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GRA defends GH₵8.2bn tax bill issued to MTN Ghana

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) says it followed due process in serving a notice of tax assessment on MTN Ghana.

It said it had also engaged MTN Ghana as required by law to ensure that it communicated the basis of assessment.

GRA has issued a tax liability notice of GH¢8.2 billion (GH¢8,209,603,842.14), the equivalent of $773 million against MTN.

The amount which includes penalties and interest charges emanates from revenue under-declared by more than approximately 30% over the 5-year period 2014 to 2018.

A statement issued in Accra by Mrs Florence Asante, Assistant Commissioner in charge of Communication and Public Affair at GRA, said the Authority used several other avenues to interact with MTN about their right to object to any tax decision by the Commissioner-General.

On January 10, 2023, the GRA served Notice of Tax Assessment on MTN, which the Company rejected.

MTN Ghana “strongly” disputed the accuracy and basis of the assessment, including the methodology used in conducting the audit.

The Company said it believed that the taxes due had been paid during the period under assessment and had resolved to defend its position on the assessment.

The GRA reminded taxpayers and the public that its mandate in tax administration is derived from the Ghana Revenue Authority Act 2009, (Act 791), the Revenue Administration Act 2016, (Act 915) and several other tax laws.

It said Section 36 of the Revenue Administration Act 2016, (Act 915), mandated the Commissioner-General to audit the tax affairs of a person.

GRA said it was in accordance with that provision that the Authority conducted a Tax audit on MTN Ghana for the tax period 2014 to 2018.

“The audit was conducted as required by law adhering to the principles of fairness and transparency,” it added.

Section 42 of Act 915 also prescribes the ways in which a person can object to a tax assessment that is served by the Commissioner-General.

GRA said admittedly, MTN Ghana had been audited many times in the past and had received numerous awards as a compliant taxpayer; however, those did not in any way prejudice the conduct of audits as required by Law.

“GRA uses this opportunity to remind taxpayers of their obligations under the tax Laws to declare and pay the right amount of taxes as well as the mandate of GRA to ensure that all businesses pay the right amount of tax,” it added.

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