MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s largest wireless carrier, announced that it has received a $773 million back-tax bill in Ghana, including penalties and interest charges, which it intends to contest.
According to the bill, MTN under-declared its revenue in the country by 30% between 2014 and 2018, the company said in a statement on Friday.
MTN stated that it received the notification this week.
“MTN Ghana believes that the taxes due were paid during the assessment period and has resolved to vigorously defend MTN Ghana’s position on the assessment,” the company stated.
The continent’s largest wireless carriers are becoming increasingly embroiled in tax disputes.
MTN prevailed in a conflict in Nigeria in 2020, forcing the government to drop a $2 billion claim for back taxes after a 16-month battle.
Recently, Vodacom Group Ltd. was embroiled in a contentious tax demand in Congo, which resulted in the government sealing parts of its offices and freezing its bank accounts.
According to the company, the Ghana Revenue Authority used a third-party consultant as well as a new methodology.
“MTN Ghana strongly disputes the accuracy and foundation of the assessment, including the methodology used to conduct the audit,” the company stated.
When reached by phone, Florence Asante, a GRA spokeswoman, said she couldn’t immediately comment.
Ghana suspended interest payments on its external debt last month after losing access to international capital markets due to its ballooning debt and loan service costs.
The country is attempting to restructure its obligations in order to complete a $3 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund.
MTN stated in the statement that the GRA had begun an audit of its Ghanaian operations in 2019 to investigate the “reliability and completeness” of the revenue declared over the five-year period.
According to MTN, the GRA had not provided the unit with any guidelines or standards relating to its new audit methodology.
“MTN Group and MTN Ghana will continue to engage with the relevant authorities on this matter,” the company said.
Join Our Whatsapp Group News Alerts Here
Need a professional Website or Graphic designer for your business at affordable rates, Whatsapp us via Lemon Premium