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Fine/tax status: Technical disagreement exists between us, FIRS, MTN admit

Lagos – MTN Nigeria, on Friday, admitted to a technical disagreement between it and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), on how the 2015 fine should be treated for tax purposes.

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Mr Onome Okwah, Manager, Public Relations and Protocol, Corporate Affairs/Corporate Relations, MTN, disclosed this in a statement in Lagos.

According to him, the organisation’s attention has been drawn to media reports regarding the status of taxes relating to the 2015 fine imposed on MTN.

He, however, added that while the monies had been paid to FIRS, MTN had taken the disagreement to the Tax Tribunal set up by the FIRS Chairman and Minister of Finance and were awaiting its decision.

“MTN remains fully compliant with the Nigerian tax laws and will abide by the findings of the tribunal.

“The company is committed to meeting its fiscal responsibilities and contributing to the social and economic development of Nigeria.

“Since incorporation in 2001, MTN has invested more than N2 trillion in the Nigerian economy and has paid more than N1.7 trillion in taxes, levies and other regulatory fees.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Babatunde Fowler, Chairman, FIRS, recently accused MTN of deducting tax from the N330 billion fine it paid to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Fowler maintained that fines and penalties for regulatory infractions were revenues paid to the Federal Government and should not be subjected to any tax deduction.

NCC had in October 2015 imposed a N1.04 trillion fine on the telecommunications giant for alleged non-compliance with the deadline set by the commission to disconnect all unregistered SIM cards.

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The regulator reduced the fine to N780 billion in December 2015, having taken into consideration the stability of the telecommunication sector.

The fine was further reduced to N330 billion after MTN had agreed to be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). (NAN)

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