Ghanaian authorities withdraw $672m tax bill against MTN

MTN has resolved its dispute with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) after the GRA scrapped the 8.2 billion cedi ($672 million) tax bill it slapped the operator with last month.

The operator confirmed the 21-day dispute is over via a filing it made last week (February 3). The GRA accused the operator of underpaying its taxes between 2014 and 2018 in the country, and also that it had under-declared its revenue by 30 percent. MTN disputed the tax bill, noting that it lacked any accuracy or basis.

It prompted the South African government to get involved last week too, with the country’s foreign minister Naledi Pandor publicly urging both parties to resolve the matter, with her efforts appearing to work.

It’s not the first time that MTN has faced a legal and regulatory challenge. The telco was slapped with a $5.2 billion fine by Nigeria back in 2015 for failing to disconnect unregistered phone lines. The dispute was eventually settled for a fee of around $1.6bn.

MTN has operations in 19 countries across Africa and the Middle East, with Ghana as one of its biggest markets. A number of Ghana’s biggest companies have recently been served similar back-tax bills by the Ghanaian government, including Gold Fields Ltd., Kosmos Energy Ltd., and Tullow Oil Plc.

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