September 29, 2022 (JUBA) – Sudan is still collecting taxes from two major telecommunications companies operating in South Sudan, according to a parliamentary report.
These telecommunications companies, the report notes, do not pay profits to the government of South Sudan because they had obtained a license before secession in 2011.
South Sudan seceded from neighboring Sudan after a referendum in 2011.
The new report, covering the fiscal years 2022-2023, identified mobile telecommunications operators, Zain and MTN, as the tax-paying companies in Sudan.
The Finance and Economic Planning Committee, chaired by Changkouth Bichiock, presented the report to the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Both telecommunications companies, according to the report, pay frequency fees in Sudan.
“This is because Sudan has licensed businesses until 2024 for Zain and 2027 for MTN.” The house observes that frequency fees are still collected by Sudan from Zain and MTN as their recording licenses are valid until 2024 and 2027 respectively,” Bichiock told lawmakers.
The legislators, after extensive deliberations, recommended that South Sudan begin collecting spectrum royalties and profit taxes paid by the two companies.
The assembly, according to Bichiock, ordered the South Sudan National Revenue Authority (NRA) to collect taxes on behalf of the government.
“House orders NRA to collect tax on corporate profits [BPT]excise and value added tax [VAT] from MTN, Zain and digital providers,” he said.
South Sudan has three mobile network operators, including Kuwait-based mobile operator Zain. South African-owned MTN and South Sudan-based Digitel Network also operate in the country. MTN entered southern Sudan before secession. It was authorized by Sudan before the split.
However, it is still unclear when the NRA will begin collecting these taxes.