Anheuser-Busch InBev Is Under Close Watch Of Urals Police
21.09.2009 — News
THE SVERDLOVSK OBLAST.
The Russian operation of the world's largest brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev got under the scrutiny of law enforcement agencies again. The activities of OJSC SUN InBev in the Sverdlovsk Oblast are being checked by the employees of the Economic Crime Department for the adherence to the tax legislation.
For several years the brewing company, which is second in Russia in terms of sales, has been working in Ekaterinburg without having registered the newly established separate subdivision with the local tax office as prescribed by the federal legislation. Being in actual fact in the capital of the Sverdlovsk Oblast, more than a hundred employees of the Ekaterinburg office are employed by the Perm representation of OJSC SUN InBev.Their wage taxes, therefore, as well as the profit tax on the profits made on the territory of the Sverdlovsk Oblast have been going from Ekaterinburg to Perm. According to the data from the Perm Krai government the company pays about 500 million roubles into the regional budget.
The Russian legislation, however, stipulates the duty to register a separate subdivision of a company with the tax office at its locale. When there are appropriate signs of entrepreneurial activities without registration it is equal to tax evasion, which is a criminal offence.
Sources in law enforcement agencies informed RusBusinessNews that OJSC SUN InBev has been carrying all the activities in the Sverdlovsk Oblast through the "Perm representation, Ekaterinburg office". The head of the Ekaterinburg subdivision has been acting according to the letter of authority signed by the President of OJSC SUN InBev. This means that this tax scheme has been approved directly by the management of the brewing company.
OJSC SUN InBev has 12 representative offices in Russia altogether and it cannot be ruled out that the brewers use similar practices in other cities.
Tax evasion is the cause for the initiation of criminal proceedings against the Russian operation of Anheuser-Busch InBev in the autumn of 2007. In January 2008 the Moscow Court of Arbitration had ruled that tax office claims of 34.7 million roubles against OJSC SUN InBev were legitimate. The company had been lowering the taxes through payments to two bottle supplying companies which had not filed tax returns.
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