MultiChoice to appeal R5.2-billion Nigeria tax ruling

MultiChoice Africa Holdings will appeal a Nigerian tax tribunal judgment ordering the South African pay-TV firm to pay US$342-million (R5.2-billion) in value-added taxes.

MultiChoice to appeal R5.2-billion Nigeria tax ruling

Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service has two cases against MultiChoice Group — a ₦1.8-trillion (R67.2-billion) tax claim against MultiChoice Nigeria and a $342-million case against MultiChoice Africa Holdings.

The tax tribunal on Tuesday struck out MultiChoice Africa’s appeal against the tax claim. MultiChoice Africa said the ruling was not based on the merits of the case.

“MultiChoice Africa Holdings … disagrees with the ruling, which was based on a technicality… We will be lodging an appeal at the federal high court,” it said in a statement. “This tax appeal is a separate and distinct matter from the appeal launched by MultiChoice Nigeria.”

Last week, the tribunal cleared MultiChoice Nigeria to appeal the $4.4-billion claim.

MultiChoice Group, spun off in 2019 from Naspers, makes a third of its revenues elsewhere on the continent than South Africa. Nigeria is its biggest market in that segment, according to its annual report.

Nigeria, with one of the lowest tax collection rates in the world, has been seeking to boost non-oil tax receipts to support its struggling economy and cut its budget deficit.

Its revenue service in July told banks to freeze the accounts of units of MultiChoice to recover $4.4-billion, in the latest tax dispute between a South Africa-based company and Nigerian authorities.  

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