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Reuters: Shell pays Venezuela $13.7 mln in back taxes

Mon Apr 9, 2007

CARACAS, April 9 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell’s Venezuelan subsidiary has paid the Venezuelan government $13.7 million in back taxes levied on operations in 2005, the nation’s Seniat tax authority said on Monday.

The government of leftist President Hugo Chavez in 2005 launched a broad campaign to increase tax payments by private companies pumping oilfields in Venezuela, the fifth-largest exporter of oil to the United States in January.

The Seniat said it received the payment after an audit that determined the company had not paid enough income tax for 2005.

The agency said it objected to Shell Venezuela’s write-down of interest payments on a loan it took out from its corporate headquarters, insisting the interest rate on the loan had been set above market rates.

Shell is a minority partner with state oil company PDVSA in the Urdaneta Oeste field in Western Venezuela. 

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