London-listed Acacia Mining accused of "sophisticated tax evasion" in Tanzania

 
Jessica Morris
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Acacia is one of the largest gold miners in Africa

London-listed gold miner Acacia Mining has been accused of engaging in "a sophisticated scheme of tax evasion" in the East African country of Tanzania where it operates.

The tax revenue appeals tribunal accused the company of paying dividends to its shareholders worth $412.5m between 2010 and 2013, but evading 10 per cent withholding tax by declaring losses.

The company, formerly known as African Barrick Gold, denied the charge and said it plans to appeal.

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Acacia, which is one of the largest gold miners in Africa, said on its website that the tribunal's judgments was "fundamentally flawed".

"Acacia and its subsidiaries fully comply with all international and domestic tax legislation and have not and never will undertake any form of tax evasion or tax avoidance schemes," the company's statement added.

It comes a month after Acacia said it had reached an agreement with the Tanzanian authorities to pre-pay approximately $20m in corporate tax this year.

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"We proactively initiated discussions with the Tanzania revenue authority in 2015 as we believe that our business is of a scale and maturity that it should be paying a fair level of corporate taxes as part of our contribution to the Tanzanian economy," Brad Gordon, chief executive of Acacia, said at the time.

"We believe this agreement is mutually beneficial for all parties as we receive greater certainty over future Vat receipts and Tanzania sees an earlier corporate tax contribution from Acacia than previously envisaged."

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