Russia’s Federal Tax Service: Monetka Avoids Paying Taxes trough Buying Trademark

12 September 2011 (08:59)

Sverdlovsk Region Arbitration Court started the new hearing of the claim laid by Element Trade (Monetka supermarket chain) against the tax inspectorate of Yekaterinburg’s Chkalovsky District. The retailer disagrees with the defendant’s claims to 113.4m RUR worth of unpaid income tax that was allegedly to have been paid in 2006-2008. The fiscal body believes the supermarket chain signed fictional contracts with an affiliated Cyprus-based company for the purchase of Monetka trademark; the contracts amounted to 472.5m RUR, which resulted in an artificial decrease in the total profits, Kommersant-Ural reports.

According to the data available for this case, the tax inspectorate found some violations of the existing law in the activity of Element Trade last year. For one, it was detected that the company spent 472.5m RUR on a sublicense agreement with Cyprus-based Richmane Trading Limited in 2006-2008; the company, the fiscal body claims, was affiliated with the chain owner Roman Zabolotnov. Under the terms of the agreement, the supermarket chain could use the trademark; the tax authorities believe the company’s taxation base was artificially lowered.

As a result, the tax officials charged the company the missing taxes, 23.4m RUR worth of penalty fees, and a 23.2m-ruble fine. The company took the case to court, so in December 2010 the court of arbitration sustained the retailer’s claim and declared the tax authorities’ claims void. However, Ural Federal District Arbitration Court ruled that another hearing of the case be made because the courts of lower instances allegedly failed to look into all the circumstances related to the case. For one, the courts did not take into account the Interpol data provided by the tax authorities which proved that the founder of the Cyprus company was Olga Dyachenko.

Now according to the tax officials’ claims, Olga Dyachenko and Roman Zabolotnov are co-habitants and have children; Ms Dyachenko presumable got some profit from Element Trade’s activities as well.

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