Venezuela's says oil corporations have yeilded to tax demands
- From VHeadline
Published: Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Bylined to: David Coleman
Venezuela's IRS/Seniat says foreign oil operators have yielded to tax
Venezuela's IRS/Seniat tax agency says that seven foreign oil
operators have yielded to demands from the Venezuelan government that
they should pay outstanding tax bills after 22 oil companies were told
the tax authorities would take action to enforce temporary shut-down
orders on those who failed to maintain tax payments on schedule.
IRS/Seniat official Jose Joaquin Cedillo did not give details of which
companies had indicated their compliance with Venezuela's national tax
structure but it is known that the companies involved in the recent
taxation debacle include ChevronTexaco, British Petroleum, Repsol,
Total, PetroBras and Royal Dutch/Shell.
The Venezuelan government claimed that some companies had persistently
failed to pay some US$2 billion that they owe under a 2001 law which
requiring 16.6% extraction royalties and local income taxes at 50%.
The tax-defaulting companies claim that they signed agreements with
the Venezuelan government under the presidency of Dr. Rafael Caldera
(1993-1998) which required royalties of only 1% and income taxes at
36%. However, President Hugo Chavez Frias says the agreements were
the result of suspiciously corrupt 'arrangements' between the then
government and the oil companies and that the foreign oil operators
have the simple choice of paying up what they owe under the law or to
get out of Venezuela ... he had already told them "if you don't
comply, we don't need you, here."