Ghana

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Overall Phase 2 Rating is Largely Compliant

Table of Determinations and Ratings of the Phase 2 Review

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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.   New obligations were introduced in the AML Act in April 2014 requiring nominees to maintain ownership and identity information in respect of all persons for whom they act as legal owners. As these amendments were passed after the end of the review period and onsite visit, the effectiveness of the new law could not be verified.   Ghana should monitor the operation of the new provisions in the AML Act requiring nominees to maintain ownership information for all persons for whom they act. 
All trustees in Ghana are subject to the common law fiduciary duties which should ensure the availability of some information concerning trustees, settlors and beneficiaries. Further. An obligation for trust and company service providers to verify the identity of all settlors, trustees and beneficiaries for which they act was introduced to the AML Act in April 2014. As this amendment was passed after the end of the review period and onsite visit, the effectiveness of the new law could not be verified.  Ghana should monitor the operation of the new provisions in the AML Act requiring all trust and company service providers to maintain information on all settlors, trustees and beneficiaries for which they act. 
Although the GRA and the Bank of Ghana perform extensive oversight and regularly enforce sanctions, these activities may not ensure compliance with ownership obligations for all relevant entities and arrangements. Further, over the review period, the Registrar-General did not have a regular system of oversight in place to monitor compliance with ownership obligations and sanctions for non-compliance were not enforced in practice.   It is recommended that the Registrar-General implements a regular system of oversight of registered entities compliance with ownership and identity requirements and that its enforcement powers are sufficiently exercised in practice. 
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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.   The 2013 amendments to the Internal Revenue Act to address the lack of express obligations to maintain underlying documentations are untested in practice.  Ghana should monitor the effectiveness of the new legal requirements to ensure that underlying documents are being maintained by all relevant entities. 
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.     Ghana should continue to develop its EOI network with all relevant partners. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.      
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.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Partially Compliant.   Over the review period, Ghana did not communicate a change in its competent authority details to its treaty partners nor the most efficient means by which to send requests to Ghana. As a result, out of 10 requests sent during the review period by one treaty partner, 9 of these were not received by Ghana in the first instance and the one request that was received took 17 months to reach the EOI Unit within the GRA, As a result, there were long delays in providing the requested information to the treaty partner.   Ghana should communicate regularly with all treaty partners and monitor its newly implemented EOI processes to ensure that all requests are successfully received by the EOI Unit and responded to expeditiously.  
During the three-year review period, Ghana did not always provide a status update to its EOI partners within 90 days.  Ghana should provide status updates to its EOI partners within 90 days where relevant. 

Earlier self-assessment based annual reports entitled Tax Co-operation 2010: Towards a Level Playing Field are also available.