Telecoms Chamber fights gov’t over alleged tax under-declaration by members

The Ghana Telecoms Chamber has refuted claims by the Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, that some of its members have been under-declaring profits.

According to the claim by the Minister, government managed to make an additional revenue of over five hundred million cedis following the introduction of Kelni GVG in the monitoring of tax payments by telcos in the country.

The Minister said in the parliament that “The introduction of the CP has uncovered that, prior to the introduction of the CP, ¢470 million in taxes was lost from potential under-declarations between 2015 to the first quarter of 2017.

“An estimated amount of ¢300 million in taxes was saved between Q1 of 2017 to date as a result of the announcement of the implementation of the CP on March 8th, 2017 and its actual implementation date”.

But the Telecoms Chamber is pushing back hard.

A statement released by the CEO of the Chamber, Kenneth Ashigbey denied the claims saying “Ghana’s mobile industry comprising of leading global network operators namely AirtelTigo, MTN and Vodafone are good corporate citizens, showcasing an exemplary record of tax compliance as well as delivering on all their tax obligations.

“The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications wishes to respond to ongoing media discussions relating to answers provided to a question in Parliament by the Hon. Minister of Communications, on the Common Platform (CP).

“The content of the answer given is almost similar to the earlier press conference held on the 14th of November 2019. The Minister stated inter alia that “ The introduction of the CP has uncovered that, prior to the introduction of the CP, GHS 470 million in taxes was lost from potential under declarations between 2015 to the first quarter of 2017. An estimated amount of GHS 300 million in taxes was saved between Q1 of 2017 to date as a result of the announcement of the implementation of the CP on March 8th, 2017 and its actual implementation date”.

“We wish to once again, state that these claims although potential and estimated have not been brought to the attention of our members and on the contrary, the ongoing working relationship between the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), National Communications Authority (NCA) and/or their technical partner KelniGVG regarding the Common Platform does not support these allegations.

“The mobile industry is deeply concerned about the continuous recurrence of these claims, and the fact that standard audit principles and practice that characterize our members dealings with regulators continue to be breached. Any revenue assurance best practice will expect that such findings, if indeed were the case will be shared with our members for their response and reconciliation before onward engagement with external parties and the media.”

 

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