Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has frozen MultiChoice’s bank accounts in Nigeria over alleged tax fraud.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Director of Communications and Liaison Department of FIRS, Abdullahi Ahmad, accused the company of persistently breaching all agreements and undertakings with the tax agency.
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MultiChoice, a South African entertainment giant and owner of the popular DStv and GOtv services, also allegedly denied access to their records for auditing.
The executive chair of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, was quoted as saying:
_The companies would not promptly respond to correspondences, they lacked data integrity and are not transparent as they continually deny FIRS access to their records._
_The companies are involved in the under-remittance of taxes which necessitated a critical review of the tax-compliance level of the company. Particularly, [MultiChoice Nigeria Limited] has avoided giving the FIRS accurate information on the number of its subscribers and income._
_It is further requested that the FIRS be informed of any transactions before execution on the account, especially transfers of funds to any of their subsidiaries._
Multichoice responded to the accusations saying it had not been formally notified about the matter and the case appeared to be based on “unfounded allegations.” Said the company:
_We have engaged openly with FIRS and the engagements are ongoing in a transparent and constructive manner._
Nigeria is one of DStv’s biggest markets, therefore, the tax dispute could significantly disrupt the operations of MultiChoice if it is not resolved quickly.