Max loses Kazakh tax appeal

Oct 06. Upstream

Max loses Kazakh tax appealUS-listed Max Petroleum has lost its final legal appeal against an $18.6 million bill for unpaid taxes in Kazakhstan.

The country’s supreme court rejected the company’s final legal appeal on Thursday, bringing the long-running dispute to a close.

Max Petroleum said in a statement it had already fully settled the tax claim, and stressed that the latest decision “has no impact on the company’s financial condition or ability to fund its exploration, appraisal and development drilling programme”.

The company added it planned depreciation deductions on capital expenditure that would offset future taxable income, thereby allowing it to recover most of the economic value of the tax bill.

Max Petroleum was hit with the back tax claim of $15.6 million plus fees from Kazak authorities last June, following a routine audit of the years 2005 to 2008.

The claim involved a dispute over the timing of depreciation of the group’s costs prior to Kazakhstan’s adoption of a new tax code in 2009.

Subsequent court rulings by various Kazakh courts have been made both in favour of and against the company before Thursday’s final supreme court decision.