MTN has announced that Ghanaian tax authorities have withdrawn the tax liability case they had leveled against the pan-African telco on 13 January, 2023. The Ghana revenue authority had slapped MTN Ghana with a GHS8.2 billion (~$665 million) fine, citing unpaid back taxes.
In a statement published on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange news service (SENS) of February 3,2023, MTN stated that the withdrawal came after extensive discussions between itself and the relevant Ghanaian authorities.
“Shareholders are advised 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this 21-day period between MTN Ghana, MTN and relevant authorities in Ghana, the GRA has on 03 February 2023 fully withdrawn the [tax liability] assessment,” the statement read.
According to the Ghanaian authorities at the time, the bill against MTN was for unpaid taxes for the period between 2014 and 2018 during which time the telco had allegedly under-declared its revenue in its Ghana operations by as much as 30%.
Following the announcement of the bill, MTN has denied any wrongdoing on its part, stating that, “MTN Ghana believes that the taxes due have been paid during the period under assessment and has resolved to vigorously defend MTN Ghana’s position on the assessment.”
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) then temporarily withdrew the liability assessment to provide a 21-day timeline to allow for further engagements between the parties which led to the case being dismissed today.
Major telcos across the continent have been embroiled in tax trouble in recent times. In December 2022, Vodacom saw their offices in the Democratic Republic of Congo sealed as a result of failure to pay a $243 million tax bill and MTN itself won a $2 billion tax case brought about by Nigerian authorities in 2019.