LAGOS (Reuters) – MTN Nigeria (MTNN.LG) has requested a Nigerian tax tribunal to rule on whether or not the corporate ought to pay company tax on a 330 billion naira ($1.1 billion) wonderful, a spokesman for the telecoms firm mentioned.
MTN Nigeria, a part of South Africa’s MTN Group (MTNJ.J), was initially fined 1.04 trillion naira for failing to deactivate greater than 5 million unregistered SIM playing cards, however it negotiated a decreased wonderful to clear its path to record on the Nigerian Inventory Alternate earlier this 12 months.
MTN Nigeria mentioned it had requested the judicial evaluate after the Nigerian tax authority, the Federal Inland Income Service (FIRS), disagreed with the corporate’s accounting therapy of the wonderful as an working price.
“We consider that the wonderful needs to be handled as a part of price of operating the enterprise however the FIRS thinks in any other case,” MTN Nigeria’s spokesman mentioned.
“We’ve paid every thing to the FIRS then we went to the tribunal and since the case is with the tax tribunal the federal government can’t entry the cash.”
Nigeria’s tax service was not instantly accessible for remark.
The MTN spokesman mentioned the group was ready for the tribunal’s determination, which might set a precedent for a way penalties are handled by firms registered in Nigeria.
The telecoms firm listed its shares on the Nigerian inventory market in Might in a floatation that valued it at $6.5 billion, turning it into the second largest firm on the change.
Nigeria is MTN’s largest market, with 58 million customers in 2018 and it accounts for a 3rd of the South African group’s core revenue.
Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Enhancing by Alexis Akwagyiram/Mark Potter/Jane Merriman