Venezuela: Oil Cos Have Paid US$266mn Since Rate Hike

Roughly 20 oil companies have paid Venezuela's tax authority Seniat more than 700bn bolivares (US$266mn) in back taxes in response to a retroactive tax increase for 2001-04, newspaper El Universal reported.

The figure could go up to 850bn bolivares soon because some companies are expected to pay in coming days, the paper quoted Seniat special taxes manager Jose Joaquin Cedillo as saying.

Seniat says oil companies owe a total of 1.6tn bolivares for the 2001-04 period.

The oil companies initially rejected Seniat's decision last year to apply retroactively a higher tax rate of 50% to companies working for state oil company PDVSA.

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