Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Mohammad Nami said he has appointed all deposit money banks where MultiChoice Nigeria Limited (MCN) and MultiChoice Africa (MCA), owners of DSTV maintain accounts as agents to recover N1.8 trillion outstanding taxes.
Scandalously, FIRS added, the parent company, which provides services to MCN has never paid Value Added Tax (VAT) since its inception.
“They (foreign companies) do with impunity in Nigeria what they dare not try in their countries of origin,” the tax agency lamented.
A statement from FIRS on Thursday morning accused the companies of continued refusal to grant FIRS access to its servers for audit.
“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.
“Particularly, MCN has avoided giving the FIRS accurate information on the number of its subscribers and income. The companies are involved in the under-remittance of taxes which necessitated a critical review of the tax-compliance level of the company,” FIRS said
“The group’s performance does not reflect in its tax obligations and compliance level in Nigeria.
“The level of non-compliance by Multi-Choice Africa (MCA), the parent Company of Multi-Choice Nigeria (MCN) is very alarming.
“The issue with Tax collection in Nigeria, especially from foreign-based Companies conducting businesses in Nigeria and making massive profits is frustrating and infuriating to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). “Regrettably, Companies come into Nigeria just to infringe on our tax laws by indulging in tax evasion.
“There is no doubt that broadcasting, telecommunications and the cable-satellite industries have changed the face of communication in Nigeria.
“However, when it comes to tax compliance, some companies are found wanting.
“Information currently at the disposal of FIRS has revealed a tax liability for relevant years of assessment for ₦1,822,923,909,313.94 (One trillion, eight hundred and twenty-two billion, nine hundred and twenty-three million, nine hundred and nine thousand, three hundred and thirteen naira, ninety-four kobo only) and $342,531,206 (Three hundred and forty-two million, five hundred and thirty-one thousand, two hundred and six dollars only).
“In this regard, the affected banks are required to sweep balances 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.
“This should be done before the execution of any transaction involving the companies or any of their subsidiaries.
FIRS requested the banks to inform it of any transactions before execution on the accounts, especially transfers of funds to any of their subsidiaries.”