MTN threatening South Africa: report

The Mail & Guardian reported that MTN has threatened Parliament that if its tax credit is rescinded, it will look at moving the company overseas.

Last week the newspaper reported that MTN moved billions of rands which were earned in Africa to offshore tax havens.

An investigation by the Mail & Guardian’s amaBhungane unit found that most of the money landed in Mauritius.

The money was badged as “management fees”, but according to the report MTN employs no people in Mauritius – and essentially only owns a postbox in the country.

MTN responded by saying it takes serious exception to any suggestion that it is involved in a tax avoidance scheme.

“Such suggestions lack facts or merit, and could be very damaging to our brand,” the company said.

“At no point has MTN ever been found to be involved in any scheme that seeks to help the company avoid its tax or legal responsibilities in any jurisdiction where we operate, including South Africa.”

The Mail & Guardian has now reported that MTN is “fighting to keep the tax break in the face of a treasury proposal that it should be scrapped”.

According to the report, MTN told Parliament it “might move its headquarters abroad if the tax credit was removed”. This, MTN said, could results in job losses.

MTN was asked for comment regarding the latest Mail & Guardian report, but the company did not respond by the time of publication.

The full report is available in the 16 October 2015 edition of the Mail & Guardian.

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MTN threatening South Africa: report