MultiChoice: “We’ve paid our Nigerian taxes”

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South Africa’s MultiChoice/DStv pay-TV operator insists it has paid all its Nigerian tax demands. It says it will prove the payments to the Nigerian Government’s Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS).

FIRS is claiming that the DStv broadcaster has evaded taxes of some Naira 1.8 trillion ($4.4bn) and has instructed local banks to freeze MultiChoice/DStv bank accounts and assets in Nigeria.

The head of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, said Multichoice and its unit in Nigeria consistently failed to promptly respond to correspondences, lack data integrity and continually denying FIRS access to their records.

In particular FIRS is alleging that MultiChoice has not given accurate data on the number of subscribers has in Nigeria and the amount of cash it has collected from them.

In a statement July 8th, Bamidele Johnson, a representative of Multichoice, said the company had complied with the tax laws of Nigeria. He said the company had not received any notification from the tax office. “We have read the media reports and the statements made by FIRS,” the statement said. “The matter is apparently based on unfounded allegations that MultiChoice Nigeria has not fully disclosed all existing subscribers to authorities. We have engaged openly with FIRS and the engagements are ongoing.”

The news hit MultiChoice shares badly, which fell 7.4 per cent on the Johannesburg exchange


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