Ghana and UK join forces to combat tax evasion

6 Aug 15

Ghana and the UK today confirmed a deal to automatically exchange tax data on citizens by 2018, helping the west African nation clamp down on tax evaders and raise extra revenue for public services.  

The UK called the partnership a “significant milestone” towards tackling tax evasion head on.

“This excellent new partnership will help Ghana clamp down on tax evasion and reclaim millions of pounds in lost revenue,” UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening said.

“Today’s tax deal marks a significant milestone, and I look forward to working closely with colleagues in Treasury to ensure that this is a real opportunity to tackle corruption and poverty and contribute to DFID’s efforts to reduce corruption in some of the world’s poorest countries.”

Under the deal, Ghana will join forces with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the UK’s revenue collection department, to get its own tax systems in order to fund health, education and infrastructure programmes and reduce aid dependence.

Ghana’s Revenue Authority (GRA) will automatically receive tax information from HMRC on the UK holdings of Ghanaian taxpayers and vice versa.

Additionally, HMRC and GRA will work together to share their knowledge on tax legislation, compliance and data privacy so they are ready to implement the OECD’s automatic exchange of tax information standard in 2018.

DFID, which unveiled a tax initiative for developing countries at the Addis Ababa Financing for Development meeting last month, said the partnership would help the government of Ghana detect undeclared assets, catch tax dodgers and deter potential offenders.

Ghanaian finance minister Seth Terkper said Ghana was ready to join the global effort to control tax evasion.

“Ghana believes in the united international onslaught on tax evasion through transparency and exchange of information because this menace can effectively be eliminated only through international cooperation,” he said.

  • Judith Ugwumadu
    Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith writes about public finance, public services and economics across Public Finance International and Public Finance. She previously undertook reporting stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express.

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