Seniat Collects US$126mn in Back Taxes So Far



Venezuela's Seniat tax authority has collected a total 270bn bolivares (US$126mn) in back taxes from oil firms for the 2001-2004 period as part of a probe into companies that held oilfield operating contracts with state oil giant PDVSA, newspaper El Universal reported.

The companies include majors such as the UK's BP, Anglo-Dutch firm Shell, Spain's Repsol YPF and US company Chevron as well as independents such as local company Vinccler Oil and Gas.

"We will recover those taxes, companies such as BP, Vinccler and Shell are paying, they are all meeting their obligations," Seniat head José Vielma Mora was quoted as saying.

Vielma said the payments are part of a total US$651mn demanded from 19 of the 22 companies, which until last year held operating contracts in Venezuela. The companies were forced to migrate their contracts to new joint ventures controlled by PDVSA.

Vielma said the remaining three companies had yet to be notified of back taxes that they owed.

The government says companies should have paid the taxes using a 50% rate as required for production contracts, while companies had been using a 34% rate, in some cases for more than a decade, without any complaints from the tax authority.

The claims are part of a broad effort by Venezuela's government to squeeze extra money out of oil companies by retroactively altering the tax rates for oil projects. The back taxes are part of an investigation into what government officials call "tax irregularities" in the energy sector.

About Business News Americas: Business News Americas is a multilingual news and business information service that covers the most important original stories in 11 different business sectors throughout Latin America everyday. Visit BNamericas to access our real-time news reports, 7-year archive, Fact File company database, and latest research reports. Click here for a Free two week trial to our Latin America Oil & Gas information service.

RELATED COMPANIES
Company: BP plc more info
Operates 28 Offshore Rigs
 - BP Midstream Partners Seeks To Raise Up To $893MM In IPO (Oct 16)
 - BP, Azerbaijan's SOCAR To Sign Caspian Sea Exploration Deal In 2017 (Oct 12)
 - Increasing the World's Oil Reserves with Digitization (Oct 09)
Company: Shell more info
Operates 27 Offshore Rigs
 - API Panel Member: Voluntary Methane Program Forthcoming (Oct 06)
 - Eni Bets Big on Zohr Explorer Finding New Treasure (Oct 06)
 - Shell, Varo End Talks on Germany Refinery Stake Sale (Oct 06)
Company: Chevron Corporation more info
 - Canada's Keyera Signs Pact With Chevron To Transport, Store NGL (Oct 10)
 - Chevron Starts LNG Output at Australia's Wheatstone (Oct 09)
 - Petrofac Extends North Sea Contract with Chevron (Oct 05)
Company: PDVSA more info
Operates 15 Offshore Rigs
Manages 26 Offshore Rigs
 - Venezuela Confirms Discussing Citgo Collateral Swap With Rosneft (Oct 04)
 - Venezuelans Face Growing Queues To Buy Gasoline (Sep 21)
 - Venezuela's Crude Supply To The United States Was Flat In August (Sep 13)
Company: Repsol more info
 - Exxon Mobil Bets on Brazil, Buys 10 Oil Blocks in Auction (Sep 28)
 - Repsol Says Drilling Suspended On Vietnam Oil Block Disputed By China (Aug 02)
 - China Urges Halt To Oil Drilling In Disputed South China Sea (Jul 25)
Company: Vinccler Oil and Gas more info
 - ANH Pre-qualifies Companies for Ronda Caribe (Aug 28)
 - PetroCumarebo Eyes 2,500b/d, 566,000m3/d by Year-End (May 24)
 - Vinccler in Talks to Secure La Vela License (May 24)