Max Petroleum says Kazak court upholds tax claim

June 2. Reuters. LONDON

Max Petroleum says Kazak court upholds tax claimMax Petroleum said an appeal court in Kazakhstan has upheld a tax claim against the company by local Kazakh tax authorities, making the oil and gas group’s shares the biggest faller on London’s main market.

The claim resulted from a routine tax audit of the years 2005 to 2008 and involves a dispute over the timing of depreciation of the group’s costs prior to Kazakhstan’s adoption of a new tax code in 2009.

Shares in London-listed Max Petroleum were down 16 percent at 13.44 pence at 0753 GMT, compared with a 1.6 percent dip in the Stoxx European Oil and Gas sector index, valuing the group at $85.7 million.

The local tax authorities are requesting additional taxes, interest and penalties of $15.6 million.

The company said it continues to believe the tax claim is without merit and will appeal to the Supreme Court as soon as possible.

However, it added that the local tax authorities have the right to require payment before a ruling of the Supreme Court and that it has applied to spread any payments over up to 12 months.