January 16, 2023 10:58 AM
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has pushed back against telecommunications giants MTN over a $773 million tax bill.
Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, Commissioner–General of the Ghana Revenue Authority
According to the GRA, the back taxes slapped on the company falls within the remits of the law.
In a statement copied to the media, the GRA said the tax assessment and audit was done within the remits of the law and by the principles of transparency.
MTN had raised issues with a $773 million back-tax bill, including penalties and interest charges in Ghana.
The company had said it was going to fight the ‘inaccurate’ assessment because it was dissatisfied with the methodology.
Below is the Authority’s response
The attention of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has been drawn to a public statement issued by SCANCOM PLC (MTN GH) in reaction to a Notice of Tax Assessment served on MTN Ghana by the Authority on the 10th of January 2023.
GRA wishes to remind taxpayers and the general 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.
Section 36 of the Revenue Administration Act 2016, (Act 915), mandates the Commissioner-General to audit the tax affairs of a person; and it is in accordance with this 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.
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.
In the case of MTN Ghana, GRA followed due process in serving a Notice of Assessment and has engaged MTN Ghana as required by Law to ensure that it communicates the basis of assessment as well as the several avenues available for objection as required in Section 42 of the Revenue Administration Act.
We wish to emphasize that MTN Ghana has been reminded at all times in the Authority’s interactions with them about their right to object to any tax decision by the Commissioner-General.
Admittedly, MTN Ghana has been audited many times in the past and has received numerous awards as a compliant taxpayer; however, these do 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 tax(es) as well as the mandate of GRA to ensure that all businesses pay the right amount of tax.