Need To Open A Bank Account? Or Register A Car? You Need A Tax Identification Number!

From 1st April 2018, you can no longer open a bank account, register a vehicle or do business with the Ghana Government if you do not have a Tax Identification Number (TIN).

A Tax Identification Number is required for carrying out business transactions, but this has not been enforced in the past. The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), with the support of the Ghana Government, is now enforcing the use of Tax Identification Numbers in business transactions.

This article explains what a TIN is and what it’s used for.

What is a Tax Identification Number?

A Tax Identification Number is an eleven-digit number issued by the Ghana Revenue Authority to a taxpayer. It is unique to that person.

It is used to identify the taxpayer and to ensure that all his tax transactions are attributed to him and can be readily accessed. It also helps the Ghana Revenue Authority to enforce compliance and verify information provided for tax purposes.

What Transactions Require a TIN?

The Revenue Administration Act, 2016 (Act 915) lists several transactions which cannot be executed if a valid Tax Identification Number is not provided. These transactions include:

  • Clearing goods from any port or factory;
  • Registering any title to land, interest in land or any document affecting land;
  • Obtaining a tax clearance certificate from the Ghana Revenue Authority;
  • Registering a co-operative;
  • Registering a company or obtaining a permit to operate a business;
  • Receiving payment from the Controller and Accountant General or a local government Authority for goods and services provided;
  • Filing a case with the Courts;
  • Opening a bank account.

Which Institutions will Demand a TIN?

Both government institutions and private businesses will require a Tax Identification Number be quoted on all official documents before they can be accepted for processing.

The business and institutions that will require a TIN to conduct business with them include:

✓ The Registrar-General’s Department;
✓ The Ghana Revenue Authority;
✓ Persons required to withhold tax under the Income Tax Act, 2016
✓ The Registrar of Co-operatives;
✓ Banks, Insurance Companies and other Financial Institutions. (You will need a TIN to open an account);
✓ Lands Commission;
✓ The Immigration Service;
✓ The Passport Office;
✓ Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA)
✓ Manufacturing Companies;
✓ Ministries, Departments and Agencies;
✓ Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies

How Do I Obtain a Tax Identification Number?

The TIN application forms are available to all individuals and organization at all GRA and Registrar General’s Department offices throughout Ghana. They can also be downloaded from the GRA website.

Note: They are not for sale.

What Information Do I Need to Complete TIN Registration Form for an Individual?

Personal information required in completing the registration form includes:

  • The applicant’s tax registration details if he/she is already a registered taxpayer.
  • Applicant’s status; whether an employee, a self-employed person, a foreign mission employee, individual partner, a director or a shareholder of a company, a student etc.
  • Applicant’s name and other personal details, including postal and residential addresses.
  • Identification documents — Voter’s ID, National ID, Driver’s License or Passport.

What is the Process of Obtaining the TIN Certificate?

  1. Complete the application form.
  2. Attach the relevant documents to the application.
  3. Submit completed form and attachments to the GRA office for processing.
  4. The TIN certificate duly signed by the Commissioner-General should be ready for collection by an applicant within 72 hours after submission, barring any errors that need to be rectified.
  5. In the case of Ghanaians resident abroad, the completed application form together with the attachments will have to be sent by mail or fax to an agent in Ghana for submission to GRA.
  6. Foreigners not resident in Ghana can download the form, complete and mail with all relevant attachments to an agent in Ghana for submission to GRA.
  7. The acceptable ID for non-resident individual applicants is a photocopy of the visa and the picture pages of a valid passport. These IDs must be endorsed by a Notary Public.

If you are contemplating acquiring a TIN certificate in Ghana for yourself, your employees etc. we can assist.

Written by Tom Asaam

Tom is a manager in the tax unit of SCG Chartered Accountants.

Contact us today to speak with one of our team of experts.