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The Exchange of Tax Information Portal is an initiative of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. The Global Forum conducts peer reviews of its member jurisdictions' ability to co-operate with other tax administrations in accordance with the internationally agreed standard. The standard provides for exchange of information on request where it is foreseeably relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic tax laws of the requesting jurisdiction. Effective exchange of information requires that jurisdictions ensure information is available, that it can be obtained by the tax authorities and that there are mechanisms in place allowing for the exchange of that information. The Global Forum's peer review process examines both the legal and regulatory aspects of exchange (Phase 1 reviews) and the exchange of information in practice (Phase 2). The EOI Portal will track the development of these peer reviews, including changes that jurisdictions make in response to the Global Forum's recommendations.

Peer Review: Peer Review Report: Phase 1 - Ghana

This report for Ghana has been published on 5 May 2011. You can buy this report, or browse it online below.

Skip directly to the Executive Summary. You may also want to view the tables of determinations and ratings.


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Determinations and Recommendations

Jurisdictions should ensure that ownership and identity information for all relevant entities and arrangements is available to their competent authorities. (ToR A.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Nominees are not required to maintain ownership and identity information in respect of all persons for whom they act as legal owners.  An obligation should be established for all nominees to maintain relevant ownership information where they act as the legal owners on behalf of any other person. 
Companies incorporated outside of Ghana but having their central management and control in Ghana are not required to provide information identifying their owners as a part of registration requirements and external companies are not required to compulsorily keep a share register in Ghana. Therefore, the availability of information that identifies the owners of such companies will generally depend on the law of the jurisdiction in which the company is incorporated and so may not be available in all cases.  In such cases, Ghana should ensure that ownership and identity information should be available. 
There is no specific requirement that information concerning the settlor, trustees and beneficiaries of trusts be maintained.  An obligation should be established in Ghana to maintain information on the settlors, trustees and beneficiaries of their trusts.  
Jurisdictions should ensure that reliable accounting records are kept for all relevant entities and arrangements. (ToR A.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Although an obligation exists for persons liable to tax in Ghana to maintain accounting records, there is no express legal requirement to maintain underlying documentation (e.g., invoices, contracts, etc.).  An express legal obligation should be introduced for all relevant entities to retain underlying documentation. 
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Competent authorities should have the power to obtain and provide information that is the subject of a request under an exchange of information arrangement from any person within their territorial jurisdiction who is in possession or control of such information (irrespective of any legal obligation on such person to maintain the secrecy of the information). (ToR B.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.   A court order must be obtained in order for Ghana’s tax authorities to access bank information for exchange purposes.  Ghana’s should ensure that this procedure does not unduly delay or prevent effective exchange of information. 
The rights and safeguards (e.g. notification, appeal rights) that apply to persons in the requested jurisdiction should be compatible with effective exchange of information. (ToR B.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Five of Ghana’s nine agreements which are in force providing for the exchange of information for tax purposes are in line with the international standards.  Ghana should renegotiate relevant DTAs, including where appropriate through inclusion of wording akin to paragraphs 26(4) and (5) of the OECD Model Taxation Convention, in order for them to be in line with the international standard. 
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Ghana has only five agreements in force which appear to provide for effective exchange of information.  Ghana should bring its existing agreements that do not meet the standard up to the standard and enter into agreements with all relevant exchange of information partners. Ghana should also be prepared to enter into new arrangements that provide for effective exchange of information. 
The jurisdictions' mechanisms for exchange of information should have adequate provisions to ensure the confidentiality of information received. (ToR C.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
The exchange of information mechanisms should respect the rights and safeguards of taxpayers and third parties. (ToR C.4)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
The jurisdiction should provide information under its network of agreements in a timely manner. (ToR C.5)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The assessment team is not in a position to evaluate whether this element is in place, as it involves issues of practice that are dealt with in the Phase 2 review.