Integrity | Fairness | Service




The Common Reporting Standard (CRS), which was developed in response to the G20 request and approved by the OECD Council on 15 July 2014, calls on jurisdictions to obtain financial account information from their financial institutions and automatically exchange that information with other partner jurisdictions on an annual basis.

The purpose of the CRS is to support tax administrations to facilitate cross-border tax transparency on financial account information held abroad, thereby acknowledging the worldwide need to tackle the issue of tax evasion and tax avoidance. In 2015, Ghana in her quest to join the global efforts to combat illicit financial flows and tackle tax evasion and avoidance schemes, ratified the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) of Common Reporting Standard as a first step to commence Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information with other partner jurisdictions. Subsequently, in May 2018, the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters Act, 2018 (Act 967) was passed as part of Ghana's obligation to implement Automatic Exchange of Information under the Common Reporting Standards.

Further, in September 2022, Ghana started exchanging financial accounts on a reciprocal basis with other partner jurisdictions, i.e. receive financial account information of resident persons in Ghana who hold financial account outside Ghana. Ghana's reciprocal exchange of information will enable the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to deter non-compliance, tackle tax evasion, and ensure transparency on foreign financial accounts held by tax residents even without a prior tax investigation.

Additionally, the exchanges will allow Ghana to realize the full potential of taxing resident persons on their worldwide income as provided for in the Income Tax Act, 2015 (Act 896). In light of Ghana exchanging financial accounts information with partner jurisdictions in accordance with MCAA and Act 967, the Government proposes to institute a Special Voluntary Disclosure Program (SVDP) to give an opportunity to non-compliant persons (individuals and entities) to disclose offshore assets and income to the GRA for the purposes of regularizing the tax affairs of such persons with the GRA without incurring any penalties.

This document provides guidelines on the GRA’s Special Voluntary Disclosure Program (SVDP) for resident persons who hold financial accounts in other jurisdictions and have not disclosed such accounts information and associated income to the GRA as required under the provisions of the Revenue Administration Act, 2016 (Act 915), as amended (herein called “the Act”). This guide is underpinned by the applicable Tax Laws.

The Tax Laws will take precedence if any aspect of the document conflicts with the applicable Tax Laws. For the avoidance of doubt, Financial Account includes, bank accounts, investment accounts details, assets, depository accounts, life term insurance accounts, etc.


The Special Voluntary disclosure program is an opportunity offered by the GRA to allow previously non-compliant taxpayers to correct their tax affairs under specified terms. It aims to encourage taxpayers to come forward on a voluntary basis to regularize their tax affairs with the GRA with respect to offshore assets and to avoid the imposition of penalties as prescribed by the Act and any other tax law. The purpose of the SVDP is to essentially enhance voluntary tax compliance, good management of the tax system and the efficient use of the GRA’s resources.

The SVDP, therefore complements a variety of tax compliance actions that the GRA and government are undertaking in order to encourage all taxpayers to meet their tax obligations. While using the full force of the law against taxpayers unwilling to co-operate, the SVDP will encourage the largest number of non-compliant taxpayers to come forward voluntarily and correct their tax affairs. The SVDP relief is available in respect of all taxes with respect to income administered by the GRA. This guide explains the Purpose and Reason for the SVDP; Confidentiality for the Information Disclosed; Persons that may apply for the SVDP; the Period that the SVDP Covers; the Application and Evaluation Process; and the Terms of the SVDP Relief. It further explains the outcomes thereof and demonstrates how a taxpayer or representative can apply Online.


The rules on confidentiality of information as prescribed in the Act also apply in respect of any information that is submitted through the SVDP process. To ensure confidentiality further, information including the completed SVDP01 form and supporting documents, provided through the SVDP process, shall not be shared with any unauthorized person. The GRA would make available a facility, such as a dedicated telephone number, where taxpayers and or their advisors are able to have initial discussions without the requirement to disclose the identity of the taxpayer concerned. This would assist those taxpayers unsure about the consequences of making a disclosure in arriving at a decision.


A resident person who holds offshore financial accounts with their associated income, whether in a personal, representative or any other capacity, and has not disclosed that information to the GRA, may apply for the special voluntary disclosure relief. Where an applicant has been given notice of commencement of an audit or criminal investigation, which has not been concluded and is related to the disclosed default, such an application is regarded as not being voluntary.


For a SVDP application to be valid, a disclosure must: • Be voluntary; • Only involve offshore financial account information occurring within the past five (5) years; • Be full and complete in all material respects; • Be made in the prescribed form and manner.


The SVDP covers all years of assessment where a person failed to make accurate disclosure of offshore financial accounts with their associated income. Audits would be carried out to finalize assessment of the preceding year(s) using data obtained on offshore financial account holders. All the sanctions including penalties, interest and prosecutions would be applied to non-compliant persons who fail to take advantage of the SVDP program before the audits are concluded.


The SVDP application process is as follows.

a. The SVDP Application Form SVDP01

To access the form SVDP01, the applicant must be registered on the SVDP Portal For more information on the Online registration, refer to the external guide available at The form SVDP01 must be completed and submitted via the SVDP Portal. The form SVDP01 is self-explanatory and seeks information relating to the details of the applicant making the disclosure, details of disclosure, the reasons for the default (if any), definitions and acronyms, how to apply online for SVDP and how to add supporting documents, among others. The form should be accurate and complete. Provision is also made to enable the applicant attach supporting documents where required.

b. Evaluation of the SVDP Application

The GRA will evaluate the SVDP application and the supporting documentation to determine if the applicant meets the requirements for a valid voluntary disclosure. Where additional information is required, the GRA will either request it or schedule a meeting with the applicant. At the end of the evaluation process, an SVDP application may result in an approval or rejection. Where: • The relief application is rejected, the applicant would be given reasons for the outcome with an option to re-apply; • The relief application is approved, a VDP relief certificate would be issued to the applicant.

c. Resources

Dedicated GRA Officers will be seated at Large Taxpayer Unit and Tax Audit and Quality Assurance Department to evaluate applications by entities, whereas application by individuals would be evaluated by the High-Net Worth Unit.


Special Voluntary Disclosure Relief is limited to the information disclosed on the SVDP01 form and for which relief is granted as reference to the Special VDP relief certificate.

The following reliefs are available:
• Relief in respect of penalties for making false or misleading statement as specified under section 74 of the Act.

• 100% relief in respect of an administrative non-compliance penalty that was or may be imposed under the Act, or a penalty imposed under a Tax Act, including penalty for the late filing of a return.


The SVDP relief, the rights and obligations of both the GRA and the VDP applicant must be captured in a voluntary disclosure agreement. The SVDP Relief Agreement shall contain the following:

• The material facts of the default on which the special voluntary disclosure relief is based.

• The relevant undertakings by the parties.

The SVDP agreement must be signed by both the GRA and the applicant.


The SVDP agreement is binding on the GRA and the applicant. Both the GRA and the applicant are obliged to give effect to the terms of the agreement. The GRA will ensure that assessments are adjusted or raised where required and that full effect is given to the relief granted. The applicant on the other hand must ensure that payment is effected on the date(s) agreed in the terms of the SVDP agreement and that any other duty or obligation is given effect to on the agreed terms.


A SVDP certificate will be issued following a successful application. The certificate will contain the following;

• Name of Taxpayer
• Tax Office
• Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
• Taxpayer’s Address and Location
• The amount payable by the applicant
• Penalty relieved • Period Covered
• The payment arrangements and dates


A breach of any material term of the SVDP agreement by the applicant can result in the cancellation of the SVDP agreement. For example, if payment is not affected on the agreed terms, GRA can cancel the agreement and all outstanding amounts including penalties shall be due and payable with immediate effect. Additionally, the SVDP shall not result in a refund due to the taxpayer. Any refund due as a result of the SVDP would be subjected to the refund procedure as enshrine under Section 66 of Act 915.


It is important that the disclosure of a default is full and complete in all material respects. If, subsequent to the conclusion of a special voluntary disclosure agreement it is established that the applicant failed to disclose a matter that was material for purposes of making a valid disclosure, the Commissioner-General may: • Withdraw any relief that has been granted; • Regard any amount paid in terms of the voluntary disclosure agreement to constitute part payment of any outstanding tax in respect of the relevant default; • Impose any relevant sanctions resulting from the default; and • Pursue prosecution for a tax offence arising from the default.


Additional information regarding the Special Voluntary Disclosure Program is available via the following channels:
GRA website:
• By email:
• By phone: +233-030-394-1108
• Physical Address: Starlets 91 Street Ministries, AccraStarlets 91 Street Ministries, Accra
• Postal Address: P. O. BOX 2202 Ministries, Accra