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Africa’s Largest Wireless Carriers are Increasingly Caught Up in Tax Disputes on the Continent

MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s largest wireless carrier, said it’s received a $773 million back-tax bill, including penalties and interest charges, in Ghana that it plans to fight. The bill is for the period between 2014 and 2018 and implies that MTN under-declared its revenue in the country by 30%, the company said in a statement on Friday. MTN said it received the notice this week.  MTN was victorious in a conflict in Nigeria in 2020 when the government had to drop a $2 billion claim for back taxes following a 16-month battle. More recently, Vodacom Group Ltd. has been embroiled in a controversial tax demand in the Congo that saw the government seal parts of its offices and freeze its bank accounts. MTN said in the statement that the GRA had begun an audit of its Ghanaian business in 2019 to look into the “reliability and completeness” of the revenue it declared during the five-year period. The GRA hadn’t issued the unit with any guidelines or standards relating to its new audit methodology, MTN said.