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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and MultiChoice Nigeria yesterday, in Abuja, announced that both parties have agreed to an amicable resolution over pending tax disputes.

   A joint statement issued by the parties says part of the agreements is that MultiChoice will withdraw all pending lawsuits, while FIRS will conduct a forensic system audit of the company’s accounts.

   According to the statement,  “By the broad terms of the agreement, MultiChoice shall withdraw all pending lawsuits towards an amicable resolution of the dispute. Also, as part of the agreement, the FIRS commenced a Forensic Systems Audit of MultiChoice accounts on Tuesday, 8 March 2022 to determine the tax liability of the company.”

   The FIRS had issued notices of assessment and demand notices in the sum of N1.82 trillion as tax bills.

   In July 2021, the agency appointed some commercial banks as agents to recover the amount.

   Executive Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, had said the decision to appoint the banks as agents and freeze the accounts was due to the group’s continued refusal to grant FIRS access to its servers for audit.

   MultiChoice, which disputed the assessments, approached the tax appeal tribunal (TAT), which led to a series of cases at both the TAT and the Federal High Court.

   In another case, Multichoice instituted a court action, challenging the assessment of FIRS over unpaid value-added tax (VAT) amounting to $342 million.

   With the agreement and the resumption of the Forensic Systems Audit, it is expected that the tax dispute will come to an end very soon.

 

 

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