Tax: Ghana Signs Tax Cooperation Agreement
11 July 2012
Posted by: SAIT Technical
Ghana has signed the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, a multilateral agreement developed jointly by the Council of Europe and the OECD. Ghana is the second African country, after South Africa, to sign the Convention since it was opened for signature to all countries in June 2011.
The Convention is the most comprehensive multilateral instrument available for tax co-operation and exchange of information. It helps counter cross-border tax evasion and ensures compliance with national tax laws, while respecting the rights of taxpayers. G20 Leaders, "strongly encourage[d] all jurisdictions to sign the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance”, at their Los Cabos Summit.
"Ghana's demonstrated commitment and effective action on exchange of information is to be applauded” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría at the signing ceremony. "We hope it will act as an encouragement to other African countries to also join in this important area of international cooperation.”
Signing the Convention, Ghana's Deputy Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper, noted that "Ghana appreciates the present cordial relationship with the OECD and will adopt the exchange of information mechanism to reduce tax evasion and avoidance of MNES and thereby raise more tax revenue to fund development projects.”
The Convention provides a multilateral basis for a wide variety of administrative assistance including information exchange on request, automatic exchange of information, simultaneous tax examinations, assistance in tax collection and service of documents. It provides governments with a valuable tool for fighting offshore tax evasion and avoidance.
Current signatories to the Convention are: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.