Ghana, 10 countries sign double taxation agreements

Emmanuel Kofi Nti – GRA Boss

Government has signed double taxation agreements with 10 countries to give investors a stable and conducive tax scheme.

The countries are Belgium, Denmark, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Mauritius, South Africa, Italy, Netherlands and Germany.

Speaking at the Economic Counsellors’ Dialogue Eric Mensah, Assistant Commissioner in charge of Legal Affairs and Treaties at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), said the agreements were usually signed with the aim of eliminating juridical or economic double taxation.

The Economic Counsellors’ Dialogue was organised by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) as part of plans to assist businesses to understand the basics of investing in the country.

He said government had signed similar agreements with Barbados, Czech Republic, Seychelles, Singapore, Ireland, Malta, Qatar, and Morocco but yet to be enforced.

“Ghana has also held talks with Iran, Norway, Luxembourg, Portugal, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates, but they are yet to sign an agreement,” he added.

Speaking on Technology Transfer Regime in Ghana, Naa Lamle Orleans-Lindsay, Head of Legal Division at the GIPC, said the Centre had the mandate to ensure that skills were fairly transferred to Ghanaians once a company sought to transfer skills and technology from abroad.

Mrs Orleans-Lindsay said for a company to transfer technologies and skills, it was an obligation to ensure that the particular technology or skills was not freely and easily available locally.

She said under the country’s Technology Transfer Agreements (TTA), transfer fees to pay for the technology transferred must be done through a registered agreement and must also be applicable to the laws of Ghana.

“Failure to register a TTA with the centre is a breach of the GIPC Act 2013 (Act 865) and the Legislative Instrument (L.I 1547) liable to a summary conviction and that company, which fails to register its TTA, cannot legally transfer fees and charges to the transferor in relation to technology transferred,” she added.

Laud Ofori-Afrifa, Deputy Comptroller General of Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), said work and residence permit of investors was currently being issued within seven days, but would be reduced to 24 hours by June 2019.

He said GIS would soon link up electronically with GIPC, Free Zones Board and Registrar General’s Department to reduce document processing time.

Mr. Ofori-Afrifa said the GIS had taken steps to issue long term residence permits to investors and key expatriates from two to eight years depending on certain factors.

Source: GNA

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