax policies and initiatives; (ii) enhance the capacity of socially excluded groups to advocate for progressive tax reforms; and (iii) increased civil society’s influence in progressive tax reform/formulation.
B. Objectives of the Consultancy
The overall objective of this consultancy is to undertake a desk review on the best practices of progressive tax systems and best practices on widening the tax net. In the review the consultant shall highlight the best practices on progressive tax systems and come up with recommendations for widening Ghana’s tax net.
C. Scope of Consultancy Services
The main services to be undertaken by the consultant include, but not limited to the following;
1. Produce a detailed inception report
No later than a week after contract signing, the consultant will be expected to produce an inception report detailing;
• A succinct desk research on the progressive tax regime in Ghana
• Cutting-edge innovations/best practices of progressive tax systems and widening the tax net
• Key issues/challenges in adopting progressive tax reforms and widening the tax net
• Proposed methodology for the desk study
• A detailed work/implementation plan
• Other key issues identified so far and relevant to the study.
The inception report should be no more than 8 pages. An inception meeting between the consultant and SEND Ghana may also be required to discuss research scope, methodology, deliverables and any project nuances before signing of contract. The inception meeting can be face-to-face, via telephone, or via skype.
2. Undertake a comprehensive desk review and analysis on best practices of progressive tax systems and best practices of widening the tax net
Guided by the research methodology prepared by the consultant and approved by SEND Ghana, the consultant will be expected to conduct a desk study on the aforementioned subject. In undertaking this study, the researcher will review secondary materials and literature, journal articles, country reports, and other related and useful materials related to progressive tax systems.
The consultant will prepare a draft report based on the detailed desk research on progressive tax systems and practices on widening the tax net. After a few iterative processes based on review of the draft report by SEND Ghana, the consultant would be expected to submit a final draft report. The research report should be no more than 25 pages with the title page and appendix inclusive.
3. Develop an abridged research report and conduct consultations
Upon submission of the final report, the consultant will prepare and submit to SEND Ghana an abridged research report highlighting the best practices (6 pages max) and a list of relevant stakeholders/state actors to disseminate findings of the research results. Specifically, the consultant will meet with these relevant actors to discuss the findings on best practices on progressive tax the nation can adopt, and document feedback and comments from stakeholders. The abridged research report will serve as the basis for dialogue.
4. Develop and submit an Action Plan/Report
In line with comments and feedback from consultations, the consultant will prepare and finalize the draft research report and prepare an action plan, detailing and reflecting feedback and comments from the consultations. This may however go through a number of reviews and iterative processes before final approval by SEND Ghana.
D. Deliverable Schedule
Below is the deliverable schedule and output for this consultancy assignment;
No. of Days
1. Produce a detailed inception report
Draft inception report with all details provided
2. Undertake a comprehensive desk review and analysis on best practices of progressive tax systems and best practices of widening the tax net.
Draft research report based on the detailed desk research
3. Conduct Consultative meetings with state actors to disseminate findings of the research results
Abridged Research Report
Documented feedback and comments from stakeholders
4. Develop and submit an Action Plan/Final Report detailing and reflecting feedback and comments from the consultations
Action Plan/Final Report
Estimated Total Number of Working days
The consultant is expected to complete the assignment in 20 days after signing of contract.
F. Required Expertise and Qualifications
• At least 5-7 years of prior work experience in dealing with tax issues.
• Demonstrated knowledge and experience in undertaking baseline studies especially in the area of tax.
• Knowledge of all prevailing tax laws
• Must have skills in quantitative and qualitative research methods and reporting
• Experiences in carrying out organizational assessment of grassroots groups
• Demonstrate experience and skills in in doing desk review for development projects.
The consultant will report to the Country Director of SEND GHANA on all issues related to the consultancy.
EXPRESSION OF INTEREST
The Consultant should express his/her interest in this call through a motivation letter accompanied by detailed curriculum vitae with three referees and samples of recent work related to taxation to SEND GHANA, by electronic mail to email@example.com or hard copies to:
The Country Director
A 28 Regimanuel Estates,
Nungua Barrier- Accra
The documents should be submitted latest by close of work on Friday, 28th September, 2018. Only selected candidates will be contacted.
SEND GHANA is an equal opportunity employer and women are particularly encouraged to apply.