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Ghana tax authorities drop R13bn claim against MTN

Samuel Mungadze
By Samuel Mungadze, Africa editor
Johannesburg, 06 Feb 2023
Ralph Mupita, MTN Group CEO.
Ralph Mupita, MTN Group CEO.

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has withdrawn a R13 billion tax claim against MTN, Africa’s biggest telecoms company.

MTN notified shareholders on Friday that following “extensive and productive discussions held during this 21-day period between MTN Ghana, MTN and relevant authorities in Ghana, the GRA has on 3 February 2023 fully withdrawn the assessment”.

MTN, in the past few weeks, had been negotiating with Ghanaian authorities after being hit with a R13 billion tax assessment by the GRA last month.

The revised tax assessment stems from an audit of MTN Ghana commenced by the GRA in 2019, which covered the period 2014 to 2018.

The audit was “to give assurance on the reliability and completeness of revenues declared by MTN Ghana for the purposes of calculating taxes”, says Ralph Mupita, MTN Group CEO.

The GRA then went to issue the assessment to MTN Ghana for an amount of approximately R13 billion ($773 million). 

The telco has since informed shareholders the matter had been put to bed.

“MTN would like to further assure shareholders and other stakeholders of MTN Ghana’s commitment to the highest standards of tax compliance and responsible corporate citizenship.

“MTN and MTN Ghana would like to thank all stakeholders involved for the support and collaboration to arrive at this amicable and mutually satisfactory full withdrawal of the assessment.”

The MTN tax row in Ghana last week received the attention of the South African government, with international relations and cooperation minister Dr Naledi Pandor urging the feuding parties “to work closely” and devise a solution.