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Nigeria Freezes MultiChoice Accounts Over Sh474 Billion in Outstanding Taxes

The Federal Inland Revenue Service of Nigeria (FIRS) has directed banks in the country to freeze all accounts belonging to Media entertainment company MultiChoice, together with its Nigerian Subsidiary. This comes after the South-African-based broadcaster allegedly breached agreements and denied access to their records for auditing.

In a statement, the FIRS said that the appointed commercial banks and agents had been tasked with recovering outstanding taxes to a tune of 1.8 trillion Naira (Sh474 billion) from Multichoice Africa and MultiChoice Nigeria.

“It was discovered that the companies persistently breached all agreements and undertakings with the Service, they would not promptly respond to correspondences, they lacked data integrity and are not transparent as they continually deny FIRS access to their records,” FIRS said.

“The companies are involved in the under-remittance of taxes which necessitated a critical review of the tax-compliance level of the company.”

Read: MultiChoice Unveils Plan To Increase Investment In Ethiopia

Executive Chair at FIRS, Muhammed Nami said that the entertainment company’s tax obligations and compliance level failed to capture MultiChoice’s group’s performance in the country.

According to Nami, Nigeria contributed 34% of total revenue for the MultiChoice group, followed by Kenya with 11% and Zambia at 10%. The rest of the African countries where MultiChoice has a presence collectively contributed  45% of the group’s total revenue.

The Revenue Authority has now instructed the banks to collect monies “in each of the above-mentioned entities’ accounts and pay the same in full or part settlement of the companies’ respective tax debts until full recovery.”

Nami said the collection should be done before any further transactions are undertaken by MultiChoice and its subsidiaries.

Reuters said that MultiChoice was planning to issue a statement on the same soon.

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