MultiChoice reaches $37 million tax settlement with Nigeria tax authorities

Pan-African broadcaster MultiChoice has paid $37 million to Nigeria tax authorities for tax charges brought forward in 2021.

MultiChoice will pay ₦35 billion (~$37 million) to Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) to settle a three-year tax dispute. In June 2021, the tax authorities accused MultiChoice of a ₦1.8 trillion  ($4.4 billion) tax fraud and ordered the freezing of the company’s bank accounts. 

“In terms of the agreement, [MultiChoice Nigeria] and [MultiChoice Africa] shall pay a total tax amount of ₦35.4bn (~US$37.3m), to be offset against the security deposits and good faith payments made to date,” MultiChoice said in a statement to shareholders this morning. MultiChoice has paid a total of $56 million to settle the claim.

Despite the payments, the broadcasting giant has always insisted it did nothing wrong. In August 2021, it filed an appeal contesting the ₦1.8 trillion tax bill with the Tax Appeal Tribunal. The tribunal ruled that the broadcaster pay half the amount and MultiChoice paid a $19 million deposit.

By March 2022, MultiChoice and FIRS had “agreed to an amicable resolution of the pending tax matters.” Consequently, MultiChoice withdrew all existing lawsuits while the FIRS conducted a forensic audit to reach an accurate determination of the company’s tax liability.

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