The UK government has signed a tax deal with Ghana to help the West African nation step up its efforts to clamp down on tax evasion, boost revenues and enhance public services.

The pact will enable Ghana to automatically receive tax information from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on UK holdings of Ghanaian taxpayers to detect undeclared assets, catch tax evaders and deter potential tax evaders.

This deal will help Ghana to combat tax evasion and reclaim millions of pounds in lost revenue.

As part of the deal, HMRC will team up with Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to develop their expertise on tax legislation, compliance and data privacy so that they are ready for the automatic exchange of tax information, due to start in 2018.

Through this tax agreement, Ghana can maximise domestic resources and ensure people pay their fair share of tax, allowing revenues to be invested into public services such as health, education and infrastructure.

UK international development secretary Justine Greening said: "The UK is committed to helping developing countries get their tax systems in order so that as their economies grow they are able to increasingly fund their own health and education programmes and reduce aid dependence.

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"Today’s tax deal marks a significant milestone, and I look forward to working closely with colleagues in Treasury to ensure that this is a real opportunity to tackle corruption and poverty and contribute to DFID’s efforts to reduce corruption in some of the world’s poorest countries.

UK financial secretary to the treasury David Gauke said: "We committed to helping developing countries increase their tax transparency and improve their tax systems, so I’m delighted to announce our new partnership with Ghana.

"Sharing our tax expertise will help the Ghanaian taxman have the systems in place to make the most of the tax information they recieve from over 90 countries come 2018.

Ghanaian Finance Minister, the Hon. Seth Terkper said: "The collaboration with UK is bound to profit the two countries and Ghana’s revenue generation efforts will be enhanced."