Tax Authority: OPEN Owes US$1mn in Back Taxes

Venezuelan oil company OPEN owes the country's tax authority Seniat 2.2bn bolivares (US$1mn) in back taxes, Seniat said in a statement.

The company, which mined the Casma-Anaco field for state oil firm PDVSA under an operating agreement, became in August 2005 one of the first firms to accept a minority stake in a PDVSA joint venture to mine the same property.

OPEN has 15 working days to respond to Seniat's claim. If the company accepts paying the back taxes, it will have to pay a 10% fine. The final amount could climb as high as 300% of the original figure if OPEN rejects the claim.

Officials from OPEN's field office in Maturin declined comment when contacted by BNamericas.

Venezuela's government and oil companies have been at odds with each other after Seniat imposed a 50% tax rate last year on companies operating oilfields for PDVSA. Companies had been paying 34% for more than a decade.

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