Five African countries South Africa, Ghana, Zambia, Tanzania and Mauritius have decided to work together to examine the brewer’s tax affairs.
The five nations have come together under the auspices of the African Tax Administrators Forum (ATAF) to look at the group’s tax payments after a critical report into the brewer’s tax affairs last November by UK charity ActionAid International.
The report which was released in London Monday November 29, 2010, and titled “Calling Time: Why SABMiller should stop dodging taxes in Africa” detailed what it says are SABMiller’s strategy to dodge taxes in Ghana and other African countries.
SABMiller however rejected the report claiming it contained a number of flawed and inaccurate assumptions.
ABL officials in Ghana following our publication of a story on the report, also called ghanabusinessnews.com on December 2, 2010 and equally rejected the report.
In response to the latest development, Ms. Adjoba Kyiamah, Corporate and Legal Affairs Manager of ABL said in an email to ghanabusinessnews.com, “We have not received any notice of a tax audit of our operations in Ghana. However we are happy to cooperate, as always, with the authorities if they do decide to conduct one.”
The investigation is expected to focus on SABMiller’s transfer pricing strategies which ActionAid said led to the avoidance of millions of pounds of taxes in Africa every year.
According to ActionAid, Ghana has lost about GH¢2.2 million in unpaid taxes from ABL, through what it describes as unethical practices.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi