MTN Group and its Ghana subsidiary denied assertions it underpaid tax in the country after being hit with a massive bill from authorities for liabilities dating between 2014 and 2018.

In a stock market statement, MTN Ghana explained it had been issued with a notice last week claiming it owed GHS8.2 billion ($684 million), though the notice was then temporarily withdrawn for 21 days for further engagement with authorities.

The operator added the inference from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) was it had under-declared its revenue by more than 30 per cent in the period. The bill followed an audit and assessment by a third party consultant.

MTN Ghana stated it “strongly disputes the accuracy and basis of the assessment, including the methodology used in conducting the audit,” maintaining it believed all taxes due had been paid for the period.

The row about back taxes in the country has been ongoing for some time with MTN Group, its Ghana subsidiary, the country’s ministry of finance and the GRA agreeing to a related independent review by a global professional services company in 2021.

MTN Ghana claims the review was “unable to support the conclusions reached by the GRA’s third-party consultants as the basis for the assessment”.

“MTN Group and MTN Ghana will continue to engage with the relevant authorities on this matter and MTN remains resolute that MTN Ghana is a tax compliant corporate citizen,” the operator added.