MTN Ghana, a subsidiary of MTN Group, has been fined $773m by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for allegedly underreporting its revenue. The fine came after the revenue authority audited the company for four years. and found out that MTN Ghana underreported its Ghana revenue by about 30 percent.
In a statement tagged “Notice of Tax Assessment,” MTN Ghana hinted that the fine includes penalties and interest charges. It maintained that the due taxes have been paid during the period under assessment. MTN Ghana, who disputed the assessment, promised to challenge its basis and accuracy.
MTN Ghana also explained that it had been faithful in paying taxes. It further revealed that it was going to keep engaging relevant authorities on the matter. In a bid to buttress, its faithfulness, MTN Ghana claimed that it was recognised for its support of GRA’s revenue mobilisation efforts on several occasions. It also noted that the GRA repeatedly gave them taxpayer awards in recognition of its contribution.
The much-disputed audit was carried out by a third-party consultant using a new methodology based on call data records (CDR), recharges, and other data.
How MTN Ghana Taxes trouble started?
Reports say a Ghanaian tax authority, MTH audited the financial statement of MTN Ghana in 2019 to ascertain the reliability of the company’s tax. They employed a methodology based on MTN’s call records data.
It was this methodology that revealed that MTN had underpaid taxes. However, the telecommunication agency rejected the audit report and pushed for a professional audit firm to review the findings. The professional audit firm failed to support conclusions earlier given by GRA’s consultants. Despite the stance of the professional audit firm, the GRA still slapped the enterprise with tax liabilities including interest payments.
The carrier, which has a presence in 19 countries in Africa and the Middle East, was also accused of failing to pay $2 billion in taxes and penalties in Nigeria. The case which was thoroughly contested in court was won by MTN in 2020.
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