MultiChoice to pay $37.3m tax settlement to FIRS

MULTICHOICE Nigeria and MultiChoice Africa Holdings have agreed to pay the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) a $37.3 million tax settlement after a legal dispute that has lasted for over two years.

The parent company, MultiChoice Group, disclosed this, according to a report by Reuters on Thursday, February 8.

It said the total tax amount of N35.4 billion to be paid by its subsidiaries would be offset against the security deposits and good faith payments made to date.

Africa’s biggest pay-TV company has been in a running legal dispute with the FIRS after the latter accused it of involvement in under-remittance of taxes and non-tax remittance, The ICIR reported.

In 2022, FIRS requested the commercial banks to freeze MultiChoice Nigeria’s accounts and served the parent company, MultiChoice Group, with a N1.8 trillion tax claim, being $1.27 billion for Nigeria’s operation and a $342 million claim for value-added taxes.




    In its 2023 financial statements, MultiChoice noted that it had two ongoing tax matters with the FIRS and would bring every tax audit process with the Nigerian authority to a fair conclusion.

    It stated, “On February 16 2022, an agreement was reached with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) that legal proceedings would be stayed and that an integrated tax audit would commence for both entities.

    “The audit process, which covers corporate income tax, value-added tax and transfer pricing, is ongoing but has been taking longer than anticipated. As part of the process, the group has made a further ZAR0.6bn in tax security deposits during FY23 on a without-prejudice and good-faith basis. The total deposit balance now amounts to ZAR1.3bn. These have been recorded as current receivables pending the outcome of the audit process.”

    The current administration of President Bola Tinubu has commenced a reform to review the nation’s tax regime and close about N26 trillion that the country loses to tax avoidance, evasion, and incentives annually.

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