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Telcos did not under-declare tax due government – Telecoms Chamber refutes Ursula Owusu’s claims

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The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications has refuted claims by government that telecommunication companies under-declared taxes due government.

In a press statement Saturday signed by its CEO Dr Kenneth Ashigbey, he said, telcos operating in the country “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.”

It said the content of the answer by the Communication Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful given on the Common Platform (CP) in Parliament on Friday is almost similar to the earlier press conference held on the 14th of November 2019.

The Minister stated among other things 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”.

The Chamber reiterated 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.

Mr Ashigbey said the mobile industry is deeply concerned about the continuous recurrence of these claims, and the fact that standard audit principles and practice that characterise 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.

“We have requested since November 19, 2019, that this very report detailing these alleged tax misconducts as being espoused by the Ministry be brought to our urgent attention, but this request has not been met till date and our engagements with the Ministry and Regulators over the last nine months has never contained such an agenda for discussion,” he said.

The Chamber added, “Financial reporting procedures within the telecoms industry are rigorous, and these include regular audits by the GRA as well as periodic ones by the NCA. These are in addition to assessments performed by bluechip external auditors with world-class reputations as done in other sectors.”

Source: myjoyonline

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