Exchange of information (EOI) is the cross-border sharing of taxpayer information by tax administrations.
Double Tax Agreements (DTAs), and other international legal instruments such as Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs), the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAAC) allow countries to provide a wide range of administrative assistance, including exchange of information, assistance in collection of taxes and tax examination abroad. The type of administrative assistance permitted between two countries will depend on the legal instrument.
The Ghana Revenue Authority is a party to several international Agreements that allow the exchange of information for tax purposes.
The Global Forum Transparency and Exchange of Information for tax purposes is the world’s leading multilateral body within which work in the area of transparency and Exchange of Information (EOI) for tax purposes is carried out. The membership of the Global forum currently consists of over 160 countries and jurisdictions, including all G20 countries, all Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) members, all key international financial centres and many developing countries. 18 international organisations are observers, including the African Development Bank, United Nations (UN), World Bank and African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF). Ghana became a member of the Global Forum in 2011.
All members of the Global Forum as well as specifically identified non-members are subject to an Exchange of Information on request (EOIR) peer review. Ghana underwent the first round of the Global Forum peer reviews in 2014 and was adjudged Largely Compliant with the international standards on EOIR. After the 2018 second round review, Ghana was downgraded from ‘Largely Complaint’ to ‘Partially Compliant’ in the overall ratings. Copies of Ghana’s Peer Review Reports are available here
A Competent Authority for Tax purposes is responsible for the effective implementation of the provisions of Double Taxation Agreements and other international taxation instruments. In particular, the competent authority is responsible for the communications with the treaty partner and for maintaining effective working relationships with competent authorities in other countries.
Cross border exchange of information can only take place between competent authorities or their authorised representatives. This ensures that the rules applicable to exchange of information (and the confidentiality of information exchanged) are respected and consistently applied.
The Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is the Competent Authority for Exchange of Information for tax purposes. The day to day functions of the competent authority have been delegated to the Exchange of Information (EOI) unit. This means that The EOI Unit is responsible for carrying out exchanges of information with other tax administrations in accordance with the exchange of information provisions in the relevant international legal instruments. Details of the delegated competent authorities of the Ghana Revenue Authority is available here .
The EOI is responsible for the implementation of various forms of international exchanges:
Exchange of Information on request describes a situation where tax authorities can make specific requests to other tax authorities for information that will allow them to progress their tax investigations. The information that could be requested includes accounting records, bank statements and information on the ownership of assets.
Automatic exchange of information (AEOI) provides for the automatic exchange of a predefined set of information between tax authorities without a prior request. Automatic exchange of information for international tax transparency purposes occurs under different standards for the different information sets.
Ghana through the efforts of the EOI unit of the Ghana Revenue Authority is currently implementing the automatic exchange of financial account information under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). This requires the annual exchange of information on financial accounts held by non-resident individuals and entities in a pre-defined format. The information exchanged includes details about the financial account (e.g. the financial institution maintaining it, the account number and the account balance) and details about the account holder (e.g. their name, address, date of birth and Taxpayer Identification Number).
As part of implementing the AEOI Standard, the GRA is required to collect the information each year from Ghanaian financial institutions (which include banks, hedge funds and investment trusts) and to automatically exchange it with the jurisdictions where the account holder is tax resident (provided the jurisdiction has in place the necessary framework to keep the information confidential and properly safeguarded). The AEOI Standard is therefore built on certain key components:
Through these components the AEOI Standard provides for a powerful tool to help deter and identify offshore tax evasion through holding financial assets abroad.
If you need to contact Ghana Revenue Authority directly in relation to AEOI, please see details below:
EOI Manual 2020
Request for Information Templates
Guidelines on the Common Reporting Standard
Standard for the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information Act, 2018 (Act 967)
MDES User Guide
XML User Guide