Business General News

Tullow refers almost $300m tax dispute with GRA to International Arbitration

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Tullow Oil Plc has announced that Tullow Ghana Limited (TGL) has filed requests for arbitration with the International Chamber of Commerce in London in respect of two disputed tax assessments received from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

In a notice to investors, the oil giant said the assessments relate to the disallowance of loan interest deductions for the fiscal years 2010 – 2020 and proceeds received by Tullow Oil Plc under Tullow’s Corporate Business Interruption Insurance policy.

The requests for arbitration have been filed in accordance with the dispute resolution process set out in the Petroleum Agreements which govern TGL’s activities in Ghana.

A copy of the Petroleum Agreements can be viewed on the website of the Ghana Petroleum Register.

Background

According to Tullow Oil Ghana, it received a revised corporate income tax assessment for $190.5 million from the GRA relating to the disallowance of loan interest for the fiscal years 2010 – 2020.

Tullow has previously disclosed assessments by the GRA relating to the same issue; the revised assessment received in December 2022 supersedes all previous claims.

TGL has also received a new corporate income tax assessment and demand notice for $196.5 million from the GRA relating to proceeds received by Tullow during the fiscal years 2016 – 2019 under Tullow’s corporate Business Interruption Insurance policy, previously referred to in Tullow’s Trading Update on 25 January 2023.

GRA and tax disputes

Tullow‘s move follows similar concerns by other multinationals especially in the extractive sector that are raising questions about these assessments done by the GRA.

GRA recently in a statement announced that it has stepped down moves to go ahead with $773 million ‘back tax’ bill it imposed on the telecoms company.

The authority also in a statement advised companies disputing the assessment to turn to its Tax Advisory Board and other mechanisms to address their concerns.

Branch profits remittance tax arbitration

Tullow has previously filed a request for arbitration in respect of a separate assessment for Branch Profits Remittance Tax of $320 million in 2021. A hearing in respect of this dispute is scheduled for October 2023.

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