Notice to Reporting Financial Institutions

Notice to Reporting Financial Institutions

Obligations of Ghanaian Reporting Financial Institutions:

Extension of Time to Report the Necessary Information to GRA (From June 30 to August 30, 2019)

  

Pursuant to Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information Act, 2018 (Act 967) (herein referred to as the “Act”) which was passed on 4th May, 2018, the Ghana Revenue Authority, which has committed to start the process of automatic exchange in September 2019 on financial account information pertaining to calendar year 2018 has by this Notice Extended the date within which GRA is required to receive from reporting financial institutions the necessary information from 30th June to 30th August, 2019.

This Notice aims at also providing a reminder to all reporting financial institutions in Ghana of the obligations, extended deadlines and penalties in case of failure to abide by the Act.

Legal obligations of Reporting Financial Institutions

  1. In accordance with the Act, reporting financial institutions (FIs) must-
    • Have collected certain information from all the non-resident clients with regards to accounts opened since 1st January 2018; and 
    • Have finalized the review of the pre-existing individual high value accounts to enable them to identify any reportable accounts; 
    • Report the information on reportable account by the 30th August, 2019 on such accounts (new accounts or pre-existing high value accounts identified as reportable account). 
  1. The information to be reported shall be as per those specified under Section 4(3) of the Act. 

This includes-

    1. In the case of an individual that is an account holder and a reportable person-
      • name;
      • address;
      • jurisdiction of residence;
      • TIN and
      • date and place of birth.
    2. In the case of an entity that is an account holder and a reportable person-
      • name;
      • address;
      • jurisdiction of residence and
      • TIN.
    3. In the case of an entity that is an account holder and that is identified as having one or more controlling persons that is a reportable person- 
      1. For the entity
        • name;
        • address; jurisdiction of residence;
        • TIN
      1. For the controlling person(s)
        • name;
        • address;
        • jurisdiction of residence;
        • TIN and
        • date and place of Birth.
    1. For all, the account number or any equivalent such as a contract number for instance. 
    2. Name and identification number (if any) of the reporting FI, such as the incorporation number in the case the FI is not issued with a TIN. 
    3. The account balance or value as of the end of the relevant calendar year, or if the account has been closed during that period, the fact that the account was closed. If the account balance is negative, the amount reported shall be zero. For joint bank accounts, the total balance shall be reported for any of the joint account holder. 
    4. vii)For custodial accounts– 
      • The total gross amount paid or credited to the account during the calendar year;
      • Dividends paid or credited to the account during the calendar year;
      • Other income generated with respect to the assets held in the account paid or credited during the calendar year;
      • Proceeds from the sale or redemption of financial assets paid or credited during the calendar year where the FI acted as an agent for the account holder (including broker, nominee, custodian);
    1. viii)For depositary accounts
      1. Total gross amount of interest paid or credited to the account during the calendar year 
    1. viii)For accounts other than custodian or depositary accounts
  1. total gross amount paid or credited to the account holder with respect to the account during the calendar year where the FI is the obligor or debtor and
  2. all aggregated amount of any redemption payments made to the account holder during that calendar year. 
  1. The address to be reported shall be the address recorded by the Reporting Financial Institution for the account holder pursuant to the due diligence procedures as explained in Sections 5 and 6 of the Act.

The address to be reported shall include:

    1. In the case of an individual
  1. the current address,
  2. however, if current address is not available on records, the FI can report the mailing address it has on file.
    1. In the case of an Entity
  1. the address of the Entity; and
  2. the address of each controlling person of such entity which would be a reportable person. 
  1. The TIN to be reported is the TIN assigned to the account holder by its jurisdiction of residence. However, in the cases where TIN is not available because one is not issued by the country of residence or not issued to such person, no reporting of TIN will be compulsory until such time that there is a change of circumstances. 
  2. Transitional measures exist with regards to the TIN and/or date of birth which should be reported for pre-existing accounts. If the TIN and/or date of birth is not in the records of the FI and it is not either required to be collected by the FI for AML purpose, the FI shall make genuine attempts to acquire the information, at least once a year, and at the end of the second calendar year following the year of identification of the pre-existing account as a reportable account. 
  3. For the place of birth, it is not required to be furnished unless the AML law requires the FI to obtain and report it and it is available in the electronically searchable data of the FI. If not then, the FI shall attempt to obtain it, but failure to which, no report will be made. 
  4. In accordance with the Guidance Notes published on the GRA website, following this link, CRS Guidance Notes, the deadline for reporting financial institution register and submit Financial Account information to GRA by the 30th June, 2019 has been extended to 30th August, 2019.
  5. In order to evidence that the correct review of accounts in accordance with the set due diligence rules were carried on and that therefore the identification or not of reportable accounts is accurate, the reporting financial institution shall make sure that it has kept all the records which will establish that the information submitted to the Ghana Revenue Authority in furtherance of the reporting requirements as stated under the Regulations are accurate and complete. 

II/ Penalties for Non-Compliance

  1. A Reporting FI which fails to comply with the obligations under the Act shall be subject to the provisions on dispute resolution, penalties and offences under the Revenue Administration Act, 2016 (Act 915).