The Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament (MPs) have raised red flags over Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) that were laid in Parliament, Tuesday, May 15, 2018, claiming that such deals will not inure to the benefit of the country.

Four different Double Taxation Agreements were laid before Parliament for consideration by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta.

They include:
(i) Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Czech Republic for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital Gains;

(ii) Convention between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital Gains;

(iii) Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Government of the Republic of Mauritius for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital Gains; and

(iv) Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Republic of Singapore for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital Gains.

But the Minority NDC MPs want the government to come clean on these agreements before they will give their support for its approval.

They want the government to tell them the quantum of the investment of the four countries seeking for double taxation with the Republic of Ghana as well as the names of Ghanaian investments in those countries.

In the view of the Minority NDC MPs, the four countries involved in the deal are tax haven countries and therefore want to extend their influence to the West African nation.

“So, you will see that Singapore and Mauritius for instance are tax havens for certain offshore entities. So, they go there and their intention is to come and invest in this country and to cream off the taxes so that they are going to exempt them from taxes based on that. I want the government to come clean on this matter that what is the motivation in rushing to Parliament to seek for approval of double taxation for four different countries?”Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Casiel Ato Forson quizzed.

He added “We want them [Government] to estimate the fiscal cost for the state. We also want them to give us evidence that Ghanaian businesses are also going to benefit from these countries and are not going to be done in a way for small individuals and companies to benefit from”.

Forson, further revealed that the NDC MPs would in the coming days scrutinize the agreements in such a way that the ordinary Ghanaian will benefit from them.

“We think that if we are to conclude that it is in the interest of this country, we shall support the government to approve it. But if we are not convinced that these agreements are not in the interest of this country, I beg to say that we will oppose it with all the vim in us because clearly, our responsibility is to keep the government on its toes to make sure that they are doing what is right”, he stressed.