Oil companies to abide by court decision over US$19mn tax dispute

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Bolivia's oil companies will abide by the final decision of local courts over a tax dispute with the National Tax Service (SIN), according to local newspapers. The SIN claims the oil companies should be paying the 1.5% tax on financial transactions and in recent days, finance minister Javier Comboni accused "some oil companies" of avoiding taxes. SIN has taken six companies to court to recover some US$19mn in back taxes: Pecom Energia, Petrolera Chaco, Petrolera Andina, Maxus Bolivia, Flamagas and BG Bolivia. The oil companies claim they do not have to pay the tax, and claim state oil company YPFB, the Tax Norms Institute and the Hydrocarbons Ministry all back their position. The Bolivian Hydrocarbons Chamber, which represents the interests of oil companies operating in Bolivia, rejected the accusations, saying none of the companies have been found guilty of any tax evasion. The CBH said the companies were prepared to pay up if they lose their case in court. "The companies are sure about the position they have taken and will submit themselves to what the law determines," the CBH said.

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