Ghana and Netherlands sign agreement to fight tax evasion

TaxGhana and the Netherlands have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Automatic Exchange of Information to help in efforts to fight tax evasion.

The agreement would allow the tax authorities of the two countries to automatically provide each other with information about income from immovable property earned by residents of either country, dividends, interest, directors’ fees and income of artists and sportsmen.

It is the first to be signed between Netherlands and Ghana and the seventh in the world.

Mr George Blankson, Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority, signed the agreement on behalf of Ghana and while the Netherlands Ambassador in Ghana, Mr Hans Docter signed for his country.

Mr Blankson said the MOU would help the two tax administrations to better carry out the provisions of the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters and the Double Taxation Convention.

He said the information exchange would lead to improvements in transparency and discovery of concealed offshore accounts and assets as well as improve tax cooperation.

Mr Docter said the MOU would make it easier for Ghana and Netherlands to exchange fiscal information in order to avoid and combat fiscal fraud and to ensure that taxes were paid.

“The Netherlands attaches very high importance to avoiding and combating fiscal fraud as well as ensuring that tax is being paid in the countries entitled. Signing this MOU will be a great step forward,” he said.

Mr Docter said besides the MOU on the exchange of information, Ghana and the Netherlands were collaborating in other areas to increase revenues and avoid and combat fiscal fraud.

He said the two countries were reviewing the tax treaty on double taxation to include anti-abuse clauses to make it difficult for multinational companies to evade taxes.

“Since our economic relationship becomes increasingly important an efficient exchange of information is essential, “he said.

In January 2014, the Netherlands Tax Administration and the Ghana Revenue Authority signed an MOU on a broad range of cooperation in tax matters to assist the GRA in its further development towards a modern Tax and Customs administration.

Source: GNA

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