CHUBAIS RECEIVES A TAX BILL

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The Federal Tax Service has found itself a new target

The tax problems of RAO Unified Energy Systems of Russia became known from a quarterly report posted on the electricity monopoly’s website. They concern profit tax for 2001. The court has already rejected the company’s appeal twice.


The tax problems of RAO Unified Energy Systems of Russia (RAO UES) became known from a quarterly report posted on the electricity monopoly’s website. The report said that last year interregional inspectorate for major taxpayers No. 4 checked correctness of calculation of the profit tax allowance for RAO UES in 2001 and demanded additional tax payment of 3.679 billion rubles according to results of the check. RAO UES disagreed with decision of the tax service and appealed to the court. The court has already declined the appeal of RAO UES twice, in December and March. Representatives of RAO UES report that henceforth the appeal will be heard on June 3.

What is the fault of RAO UES? The allowance used by the energy company allows reduction of the taxed profit by the sum that the company has spent on financing of the so-called investments in production. This allowance was abolished relatively recently, at the beginning of 2002. According to the experts we approached for comments, using this tax minimization scheme has been very popular among Russian companies.

Experts presume that the attempt on the life of Anatoly Chubais, the searches of his dacha, and tax audits are all linked.

Mikhail Delyagin, director of the Globalization Institute, speculates that the “St. Petersburg clan” is using these methods in an attempt to establish control over RAO UES. Delyagin adds, “If, in the near future, Chubais receives a new deputy for finance from St. Petersburg who starts to really manage the company, the tax claims against Chubais will disappear.” According to Delyagin, tax claims only represent a convenient method of pressure. Delyagin also says, “All experts agreed that in the YUKOS affair, tax legislation was applied retrospectively. After this success, many other companies started receiving back tax claims.”

The media relations department of the energy holding reported, “RAO UES believes it can work together with the Federal Tax Service to find a reasonable solution to the situation, within the framework of judicial procedures.”

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